Group messaging is an excellent way to foster community in your church. It enables groups within your church to communicate with each other by email using a shared group email address, radically simplifying communication.
ChurchApp's group messaging for small groups functionality has been very well received, so today we're happy to announce two updates!
There are many instances in church life where people who are on a rota together need to communicate with each other. What often happens is that someone sends an email to everyone on the rota. Then, the next time someone else needs to email the rota, they use that original email as a basis and reply to everyone who received that email. This works. But, there is a major problem: church life is fluid, and all too often, this means that people who are no longer serving on the particular rota keep getting emails.
ChurchApp's new rota group messaging solves this.
In My ChurchApp, members can click a button to send an email to their rota. This uses an email address that ChurchApp creates just for that rota, something along the lines of:
ChurchApp then delivers an email to everybody currently on the rota. Simple!
Any replies again go to the same email address. ChurchApp then delivers the reply to everyone currently on the rota.
This is the best part: the system enables rota members to communicate with each other without giving anyone access to any church member's email address. In addition to this, only people who are on the rota are able to send an email to the rota. If someone else tries to use the rota email address, ChurchApp simply rejects their email, which prevents any spamming should the rota email address fall into the wrong hands.
The default behaviour for group messaging, both in the Rotas module as well as for Small Groups, is for any replies to the email to again go to the entire group. The reason for this is that it is built for group communication, rather than individual communication.
However, there are instances where somebody might want to use the email address to email the entire group, but at the same time keep any replies private. For such instances, we have implemented a new feature: simply add "-private" to the end of the first bit of the group email address (or, if you are sending the email through My ChurchApp, select this as an option), and any replies to the group email will only go to the sender. So, for example:
We hope that these updates to group messaging will make the feature even more useful to churches. As always, if you have any questions about this or other ChurchApp features, do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!