Did you know there’s a way to reach people all over the world using a single app on your phone? You don’t need expensive equipment or software and you can evangelize from wherever you are! Read on to find out how you can use WhatsApp to share the Gospel in practical ways with people all over the world.
What is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is a VoIP service that allows users to send and receive text messages, photos, video, and audio recordings.
With 1.5 billion users, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in over 100 countries. Even though the app is popular around the world, in 2017, only 39 percent of Americans are familiar with WhatsApp. This means it may be a more effective outreach tool for reaching audiences outside of the United States.
What’s a WhatsApp Cast?
A WhatsApp cast is a series of systematic recorded audio files shared to users on the WhatsApp platform.
The idea comes from a method popularized by Neville Neveling from Adventist World Radio who launched cell phone evangelism using WhatsApp. Similar to a podcast, this method allows users to send audio files directly to over 200 contacts, each contact receiving the audio as a personal message. A WhatsApp Cast allows you to create a program series suited for a specific demographic. Unlike a podcast, people can’t subscribe to your cast but with their permission, you can send them regular audio.
Why Start a WhatsApp Cast?
Top 5 reasons why you should start a WhatsApp Cast:
- With 1.5 billion active users, it’s a great way to share the Gospel
- In contrast to a podcast, a WhatsApp Cast will cost you little to nothing.
- Allows interaction between international and local contacts
- It creates an opportunity for personal evangelism and reaching others one on one
- You can reach people from wherever you are with your cell phone
How to start a WhatsApp Cast?
Step One: Know your audience
Who are you creating content for? Your audience plays the most important role in determining the kind of content you will create. Do you want to strengthen the faith of Christians or reaching out to non-Christians? Will you speak to a younger or older audience? Are they males, females, or a mix? The answers you give will help you determine how often you will share content, the tone or mood of your cast, and how you will promote your program.
Examples of target audiences:
- College-aged males
- Expecting or new mothers
- Single parents
- People with substance misuse disorder
- Young professionals
- Engaged couples
This list is endless. Consider the population that God is calling you to witness to.
Step Two: Organize your content
Decide what your cast will be about. Know your target audience and create a content calendar. A content calendar can keep you on track and help you avoid duplicating your topics. Set an overall theme for your cast so your audience can have an idea of what to expect. Use your theme to find relevant topics and set the mood for your program.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to cover every topic; it’s like driving a bus loaded with passengers and telling them that you will take them everywhere.
Here are examples of main themes, the title of the program, and topics:
Title: The Bible and Everyday Life Topics:
- How to use the Psalms to put your kids to bed
- Ecclesiastes and the Working Professional
Title: Weight for No Man
- Keeping the pounds off after the wedding
- 40 ways to stay fit after 40
Title: Brain Freeze for Teens
- 4 Ways to exercise your brain during gym class
- Using scripture to prepare for your math quiz
Title: Stepping Stones for Marriage
- How to cope with your spouse’s sudden disability
- Maintaining a healthy sex life after a disability
Title: No Hard Feelings
- 3 Effective Ways to process anger without getting violent
- 6 Creative ways to use Hot water to beat cramps and mood swings
A spiritual theme should be the thread through all of these
Step Three: Set up the platform
To get your content to your audience, you need to create a Broadcast List. Ensure that you have WhatsApp downloaded on your phone. If not, you can find it in the Apple store or on Google Play.
- Open WhatsApp
- Tap “Broadcast List” on the left corner of the chat screen.
- Select New List
- Enter names from your contact list. Remember, those who want to receive your cast must be on your contacts list. You can add up to 256 names in your broadcast list. (Even if the area code is different, you can still add someone to your WhatsApp list.)
- Tap Create
Step Four: Record and share your content
You have two options: record directly on WhatsApp or record the audio separately and then upload to WhatsApp To record directly into WhatsApp:
- Tap on your new Broadcast List.
- Select the mic icon on the lower right-hand corner and slide up to keep recording hands-free
- When you’re done recording, click the blue send icon.
To record separately and then upload:
- Record your audio using an audio recording app (e.g. Voice Record)
- Edit if needed
- When audio is ready, go to “Broadcast List”
- Select the + sign
- Select the audio from where you stored it
- Send to your recipients
The latter option allows you to edit any mistakes you make during your recording before upload.
Step Five: Build your audience
With the WhatsApp Cast, you can only send your program directly to those on in your contacts. However, those recipients are free to share your audio with individuals in their contacts.
1. Start with people you know. These are friends, relatives, co-workers, and church members who are already in your contacts list. Invite them to share your cast with people in their contacts.
2. Create a social media page or website. It would help to have a home base for your cast; a digital space where people can find more information about your program. Direct your listeners to your website or social media page for more information. There, you can invite new listeners to receive your cast directly by signing up with their phone number. Assure your listeners that their phone number will not be used for any other purpose than for the cast.
Things to remember:
- Make clear CTA’s (Calls to Action). What do you want your listeners to do after listening to the program? Like your Facebook page? Sign up for Bible studies? Make sure you include your CTA, preferably, at the end of your cast.
- Ensure your cast points people to Jesus Christ and His Word. No matter what you are discussing on your cast, the end goal should be to lift up Christ and His saving grace.
- Invite feedback. Feedback will help you improve your program. Ask listeners to send in comments or questions. They are the ones you want to reach, therefore, their assessments and reactions will be valuable to the success of your program.
Most importantly, pray for the outpouring of the Spirit. If God is guiding you as you choose your topics and plan your program, God’s purpose will be accomplished.
Example of a WhatsApp Cast Format
The Single File
The Single File is a cast that explores the lives of men and women of faith throughout history who never married. We will learn how the lived productive, spirit-filled lives, and changed the world while remaining single. We will also answer questions from listeners.
Every Friday at 8 PM EDT
Older single adults with a Christian background
Topics for one month:
Corrie Ten Boom
The prophet Jeremiah
- Respond to this cast by letting me know of single people who influenced you positively
- Share this audio with 5 of your friends
- Like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
- Visit your local Adventist church next Saturday morning
Ready to give WhatsApp a try? Share with us how you plan to use this app for ministry.