Can two members share the same email address?

Can two members share the same email address?

No. This is a question we get more often, since there are often members within a congregation who share the same email address. This seems simple enough at first, but it can actually create a lot of challenges for a web application. Here are a few of those challenges.

Logging in

The primary reason for not allowing members to share an email address is because it is used as the username when logging into Church Social. It is how Church Social identifies who they are. This is also important when members forget their passwords. Their email address is used to help them reset their password.

Managing unsubscribes

Email address sharing can be problematic with subscription management. What would happen if one member unsubscribed from an email list, while the other member did not? If we stop sending to that email address entirely, this can lead to confusion to why emails are not being sent anymore. However, if we continue sending to the email address after an unsubscribe, we risk upsetting members or even being flagged as spam. Being flagged as spam is very serious, and can lead to a degrading of our email reputation, potentially affecting our delivery rates to all other users in the system.


Church Social gives increased access to more sensitive member information to office bearers. In these situations we strongly recommend that these members use their own Church Social account and email address.

A trend in the right direction

Since almost all websites require a unique email address, it's become very common for people to have their own private email addresses. Most people under the age of 50 already have their own email addresses, and we expect this trend to continue.

Free email accounts

While we understand this solution will not satisfy everyone, we generally recommend that members simply create a free email address using Gmail,, Yahoo or elsewhere.