Congregation Sharing Questions & Problems

The most common problem with Congregation Sharing is that some data has gone missing. 99% of these problems are caused because one or more brothers in the congregation edited or updated data while their Congregation Sharing Status said “Waiting” or “Error”.

Your Congregation Sharing must say Connected, otherwise do not enter or update any data. If your Congregation Sharing Status says “Error” or “Waiting” do not edit or update any data in JW Scheduler.

Please kindly ensure all brothers in your congregation follow this simple instruction.

If any brother ever edits data while in an Error or Waiting status, it will most likely cause Sharing problems and data loss for all other brothers, sometimes months later. This is because the server has no way of knowing which data is the newest.

Setting up Congregation Sharing

We are not able to setup servers in every country, or even every continent, as it costs considerable time and money to setup and maintain a server.

Please simply select your closest Region, e.g. African users will likely select Europe, and South American users will likely select North America Central.

For security reasons, the only way to change the Sharing Region is to Disable Sharing, and then Re-Setup Congregation Sharing on the new Sharing Region.

  1. Click Congregation > Congregation Sharing
  2. Click Disable Sharing.
  3. Re-setup Sharing according to Help > Congregation Sharing.
  • Note: This will affect all other Sharing Members in your Congregation. After you re-setup on the new region, you must immediately inform all other users. They will then need to Disconnect, and join the new Region. If you continue to use two different regions, your data will not sync!

Connecting

  1. Verify you have been added as a Shared Member by a Congregation Administrator.
  2. Ensure your internet connection is working fine, and you can connect to google.com.
  3. Ensure you do not have any Firewall or Antivirus software stopping JW Scheduler from connecting to the internet.
  4. If this is the first time connecting, make sure you are clicking Open Congregation from Sharing.
    • Note: If you have already created or opened a Congregation, you will need to first Delete that congregation.
  5. Ensure you have the correct Congregation Sharing Region, Congregation ID and Congregation Password.
    • Note: Please double-check with your Congregation Administrator that the Sharing Region is correct. Ask him to also double-check that he is telling you the correct Region. The Congregation Administrator can see this written in big, bold green letters on the Congregation Sharing View. Many problems are caused by brothers using different regions.
  6. Take note of any error messages or reasons why you can’t connect. E.G. Congregation Password incorrect, etc.
  7. Try closing and re-opening JW Scheduler.
  8. Try clicking Disconnect and connecting again.
  1. Please verify you are connecting to the correct Sharing Region.
    • Note: If you try and connect to another region, obviously none of your data will exist and you will not see all the Shared Members. The Congregation Administrator chooses the Sharing Region, and then he must tell everyone else. Please be careful to remember your Sharing Region.
  2. If you need to change Sharing Region, click Disconnect. Then you re-select the Sharing Region.
  3. Ensure you have the correct Congregation ID.
  1. Ensure your internet connection is working fine, and you can connect to google.com.
  2. Ensure you have selected the correct Congregation Sharing Region and are using the correct Congregation ID.
    • Note: Please double-check with your Congregation Administrator that the Sharing Region is correct. Ask him to also double-check that he is telling you the correct Region. Many problems are caused by brothers using different regions.
  3. Double-check you are entering the password correctly, e.g. any capital letters, numbers, etc.
  4. Check the Master Log to see if anyone recently changed the password. If they did, please ask them for the new password.
    • Note: Many problems are caused by brothers accidently changing the Congregation Sharing password, therefore locking everyone else out. Please train all brothers not to change this password.
  5. Ask your Congregation Administrator to tell you the password again.
  6. If you still can’t connect, ask a Congregation Administrator to Change the Congregation Sharing Password.
  7. If no Congregation Administrators still have access to your Congregation, then you must Reset Congregation Sharing. This can be done by clicking the button Reset Sharing Password.
    • Note: This will send an email to all Shared elders with a new temporary password.

If your Congregation Sharing was working fine, but is now suddenly asking you for a Sharing Password, this means one of three things happened:

  1. Someone in your congregation changed or Reset the Congregation Sharing Password
  2. Someone in your congregation Deleted your Congregation from Sharing.
  3. JW Scheduler was updated to a version that requires re-setting up Sharing. This is rare, and will be mentioned in the Release Notes.
  4. Your Congregation has not been used for over 60 days, and your congregation was automatically deleted from Sharing.

We have no control over the first two things happening, since your congregation data can only be accessed and managed by your congregation.

JW Scheduler provides numerous warnings and confirmations before performing any of the above, but sometimes brothers ignore or don’t read the messages. Please provide proper training to all appointed brothers to ensure this does not happen accidently.

To fix: Please re-setup your Congregation Sharing.

  1. Verify you have been added as a Shared Member by the Congregation Administrator and you are showing up in the list.
    • Note: If you are a Congregation Administrator, ensure that you have created a Member for you, that you are set as an Elder, and that an Email Address has been set.

  2. Ensure your internet connection is working fine, and you can connect to google.com.
  3. If this is the first time connecting, you need to set a 6-digit Member PIN.
  4. Otherwise, ensure you are entering your Member PIN correctly.
    • Note: If you forgot your Member PIN, ask a Congregation Administrator to Reset your PIN. You can then choose a new one.
  5. Take note of any error messages or reasons why you can’t connect. E.G. Member PIN incorrect, etc.
  1. Ask one of your local Congregation Administrators to select your name from the Shared Members list and either ReShare (if you have expired) or Allow More Devices (if your device has expired).
    1. Note: Please see Why and when do members or devices Expire? for more information.
  2. If you are the only Congregation Administrator, and all your devices are saying “Device Expired”, you have to Reset your Congregation Sharing. On the Device Expired screen, click the button Reset Congregation Sharing.
    1. Note: We strongly recommend having at least 2 Congregation Administrators.

Data and Syncing

The most common reasons for this happening are:

  1. Members entering new or updating data when their JW Scheduler does not say Connected.
  2. Members not using the same version of JW Scheduler.
  3. Members updating the same type of data at the same time.
To ensure your data always syncs correctly:
  1. Always ensure all members are using the same version of JW Scheduler. The latest version can be found on the Download page.
  2. Do not enter any new or updated data if your JW Scheduler does not say Connected (top-left). Instead, first fix the problem.
    • Note: This is the most common cause of all sharing problems.
  3. Do not allow multiple members to enter the same type of data at the same time, e.g. Field Service Reports.
  4. Do not leave JW Scheduler open for more than 1 hour.
  5. Members should try and open JW Scheduler regularly, but should not leave JW Scheduler open when not using.
To diagnose and fix a syncing or sharing problem, please see the next question.

First, diagnose the cause of the problem:

  1. Verify the member is using the latest version of JW Scheduler. The latest version can be found on the Download page.
  2. Verify the member is Connected to the correct Sharing Region and Congregation ID.
  3. Check the Status of the member in Shared Members to see if they have recently connected.
  4. Make some minor test changes to the data, and verify changes made appear in both the Server Update Log and other members Local Download Log.
    • E.G. Update one of the Meeting Attendance figures.
  5. Some data changes require “refreshing” your screen, E.G. For Member Information, select another member, then back to that member. For Meeting Attendance Records, select another month, then back to that month. For Field Service Reports, select another Member, then re-click that Member, etc.
  6. Determine if all data is not syncing correctly, or just some types.
  7. Determine if the data is syncing one way, or no ways.
  8. Check the Server Upload Logs and Local Download Logs for all affected users and see what is happening.

Next, try and fix the problem:

Method 1: Refresh the data that is not syncing.

  • Note: This should be done if there is only a few things that haven’t synced.
  1. Change the data that is not showing up correctly, and then change it back. This will cause the data to be refreshed to all users.
    • E.G. Change the member name and then change it back.
    • E.G. Change the CLM assignment to someone else, then assign it back.

Method 2: Re-Share all data.

  • Note: This should be done if there is lots of data that hasn’t synced.
  1. The member with the most up-to-datedata should Re-Share with the any members who have out-of-date data.
  2. Click Congregation > Congregation Sharing
  3. In the Shared Members list, select the member and click ReShare.
    • Note: This will cause your data to be sent to that member.
  4. Ask the members to open JW Scheduler and connect. They will receive a new copy of the latest data.
If you have performed all the steps above, and still have problems, please Contact Us. However you must please include detailed screenshots, detailed steps you have already taken to resolve the problem, the Server Upload Logs and the Local Download Logs of any affected users.

It can take about 30 seconds for changes to be sent to the JW Scheduler Transfer Servers and synced with other members.

However please note that some changes do not immediately update the User Interface. Sometimes you must either refresh the view or close and re-open JW Scheduler to see any new changes.

Congregation Sharing does not support multiple people adding/update the same type of data at the same time.

Generally having multiple people connect at the same time won’t be a problem, but it depends on what they are doing:

  • If multiple brothers are only viewing data, there will be no problems.
  • If multiple brothers are editing different data types, there also shouldn’t be a problem. For example, the COBE is scheduling the Life and Ministry COBE parts, while the Secretary is entering Field Service Reports.
  • However, if two people are adding or editing the same information at the same time problems will likely occur.

E.G. If multiple people are adding or editing Field Service Reports at the same time, some data might be lost. This is simply because the Sharing Server doesn’t know which is the most recent copy.

Generally no. Once the data has synced, it should be immediately available. However you might need to refresh the view to see the changes.

E.G. For Meeting Attendance Records, select another month, then back to that month. For Field Service Reports, select another Member, then re-click that Member, etc.

No. Congregation Sharing is for sharing your data with other elders only. There is no “backup” made on the servers.

Please make sure you regularly make a local Backup of your data. It would be wise to save these backups off-site in case your computer crashes or is stolen.

Members

Any member who has Congregation Sharing – Edit access is considered a Congregation Sharing Administrator. We strongly recommend your congregation has at least 2 Congregation Administrators. Otherwise you might get locked out of your congregation.

In the Shared Members list, select the person you want to make a Congregation Administrator, and set their Congregation Sharing access to Edit. Click Save.

We take the security of congregation data very seriously. Therefore we have implemented protocols about member and device expiry to ensure your Congregation Sharing is safe.

There are several reasons a member or device will expire:

  1. When the congregation is first shared with a member, they have 3 days to connect with their personal devices. If they do not connect within 3 days, they will expire.
  2. If a member has not connected for 90 days, they will expire.

If a member or device has expired, a Congregation Sharing Administrator can select the Shared Member and click either ReShare or Allow More Devices to allow them to connect again.

  • Note: If a Congregation Sharing Administrator expires themselves, another Administrator should ReShare or Allow More Devices.

This means multiple elders have separately created a JW Scheduler congregation. You cannot merge multiple JW Scheduler congregations. Instead, only one elder should create a New Congregation and all other elders should Open Congregation from Sharing to connect to that congregation.

To fix this problem, one elder will need to Delete his Congregation and then Open the other congregation from Sharing.

Disconnecting

This will Disconnect you from the Sharing Server, so you will no longer receive any data changes, and any changes you make will not be Shared with other members.

You should generally not click Disconnect, except when diagnosing problems or moving to another congregation.

Even if an appointed brother clicks Disconnect, his User Access does not change, so he still will only have access to parts of the program that the Congregation Administrator’s have decided.

On the Congregation Sharing page, a Congregation Sharing Administrator can click Disable Sharing. This will immediately and permanently remove all Congregation Sharing Transactions, Logs and records from the Sharing Server. You can later re-enable Congregation Sharing.

This will affect all other Shared Members, so you should only select this if:

  1. You want to Reset your Congregation Sharing to fix any problems.
  2. Everyone in your congregation stops using JW Scheduler.
Scroll to Top