Is this the most innovative use of live video streaming by a church?

How Churches Can Easily Reach a Fast Growing Demographic: the Elderly

 

 

 

 Ask any pastor who their target audience is and many would say “everyone”.  However, as every marketer will tell you, if you aim for nothing in particular, you’ll be sure to hit it.  I believe that most churches want to reach young people, whether they verbalize that or not.  For example, the décor and music style of most churches signals that they are trying to make young people—not the elderly—feel most comfortable.  While I understand this strategy, I believe many churches are missing a huge opportunity by not seeking ways to reach the aging population too.

 

Let’s look at the numbers:

 

 

According to Census.gov:

  • The nation’s total population will cross the 400 million mark in 2051,
    reaching 420.3 million in 2060.
  • The proportion of the population younger than 18 is expected to change little
    over the 2012-2060 period, decreasing from 23.5 percent to 21.2 percent.
  • In 2056, for the first time, the older population, age 65 and over, is
    projected to outnumber the young, age under 18.

 

This graph from the Administration of Aging breaks down the older population as percentage of total U.S. adults:

 


As the culture shifts, the church must continue to reach out
to younger generations without forgetting the growing group of elderly who risk
becoming marginalized and forgotten.

How Can Churches Reach the Elderly?

 

 

I wish I could claim the credit for this idea.  However, the credit goes to Dave Bender, the
administrator at South Tulsa Baptist Church.

A developer at an assisted living senior’s community approached the church about providing transportation to the facility. While the church was looking into all the details, they had a brilliant idea.

 

The Solution:

 

 

South Tulsa Baptist has used VLife for their Church Online
solution, streaming 4 live services a week for the last several years. As they
considered the health challenges that made it very difficult for many of the
residents to leave the facility, they thought, “Why not take the church service
to them?”  Instead of transporting location-bound seniors, risking injury and liability, the church could simply send a volunteer to the location to host the service and provide spiritual assistance.

 

How it Works

 

 

The assisted living facility already had a large HD TV in
the community area. Because VLife delivers video to iOS and Android devices, it
was as simple as buying an iPad mini and getting the HD signal to the TV via
the HDMI port.  Total cost of the solution: $299 for the iPad + $30 for the HDMI cable.  To the church’s surprise, not only was live streaming much easier than the transportation option, it was also cheaper.  Now a church volunteer shows up at the location every Sunday
morning to show the entire service beginning to end, and is available to talk
and pray with people who need personal attention.

 

 

Church using video streaming to reach the elderly

Members of South Tulsa viewing worship service in Legends at Mingo Road Theater room

 

 

 

 

 

How Well is it Working?

 

What started as single location in the summer of 2012 has now grown to 11 location with an expected reach of 150 attendees this Sunday.

If you would like more information or are considering doing
this outreach in your community, please contact VLife or connect with South
Tulsa Baptist – http://www.southtulsabaptist.org/

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    We asked Dr Alex about the reach of video streaming. He told a cool story that had happened recently. We hear this often its surprising who you reach once you being to broadcast your services live.