Don’t Forget the Old-School Technology

Don’t Forget the Old-School Technology

June 15, 2011 by

With the popularity of iPods and other mp3 players, many churches have utilized podcasts to reach out across the world with great success. But are we making sure that we are not so excited to embrace the new that we throw out the old too soon?

Not everyone has an mp3 player or streams audio online, but cars still have built-in CD players. Sermons on CD still have uses for those who are not mp3 savvy. Or just haven’t charged their iPod. It’s a cheap and easy way to put a message in the hands of your congregation.

Here are some people it will specifically benefit:

1. New People
A CD with two or three different sermons make a great addition to a new attender packet or even to offer to new attendees. If your church has a special day with testimonies and baptisms and a first-time attender that day, they don’t really get a good idea of what the message or tone of the church is really like. You can give them the option to get a real feel for your church beyond that day’s service.

2. Absentees
When regular attenders miss a week or three, it can be easy for them to feel out of the loop and eventually drift away. By having the last sermon or the current sermon series available for free on CD, they can catch up and still feel connected.

3. Seniors
Many seniors, including the shut-in seniors who can’t come during bad weather or at all, have CD players at home. It’s most likely a technology they have mastered, and won’t take a long orientation. They can still get fed by the church they love, even if their circumstances prevent it.

4. Anyone Who Has a Car with a Working CD Player
When the iPod is uncharged or left behind, even the tech masters still have a CD player in the car. Why not give them an option to pop in a CD of [Your church name]’s Greatest Hits? Or let people get a copy of the sermon that particularly inspired them that they can listen in the car when they need to hear it.

As church communicators we are tasked with reaching everyone in our church no matter age, demographic or where they are in their walk. We need to make sure we keep the same outlook on our use of technology too—even if that means going back to the cassette tape (remember the plastic square with two holes that you had to turn over to listen to more than four songs?).

Post By:

Jennifer Armitage

Jennifer Armitage is mom, pastor's wife, blogger, freelance writer, public relations consultant, and Director of Communications and Community Outreach for Crossroads Christian Fellowship. She specializes in low-to-no budget nonprofit and church community outreach.
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7 Responses to “Don’t Forget the Old-School Technology”

  • Bobby
    June 15, 2011

    Really? It’s long past time to let cassettes go away. If you have somebody who needs a tape, buy them a CD player instead, they’ll appreciate it.

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    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      June 15, 2011

      Bobby, you want to buy a CD player for my ’98 Malibu? Awesome. ;-)

      Apparently my church just stopped giving out tapes, hence the pic above. I got a kick out of that.

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  • Gary S
    June 15, 2011

    CDs still get taken and used a lot at our church even though we’re a relatively young and tech-savvy church. People seem to take them for friends and relatives most. Good reminder.

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  • Fiona
    June 15, 2011

    Our ‘young’ and not quite hip evening service mostly does CD’s because we’re not tech savvy enough to have someone able to Upload the talks to the website. I lend them to people – more obvious and easy to motivate/actually take away the excuses than ‘you should download this talk from the website sometime’

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  • Eric J
    June 15, 2011

    We charge (ask for a donation) for CD’s but will give them out for free no problem if someone asks, but try to encourage people to visit the website for the mp3/vimeo. I also know that a lot of people grab CD’s for unsaved children and spouses to hand to them.

    Another example i recently made a video of an event that hundreds of people and organizations donated too. A pastor asked me to make a simple dvd (no menu’s) to hand out to key businesses and charity’s that donated items but do not attend our church. For example all of the shoes were donated by one well known charity and the pastor wanted to hand them a DVD to say here is what your donation did.

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  • David H
    June 15, 2011

    We have stopped producing VHS tapes (we only use these in the media room for disaster recovery should the DVD recorder fail) but we do still produce a small number of cassettes – though much reduced now that CD players are so cheap they’re almost disposable.

    I guess it won’t be too long before we can ditch the cassettes – surely there can’t be many players left working these days? The CDs and DVDs will be around for quite a while longer.

    We actually have some old vinyl records and reel-to-reel tapes of sermons from a long time back – not much call for THOSE these days! :-D

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  • Sarah
    July 2, 2011

    Love the idea of handing out CDs in new attender packages!

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