Pastor, are your lonely elderly members not online?
Elderly members don’t own or have the patience to work with the technology needed to join your online worship services.
With their strength, health, and mobility challenges, this leaves them all alone without a good connection to the church.
Ministry Options for Immobile and Confined Seniors
Copying CD’s and DVD’s
You can ask your A/V and Hospitality ministries to record and copy CD’s or DVD’s of your worship services.
Provide them with technology
You can provide the technology needed and attempt to teach your senior members how to use it.
Holding a phone to a speaker
You can pair up younger members with the elderly and have them call on Sunday and hold their phone up to the speaker of their computers.
You can use one of the many phone streaming options to connect with all your members directly from your worship service.
What is Phone Streaming?
Phone Streaming is the technique of being able to send and/or record the audio part of your online stream for the traditional telephone so your elderly members can join your online worship service.
Popular Phone Streaming Options for Churches
Below, we will go over the five most popular phone streaming options used by churches.
Facebook Live’s phone option,
Free Conference Call,
Sermon by Phone,
Zoom conference call-in, and
Facebook Live Phone
Adding a dial-in number makes it possible for people who do not have web or mobile data access to listen to your live broadcast from any telephone. There is a phone number and access code that your audience can call.
You can enable the number and create a new access code when setting up a Live or scheduled Live broadcast in order to secure it up to 7 days before your broadcast.
The feature is not available for broadcasts originating from a mobile phone and cannot be enabled for broadcasts with age or geographic audience restrictions. All calls are muted and cannot be un-muted, listeners cannot be heard.
Free Conference Call
One step up from holding your phone to a speaker for including your elderly members is to have them join a conference line.
At the other end, you will have to hold the phone up to a speaker or use a PC and some hardware to pipe your PA System into the conference.
But, when it is free to use, how can you complain?
Sermon by Phone
Trying to stay connected to folks who don’t have easy access to the Internet, or who just don’t want to deal with all the Zooms and YouTubes and Facebook Lives?
Sermon by Phone helps you give them a local phone number to dial to hear the week’s sermon or devotional – no meeting IDs, no passcodes, no Internet needed!
Upload your sermon’s audio file (or your entire service, the weekly devotional, etc). If you don’t have a file already, you could use the on-page recorder to record audio right from your phone. Or, you can use the included tool to extract the audio from a Facebook or YouTube video.
Each month you get a bucket of 500 free incoming caller minutes (that is an average of 2 members listening to a 1-hour sermon per week) and an emailed receipt. If you’d like to allow more minutes, they cost $0.006/min (6/10 of a cent).
There is not an option to broadcast your worship service live with Sermon by Phone.
Sorry, Zoom’s Free Phone Audio Conference has been discontinued.
Zoom is a great tool for interaction group events and allows non-techie elderly members to join by phone with an access code.
Broadcasting a worship service via Zoom is a little more complicated. It does require extra hardware for running an interface to your sound system, the host needs to make sure everyone is muted and stays muted, and requires your members to remember to call in with an access code.
Zoom is the number one online meeting tool, and most school and career aged members are familiar with it and how it works.