5 Ways to Reach Older People with the Good News of Jesus

 
Pippa Cramer | Oct 28, 2023

Hymns We Love is a gentle, 5-session evangelistic course that uses hymns to reach older people with the gospel. It is available to use in different ways—either by downloading and watching the videos, or by giving the talks “live”—adapting the script of the talks to fit the audience. The series can be run by a church leader or a lay person who has a heart for older people and it is a perfect evangelistic tool for this age group!

Below are five suggested ways to run the programme in your church or community:

1. Use the Series in Large Groups at Church (or in Your Community)

Why conduct Hymns We Love in a large group? Guests can watch the videos on a large screen, making it easier for them to sing along together. The group can then listen to the talk and testimony and join in with prayers at the end. Congregational worship and prayer is a powerful thing, and especially meaningful to many older people in our communities.

Here are a few more reasons to host Hymns We Love in a large group:

  • After enjoying singing together in a larger group, your group can then be broken up into smaller groups, where guests can more easily discuss the suggested questions in the song booklets before coming together again at the end.
  • The vicar or church leader, or someone with a heart for evangelism to older people, can deliver the talks live.
  • If a musician is available, the hymns can be sung with a live accompanist.

2. Use the Series in Smaller Home Groups

Your group can watch the videos together on a TV in an individual’s home, making the experience cosier and more intimate for guests. This cosy atmosphere will make some folks feel more comfortable singing along to the hymns and joining in with prayer and discussion at the end. Someone in the group can also provide refreshments or a meal to make everyone feel even more at home!

Here are a few more reasons to host Hymns We Love in a small group:

  • The whole group can discuss the suggested questions together after watching the video, with the helper(s) facilitating discussion. This is unifying for the group.
  • As with larger groups, the talks can also be delivered live by the leader of the small group, again adapting or tweaking as necessary. This can make the session feel more intimate.
  • If the leader would prefer not to use the videos for their home group, they can choose to play the hymns on a CD player. All the Hymns We Love videos are available to watch on DVD as well, if that’s easier for the group leader than downloading the videos.

3. Use the Series in One-on-One Pastoral Visits

Hymns We Love is a fantastic resource for families to use with older relatives, neighbours, and friends on a one-to-one basis. It’s wonderful for prompting discussion, too.

If visiting someone at home, hospital, or a care home, Hymns We Love can be enjoyed together whilst watching the videos on a laptop or an iPad—this is probably the easiest way to watch.

Here are a few more benefits of running Hymns We Love one-on-one:

  • Discussions about the hymn and the talk can happen very easily and naturally in a one-on-one setting. The two of you can sing along to the hymn together or just enjoy listening and watching on-screen.
  • The talks can also be tailored to suit the needs of an individual, and as with other settings, can be delivered live. This may be particularly appropriate for someone who has dementia, memory problems or difficulty concentrating. The talks are extremely versatile and are there to be used to meet people where they are!
  • In terms of listening and singing along with the hymns, a recording can be listened to on an iPhone, iPad or laptop.

4. Use the Series in Care Homes

In a care home setting, the Hymns We Love talks are typically best delivered in person, depending on the understanding and culture of the group. The scripts of the talks can be condensed if necessary. But many in care homes often love watching the videos too!

Bonus tips for hosting Hymns We Love in care homes:

  • A live piano for guests to sing along to the hymns is wonderful.
  • The discussion points at the end, again, can be adapted if necessary to suit the audience.
  • If the leader does choose to condense the talk, it sometimes helps to simply pick out one or two key points from the talk and focus on these.

5. Use the Series in Prisons

The Hymns We Love talks can either be used in video format or given live by the Prison Chaplain—again, tweaked if necessary to suit the audience, or a combination of the videos and live singing can be used.

In addition to these five ways to run the series, an individual could watch the videos (or go through the scripts) by themselves. You could send the kit to an elderly person you care about, and following this, you could chat about the talk with them, on the phone or in person—you don’t necessarily need to be with the individual when they watch it. I have a friend who is sending copies of the Leader’s Kit to various older friends for Christmas, for example.

As with all of these settings, Hymns We Love can be adapted and shared in a way that is best suited for the group or individual. Regardless of the setting, however, prayer is always key!

Hymns We Love Leader's Kit

Hymns We Love Leader's Kit

$54.99

Leader's Kit for this evangelistic course for elderly people, exploring the Christian faith through some of the nation’s best-loved hymns.

Pippa Cramer

Pippa Cramer serves on staff at Holy Trinity Claygate, Surrey, UK, with responsibility for ministry to seniors, and in 2022 was awarded an MBE in recognition of her work with older and vulnerable people. Pippa is the founder of Connections – one of the largest Church based gatherings for seniors in the UK - and she is passionate about loving and caring for older people, reducing loneliness and giving seniors the opportunity to find hope in the gospel. Pippa is a qualified Occupational Therapist, having specialised in the support and care of older people, she is an Ambassador for Faith in Later Life, and in 2021 she was awarded The Alphege Award for Evangelism and Witness by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

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