Bolstering the Hope Channel’s Family Outreach
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.– Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (NIV)
When you consider television programming for families with children and teens, what pops into your head? Perhaps you think of brightly colored cartoons or beloved puppets. Maybe you think of programming that teaches children their numbers and letters or simple life lessons through song. For older children, teen dramas may come to mind. Whatever your thoughts may be, when you consider children’s programming, does the Hope Channel come to mind? For faithful Hope Channel viewers, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
A recent study (2014) conducted by Paul Richardson, Petr Činčala, and Monte Sahlin with the Center for Creative Ministry on behalf of the General Conference Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research surveyed Hope Channel viewers around the world, with a total of 18,307 Hope Channel viewer responses.
Among Hope Channel viewers worldwide, two out of three (66%) are married. A majority (65%) of these viewers have children, with over one third (35%) of them under 19 years of age. Because of this, it is likely that many children and teens are being exposed to the Hope Channel in their homes.
The study revealed untapped programming potential for this large number of children and teens being exposed to the Hope Channel. Thirty percent of survey respondents indicated that there is a need for more youth programming, while 21% indicated that there was a need for more children’s programming. Additionally, 25% of respondents indicated that there is a need to include more family life education.
Another recent study (2013) conducted by Duane McBride, Curtis VanderWaal, and Desrene Vernon examined the role of Hope Channel in the lives of students at Andrews University. his study found that respondents were most likely to desire an increase in family programming. This finding seemed particularly driven by African, Asian, and West Indian students, as well as by those with children at home.
With the recent trend in declining church attendance – not only within the Seventh-day Adventist church, but within nearly every denomination worldwide – it would seem as if the Hope Channel possesses a significant opportunity to engage young viewers.
The Bible tells us that we should impress God’s commands upon our children, sharing His truth with them at all times. The Hope Channel provides one such tool to help instill these values and ideals in them.
This research was carried out as part of an evaluation of Hope Channel and the full report remains confidential.
Created in collaboration with the Institute of Church Ministry.