The Words of the La Hogue Family
Witnessing has taken many forms throughout the history of the Unification movement, but in this age of technology, Pierre Tardy of Northern New Jersey is teaching people the Divine Principle through a new medium – YouTube. Tardy has found that in a society where individuals spend almost two hours a day online, the YouTube site can be a valuable tool to let the world know about the teachings of our True Parents.
Tardy's channel on YouTube, Completed Testament TV (www.youtube.com/user/completedtestamentTV), which he started in September 2010, currently has more than 700 subscribers with almost 550,000 views and is growing daily. He began posting videos on the site after discovering the work of Michael Callahan, a church member in Indiana, who makes PowerPoint slideshows of the Divine Principle. Tardy had been looking for high quality-videos for years, with the hope of using the internet as a witnessing tool, "People respect quality…it's the image of True Parents; it's the image of our movement so, you really have to be top quality," Tardy says. The videos on Completed Testament TV are indeed high quality, well-made with animations and music.
Once Callahan sends Tardy the videos (after having made an exclusive agreement), they get posted onto YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo to be shared with the world. On YouTube the videos get "promoted" – when people search for certain keywords, ranging from "Mormon" to "truth" to "John the Baptist," Completed Testament TV's videos appear at the top of a list of tens of thousands. This gets the videos seen significantly more than they would be otherwise, which is one of the reasons Tardy has invested, to date, $3000 into "promoting" them.
With so many viewers around the world, Completed Testament TV gets its share of skeptics but Tardy is optimistic. "A lot of what we have are new concepts, so even if someone does not respond very positively…the fact that they react is actually good…so, I see most of it as positive…If you have, let's say, 500,000 views you probably will get 5,000 comments and from the comments you will find, maybe, 12 people who will be really interested," says Tardy. Essentially, the goal is to find "prepared people," by making the content accessible to as many people as possible.
Not only does Tardy want to make this precious content available, but he also wants to create a safe environment for people to receive it. In the past, people have been scared away from our movement because they were given too much information too soon as they researched the Unification Church online, according to Tardy, who adds: "If they hear about True Parents too fast, they get confused…Too much water kills the plant." Negative misinformation about the Church online also has caused many problems for guests in the past. Tardy created Completed Testament TV, not only for truth-seeking individuals around the world, but also so that members have a destination to which they can send their guests.
The site has been successful so far – more than ten people have become very interested in True Parents' teachings and Tardy has been in contact with them, helping them with any questions they might have as they learn the Principle. Not only do they just watch the videos, but "once viewers love the content, they put it on their own channel," says Tardy. "I officially have a young man in Rochester, New York, who actually accepted True Parents," says Tardy, who is planning on meeting him and inviting him to attend Lovin' Life Ministries' Sunday Service. "Once somebody contacts me and asks 'Is Rev. Sun Myung Moon the Second Coming?' and I just say 'Yes!' and they say, 'Yeah, I agree with that,' it's amazing!" he exclaimed.
Not everyone who watches Completed Testament TV lives in the New York area, though, and most would find it difficult or impossible to attend the live Sunday Services. To remedy this problem, Tardy, with the help of Lovin' Life senior staff members, is in the process of developing a Lovin' Life Ministries channel for YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/lovinlifeTV). This channel would allow viewers who have gone through the Completed Testament TV content to continue their education by watching Rev. In Jin Moon's sermons and other Lovin' Life material. Tardy hopes that this new method of witnessing will allow thousands and, eventually, millions around the world to hear the words of our True Parents and True Children. The success of Completed Testament TV is not the result of professional web-marketing, though; it is simply evidence of what a small group of people can do with sincere dedication and desire to teach God's Word. Tardy hopes that others will be inspired by the channel to reach out to the world through the internet.
If you are interested in contributing ideas, or have any questions, contact Pierre Tardy.