Going to church used to be a given. But nowadays we’re lucky if even the average church member attends more than twice a month. The world is busier. “Come over here to sit and listen” just doesn’t work as well for people to hear the Good News.
In today’s show, we’ll share with you 5 ways you can spread the Gospel using church podcasting. You’ll discover why church podcasting is the next best way to minister to all ages. AND we’re going to give you 5 ideas for podcasts that go beyond the sermon.
The question is not, “are people going to use smartphones?” The question is really, “how are people going to use their smartphones?”
The smartphone is already a part of life, you need to ask how people are going to use it (and how you can be a part of it).
And podcasting isn’t the “next thing…” it’s here. As of last year, 42 million Americans listened to podcasts weekly. And that number is only growing.
As we’ve talked about before, your church is a media company. Our job is to no longer ask people to come hear the message on Sunday mornings, our job is now to deliver the message by any means necessary, and that includes church podcasting.
Podcasting is an easy way to get your message and the Gospel out to the people you’re trying to reach.
But before you start using podcasting for your church, there’s one thing you need to understand before you do anything else…
The One Podcasting Mindset You Need To Know
Podcasting is an intimate medium. As the host, you are speaking (literally) into the ear of the listener. They quite literally have you in their head.
So the podcast is not a place to blast out a message and hope someone hears. Just by the virtue of someone playing your podcast, you’ve got their attention. They sought you out!
So when they click play, it is just you and the listener. This is a one-to-one relationship. It’s intimate.
So how can you use podcasting to speak intimately to your listeners?
You could podcast your sermon or service, and we do recommend you get your feet wet there.
But the sermon isn’t an intimate setting. It’s a one-to-many message.
A great way to really take advantage of the strengths of church podcasting is to go beyond the sermon. Deliver valuable, relevant content to your desired audience.
In other words…treat your church podcast as a ministry.
So how can we use podcasting as a ministry?
Here are 5 ideas you need to try for your church podcast…
Finding Answers – Topical Q&A With The Pastor
There is a finite number of people searching for sermons. But there is an endless number of people searching for societal, cultural, or even argumentative questions…
Does God hate gay people? Why is abortion bad? Is Hell an actual place?
These are questions that hundreds and thousands of people are searching every month.
These questions are tough to tackle in a sermon. In fact, if they are in your sermon it’s probably a few minutes out of a 40-minute message. That’s hard to find even if you know where to look.
But if you have an entire podcast episode built out these specific questions, get ready to be discovered.
So take a few minutes during the week and record your pastor answering these questions. And trust us, once you get started, you’ll never run out of questions to answer.
Adventure Stories – Church Podcasting For Children
This show idea moves beyond your sermon AND your pastor. Have your Children’s Pastor or leader share stories for children.
Tell Bible stories, share moral tales, or even give your own reading of public domain children’s stories.
This church podcasting idea is a great place for parents to play something besides the radio for their kids on the way to school. And what better way to start the day than by hearing Mr. Bob tell a story about Jesus calming the storm!
As a bonus, you’ll also stay at the front of the parent’s mind, and maybe even disciple them too in the process.
You don’t have to be original for this kind of podcast. Read from your Children’s Bible, share a fun or kind experience you had, or even go to a public domain story website and read from there.
Youth Devotional Podcast
Now it’s your youth pastor’s turn to take the mic. This show idea is really for your church’s youth or maybe some other believing students (we’ll get into a show for non-Christian students in idea 5).
A youth devotional podcast can prepare students for Sunday. You could also expound more on the lesson from Sunday or even do a unique devotional for the podcast.
Again, the content doesn’t have to be for everybody. You could even speak into specific ages and have a show for each class or grade. The possibilities are limited to what you can imagine.
Quick Question: How To Record or Where To Host Your Church Podcast?
“The best microphone is the one closest to you.” We don’t remember who said that, but it’s true.
A podcast is just an audio recording. So all you need to get started is something to record with and someone to host and distribute your podcast.
To record, just use whatever is around you. You can use your built-in computer mic, your phone, or even your sanctuary audio board.
Quality doesn’t matter a whole lot when you’re getting started, the content does. In fact, one of Justin’s favorite podcasts, Marketing Secrets, is recorded on a CEO’s cell phone. But the content is so good, the podcast shows up frequently on iTunes’ top 10 business podcast list.
Don’t sweat the lack of a $500 mic, just use what you got to start church podcasting.
And to host, we’ll make it simple, get Podbean. Podbean is easy to use, broadcast friendly, and they even have a very affordable Unlimited Audio plan so you don’t have to worry about limits or overages.
Ok, break over, back to work!
Local Community Podcast Sponsored By Your Church
The church used to be the cornerstone of the community. Despite our expectations, people stopped coming to church by default.
So to get back to being in the center of your community, start a podcast just for your city or area.
Interview local business owners, fundraisers/charities, teachers, government officials, etc. Get an ear for what’s going on around town.
As a bonus, you can promote your church events as part of the podcast.
But wait, there’s more! As you interview the members of your community, you’re building relationships. You’re connecting with people in a unique way and giving them a platform to speak on. That’s huge for them but also huge for your church!
A podcast like this will connect you with your community in a unique way. You’ll no longer be the “hey come here” church…you’ll be the church that actually cares about the town and its people.
Cultural Questions Answered For Students
Combining ideas 1 and 3 here, you actually get a unique podcast that should stand on its own.
Students have the same questions as adults when it comes to cultural pressures, but they may require unique answers to understand something. So use a podcast just for lost youth to help them find hope, purpose, and the peace of God.
Address bullying, shootings, and relationships. Show them you care by giving them answers and attention that’s just for them.
This can be hosted by your Pastor, Youth Pastor, youth volunteer, or any layperson in the church that can speak wisdom into struggling teens.
And what’s cool is that these students may not sit with you face-to-face and admit their struggles, but they will privately hit subscribe and stick with your podcast.
We hate to admit it, but the church is becoming less and less relevant in culture. Many people will even call our country a “post-church” culture.
But right now is the perfect time to exploit technology to deliver the Gospel in anyway necessary. And a podcast is the perfect place to do this.
We always recommend you start with rebroadcasting your sermon but don’t stop there.
Get your pastors in front of a mic and just speak to what’s on people’s minds right now…
Answer relevant questions, share stories and experiences, or even interview leaders in your church or your town. Do anything to get more people to experience your church in a positive manner.
Then when your listeners need to work out their faith, you’re not a stranger. They’ll feel more comfortable approaching you and be that much closer to a relationship with Christ.
Has your church tried podcasting like this yet? Ask your questions or share your podcast below!
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