When I listen and search for podcasts I am often confused by churches taking a recorded sermon and posting it as a podcast. Just to clarify there is only one standard, one qualifier that makes a podcast a podcast and that’s RSS. RSS(2.0) is the technology that turns a one time download into a subscription. That subscription in text format is called a blog. In file format (audio or video) it’s called a podcast. But this is still not what I’m talking about. My definition of ‘podcast’ is a little different. Podcasts should be a lot more than posting a sermon. A lot more.

Listen to a few podcasts both Christian and non-Christian and you’ll know what I’m talking about. There are some great ones that sound like professionally produced radio talk shows with bumper music, interviews, and guest performers. There are some with rantings about current events recorded with poor quality and the buzzing sound of a refrigerator in the background. The point is that the podcasting work ranges from high quality to low quality. God calls us to do everything with excellence and that’s not always the policy in church.

There are a few things we need to make sure are included to provide quality and will ensure that people will continue to listen. In other words, if believers say the words that will save lost souls but there is no one there to hear them, does it still make a sound? Obviously I have a preference to what I like to listen to and what I don’t.

  1. Introduce yourself, your purpose, where to find your podcasts on ever podcast. Some people will listen out of order or even listen to your last podcast first depending on whichever topic interests.
  2. Mention your church website or blog, mention some way to continue the community of your podcast even after it’s done. Mention what the next podcast is going to be about.  Mention other podcasters who share your views or opinions.  The more excitement there is about your subject, the more listeners.  Even contact another podcaster and tell them that their podcast was mentioned.  It’s not a competition it’s a community.
  3. If promoting a church or a church ministry of a church, mention the contact info or directions with service times. At very least a website so people can check it out.

What am I missing?  What would you add to this list?

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