If you’re a pastor, you know that the sermons you produce each week are the product of hours of study. Studying probably takes up more time than any other single project. The preparation and delivery of sermons is time-consuming, heart-engaged, spiritually-demanding work. Recording and broadcasting your sermons only makes sense. But what if there were a way to not only record, but also provide these recordings, free of charge, to anyone who wanted to listen to them? Providing these sermons in the most convenient and accessible place would also be ideal. And doing so immediately each Sunday would be even better. What if it didn’t cost very much? That would make it just perfect.
There is a way. It’s called podcasting. Sharefaith church websites provide one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to podcast your messages. The purpose of this post is not to explain the technical how-to of setting up a podcast. Rather, it is simply to inform you as to what a podcast is, and encourage you to learn more about podcasting your sermon. At the end, you’ll learn how to start podcasting.
In case “podcast” is a new term for you, and you’re trying to determine whether it’s a new fishing technique, a brief explanation will suffice. A “podcast” is a series of recordings that are regularly released from a host website, and automatically downloaded to a user’s computer whenever new recordings are released. In other words, it is online audio that you can collect and listen to whenever you want. The pod in “podcast” comes from the Apple iPod media player, and cast is from the word “broadcast.” An equivalent term to podcast is netcast.
Podcasting is not new. In its six-year life, podcasting has been used for everything from TV episodes to talk shows. But podcast seems to be tailored for use with sermons. Podcasts are by their very definition episodic, much like regular Sunday sermons. They are intended to be convenient, just like you want your sermons to be. They are accessible from anywhere and by anyone. What’s more, setting up a podcast doesn’t cost much at all. Podcasting is a gift to the church. It can be used for the wider propagation of truth.
Podcasting for the Church
There are a few things you’ll need in order to podcast your sermons Some of these you may already have, and others will require very little start-up cost or set up time.
- A website. Since most churches already have a website, this should be no problem. However, podcasting is different from an ordinary website in that it must equipped with an RSS feed and be set up for podcasting. Sharefaith church websites are built with podcasting in mind. Read how easy it is to set up podcasting on your Sharefaith church website.
- A means of digitally recording sermons. Again, this may be nothing new for your church. In case you are still recording to cassette tapes, it’s time to upgrade to a simple digital recorder. An inexpensive digital audio record or even an iPod microphone is fine for getting started on a shoestring budget.
Many churches depend upon podcasting for distributing their sermons to a much wider audience. Not everyone in your church will be able to attend the live sermon, and even those who attend another church may be interested in regularly listening to your sermons. Podcasting is a simple, easy, and inexpensive way to increase your reach.