I recently had a conversation with a young pastor who was very interested in using digital media to expand the reach of his church and provide resources for his current members, but his tech budget was very slim. He didn’t have a bunch of fancy cameras or the ability to stream his sermons live online. So he was desperate to figure out other options and avenues to take when it comes to using digital media as a church.
I advised him to start a podcast, as this is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to get your messages out into the world. Video production and live streaming can get expensive rather quickly, and they also require a lot more equipment and more time spent editing. Meanwhile, if you are starting a podcast, all you have to worry about is the audio, which is fairly easy to acquire and upload. So if you’re like this young pastor and you’re wanting to jump into the media world but don’t have a massive budget, here are some steps you can take to start a church podcast.
First, record the audio of your sermon each week. You’ll already be speaking into a microphone, so recording everything that is being spoken into your headset doesn’t require many extra steps. Once the audio is recorded, it can be uploaded into audio editing software to put on some final touches before adding the finished product to your podcast feed.
Second, record an intro and outro for your podcast. These can be short and simple, but they’re important to make your podcast sound more professional, and they will let people know what they’re listening to. If you can, create a universal intro and outro so you don’t have to record a new one each week, or at least record only one intro and outro per sermon series.
Third, find a podcast hosting platform. This will take a bit of Googling, but it is still a pretty easy process. Your podcast hosting platform is basically where your podcast will live on the internet, and it’s where you will upload your show each week. Then, that hosting platform will push your show to the major podcast apps like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more.
Finally, inform people of your podcast through other various channels of communication. You can link to the podcast on your church website. You can point to the podcast on your church’s social media accounts. (You can even post clips of the podcast on your social media.) And you can talk about the podcast from the pulpit, letting people know if they missed a message, the podcast feed will allow them to go back and listen to it on their own time. A resource is no good if people don’t know it’s available, so don’t be afraid to talk about the podcast once it’s up and running.
Obviously, this blog post is just a kick starter to give you the basic explanation of how and why you should start your church’s podcast. I would encourage you to do some more in-depth research if you want more detailed instructions. But as you do, I think you’ll find that starting a podcast for your church is a great option to grow your reach and use digital media as a resource even when you have a limited tech/media budget.