Beyond the Sermon March 15, 2007Posted by Jeff in Church Podcasting, Godcasting, Podcasting.
A friend of mine is leading the podcasting initiative at the church I attend and I wanted to give those of you reading this that are into podcasting for a church or ministry some insight into he’s doing.
The Sugar Land Vineyard church has always recorded their sermons and produced them for members and missionaries who couldn’t be at an event (like a Sunday morning service) or those who want to listen to the audio at a later date. They could have the audio on CD, shipped to them, or in some cases emailed. Sometimes people request transcripts of sermons and those are typically mailed or emailed as well.
The decision was made to start podcasting the sermons, up went the rss feed, and the audio. There were a lot of downloads, and as many churches do, they could have stopped there… but didn’t.
My friend is Reagan Waggonner and he is an associate pastor at the church. He organizes all things technical as well as being the worship pastor, leads worship on Sunday morning, and preaches occasionally. He and I talk about podcasting often and he started to brainstorm with others the ways the church could be communicating through this new media.
Also research junkies, he and his team found out what others were doing… and NOT doing. Over the last few months, podcasts about all sorts of things have been released on multiple feeds, both public and private, and by my calculations, they have the most downloaded Vineyard Church podcasts in the United States.
If you’re a church, and are only podcasting sermons, think about tapping into some other resources and ministries for different types of podcasts that will get your message out in different ways. Some examples that they’ve done are:
- videos to promote upcoming events
- audio recordings of young adult gatherings
- short topical podcasts for self help or devotionals
- upcoming event calendar commercials or previews
There are a lot of home groups in our church (some denominations call them small groups or cell groups). They meet regularly in homes to build friendships and relationships and usually include a meal, discussions about topics, or sometimes just hanging out. The podcast I like the best that the Sugar Land Vineyard is doing is what they call and “after the sermon” podcast. These are shorter than the sermon and sometimes used by our home groups to continue the discussion that was started by the speaker in our corporate meeting time on a Sunday morning. The after the sermon podcast is done by the speaker of the sermon and can be used to:
- include things that the speaker didn’t have time to talk about
- answer questions that he or she was asked about the sermon or clarifications
- ask questions of others or pose discussion topics for home groups
- reflect on whether he or she thought that the sermon went well or communicated what was trying to be said.
If you are podcasting sermons, and looking for the next thing, think beyond the sermon and try having your speaker do a short podcast after the sermon. For more information on the Sugar Land Vineyard, goto http://slvineyard.org.