Godcasting and Podcasting

It seems that Godcasting is a huge trend right now, with a 1000% increase. Sometimes the church stumbles on a technology that relates immediately to something they have been doing for a long time – and i mean PREACHING SERMONS and GIVING DEVOTIONS and TEACHING THE BIBLE.

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“Godcasting, a play on the term podcasting, has emerged as a major category for podcasting. The GodCast Network, a podcast network that features Christian and other family-friendly audio content in MP3 format, reports that it has listeners in “128 countries and counting.” The Podcasting News Religion and Spirituality podcast directory category has entries ranging from Agnostic to Christian to New Age.

“Many ‘pod preachers’ of all faiths are converting their weekly sermons into Godcasts to more easily spread the word,” notes Lycos.
Link

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I sure hope we see some creativity in the future – its a new technology so lets figure out how to use it to the maximum. I predict by next year we will have ways of google-searching through the millions of audio podcasts through word recognition software.

Related: Podcasting in iTunes 4.9

Links: conversatio fide podcast, radical congruency, more podcasts

My One and Only Podcast: Tallskinnykiwi @ Harambee (a long winded 15 minute talk)

Action: Maybe I need to buy an iPod?

Question: What are your favourite Godcasts right now?

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name “Precious” :-)

16 Comments

  • I’m torn between two reactions to this Andrew. One is to think, “oh, no! not another instance of Christians ghetto-izing a social technology.” and then there is the other that welcomes the entrepreneurialism of it.
    Are there any instances of Emerging Church/AltWorship communities syndicating their audio stuff (ie. a move away from the sermon paradigm)? There are some historical examples of AltWorship communities in UK doing creative acts of broadcast worship in the past (the Late Late Service did a Christmas Service on BBC Radio 1 about ten years ago.) This approach could have a lot of potential.

  • paul – i totally agree that we don’t need another “ghetto-ization” of media by the christian world. i really hope it doesn’t come to that.
    i (along with alan creech) am doing the conversatio podcast site (http://www.conversatio.com) and our hope is be creative with this medium – not sermons but conversations with folks about what God is up to.
    but more to your point – i too see a great opportunity for emerging communities to push the envelope here. we need more of that. vineyard central (which i am part of) will hopefully try some stuff soon. and i know that bluer in minneapolis is headed that way too (http://bluer.org/message/#eg). right now they have primarily done sermons, but also some roundtables, and i heard they are working on something else too….. ok, enough words, i’d love to talk more about this with you – holler at me if you want.

  • I have a concern and some questions about “godcasting,” and it is why I have thus far not jumped on the bandwagon it. In our “emerging/missional/incarnational/simple church/organic church/whatever-the-heck-you-want-to-call-them, some of us (many of us?) have moved away from what I will call “lecture based” methodologies, from “I sit and talk and you listen to me while I tell you how it is.” Am I remembering correctly that it is your friend Doug Pagitt who says “the sermon is broken”? How will we not just turn ourselves into a bunch of “religious broadcasters” whose medium is the mp3 rather the radio? What is the difference between a sermon given to the pews and a sermon given to the net? Any? Could there be something NOT broken about sermons in mp3 form that I am missing?
    Of course, my concern is not a concern at all who think that everything is fine with the traditional way in which we have “preached.” If “godcasting” simply turns out to be a new technological extension of the same old way of doing things, then I can’t say as I’m interested. If however there is some innovative way…. I don’t know. I remain–for the time being anyway–skeptical.
    Peace

  • I agree with “A” (above) in my skepticism and all the questions surrounding “broken sermons.”
    Re-processing what teaching/preaching is has been quite daunting for me with the insurmountable amount of opinions and new directions mixed with church structures and systems already in place.
    I don’t even know how to comment…but if anybody knows a good blog discussion on it, point the way or start one :-). I’m game and needing to process.

  • on the podcast/godcast front:
    every summer at harambee we do a lecture series called FIVE WEEKS OF RECONCILIATION, focusing on biblically based racial reconciliation and other forms of reconciliation.
    this year the entire five week series will be…
    podcast. dig it.

  • What our community of faith began to do a couple of months ago is to upload the weekly messages to our website where people in our community that missed that week, or were serving in an area that caused them to be out of the gathering, would be able to download it. I mention this because I think that using it in this way is useful.
    I also like what you said “Aaron” about pod-casting not just sermons, but conversations. That sounds intriguing

  • yeah . . . but if the “conversation” is just a broadcast with no way to interact with it, then it really is just a monologue/semon. – integrated with a blog, it could allow comments with it.
    i would imaging that this WILL have an effect on how we communicate – for some, a revival of oratory skills, and less reliance on visual props.
    If someone is going to speak to a group of 20 people in person (i am speaking at a Baptist mens breakfast this saturday) and 2000 people will hear the podcast, then it just makes sense to put some effort into the technology that will multiply the impact.
    A revival of old-school preaching? It could very well happen, whether we like it or not.

  • Danny and Aaron, thanks for the pointers. They’re going into iPodder today.
    Having done some superficial trawling around podcasts, Andrew’s point about needing to bring some interaction in is well put. My idea was that we could move away from the monologue sermon idea and get some kind of thing which encouraged interaction. I was particularly thinking about whether anyone is putting up interactive worship audio: particularly for groups and individuals who don’t have access to something locally. This would include providing all the audio environment for study, mediation and worship, but asking the listener to participate intentionally by doing certain things (eg. lighting a candle, writing stuff down in a journal or blog, doing certain ritual actions, spending time in meditative or intercessory prayer). We considered this about five years ago following an approach by the BBC which came to nothing in the end. Podcasting has just turned this idea up again in my mind.

  • agreed. the interactivity is probably a stumbling block for entry in the podcast-sphere. i wonder if vlogging will be more prolific and participatory than podcasting…. creating personal video seems (ironically) to have a lower entry threshold than audio (ie with digi cameras and camcorders). perhaps if iPods came bundled with recording options it would change.
    i’d love to hear ideas about making vlogging or podcasting more interactive. whether that involves alt.worship or otherwise.

  • what about if our audio podcasts (which i assume will often have an musical background if they are to be heard and used) would also come with a visualizer – either a WimAmp kind of beat detection visualizer . . . or . . . what if we created non-linear video background loops that could accompany the talk –
    and when i say “Talk” i dont mean loud pulpit preaching like many Godcasts (which are merely extensions of sundays message) but i mean something softer and easier to listen to – reading of the Pslams, or poetry, or
    i think the tone, the ambience, the TEXTURE of the podcast will be as important as the words. And one thing i read about podcasting said that the most important element in podcasts is . . . sound quality.
    Oooops . talked to much . . sorry

  • I have been blogging for a while and will be podcasting my eight show this weekend (hopefully). Here are a couple of observations then some great podcasts to listen to…
    1. Podcasting will go ballistic after iTunes supports subscriptions with one-click. Adam Curry (Dailysourcecode.com) gets over 100K daily downloads and he reports (to his surprise) that 80% of them are not using a subscription RSS feed (i.e. listening via iPodder) but rather clicking on a link from his site.
    2. There are two kinds of godcasts (ones that appreciate the name and others that would rather be podcasts). This same think happened as blogging and “so-called” spiritual blogs evolved. Overtime, the label will disappear. I actually owned godcaster.com for about a week then sold it to the Godcast Network.
    God bless Craig Patchett (the guy behind GCN), but I sold the name cause I saw godcasting basically doing what we first did with the web; re-purposing the same formats in a different technology. (I’ll list some out of the box type “godcasts” in a second). And the GCN sounds pretty much the same as any Christian radio station.
    3. The problem with doing something creative is that it takes SO much time. It takes me about four hours to just record and edit a show (45 minutes of audio). And it takes me a week of preparation to come up with what to talk about. Basically, its a lot harder than writing a blog entry.
    I don’t prepare properly, the podcast is painful to listen to with a bunch of umms and ahhs and pauses. I find it is also hard to sound natural. I have experimented with about four different formats.
    4. Because of #3 many people just re-purpose the huge catalog of audio material the church has already created. Some of that is fine–but there are a few “godcasters” that are doing stuff really interesting.
    5. Just like Skype is changing the way I can interact with others. If the emerging church is a conversation–then recording and podcasting these “conversations” should be a better way to communicate the vibe of what’s happening.
    ###
    Andrew: I got you pegged as someone who’d NEEDS to do sound seeing tours. It’s one thing to read about all the places you go, but nothing replaces you walking through the place, talking with people and telling us what you see and what it means to you. Father Roderick of CatholicInsider.com is the best at this I know.
    ###
    Here are my some of favorite shows (not in order–if your are easily offended these are not for you),
    :: Stupid Church People–Funny, got chips on their shoulders, but worthy of your time. Here is one where they call out Benny Hinn,
    http://stupidchurchpeople.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=4836
    :: Outchurched–They don’t go to church. In this show, they get a visit from Just Pete and NASA Janet (from the very popular Illinoise! podcast). This is very funny and enlightening,
    http://outchurched.com/2005/04/19/episode-8-has-landed.html
    :: Catholic Insider–Brilliant and most well known godcast. This show is when the Pope died, moving, best of what podcasting can be (direct link to mp3),
    http://www.rorate.com/podcasts/ci20050402extra2.mp3
    :: As Evidence That I Exist–Listen to McKormick’s “ranting through the ironic” to hear an unbelievable tale that may define irony and faith (direct link to mp3),
    http://www.asevidencethatiexist.com/evidence/archives/podcast/asevidence.pc004.2005.04.24.mp3
    :: Conversation fide–The best of their conversations is the one on change and liminality with Len Hjalmarson, Eric Herron and Aaron Klinefelter.
    http://conversatio.blogspot.com/2005/03/change-liminality-32805-len-hjalmarson.html
    Here is what I dream of hearing in the form of godcasts,
    1. Free lectures from really smart people or from really smart places
    http://www.itconversations.com/
    2. I’d like to hear more interviews with smart or funny people
    3. I want to hear more sound seeing tours from people in places I will never go–I’m planning to do one from our new Walker Art Museum or from the Mall of America in Minneapolis.
    http://www.catholicinsider.com/
    4. I want to hear radio plays like Unshackled,
    http://www.unshackled.org/
    5. I want to hear more storytellers like Lance Anderson’s
    http://www.vergeofthefringe.com/
    6. I want to hear a podcast I can play for my 2 year old in the car (actually I’m working on one).
    Sorry for taking up so much space, but no one reads my blog anymore so I thought I’d write this here.
    Tim Bednar’s Podcast
    http://www.e-church.com/podcast.asp

  • A guy that has done good with the ipodding and blogging for several years before it was even cool is scottringo.com. He actually has a new blog that is worth taking note of and updated Generations, Coffee For One, and Emerging church “Emerge”.
    He is at http//emerge.typepad.com check out the podcasts. scottringo.com is an extreme emerger

  • I love the futuristic concepts of word recog. and possibly throwing religion into the pot but it certainly can be taken way too far with regard the sermons, preaching and whatever else.
    Despite all the naysayers though, (sometimes including myself as much as I would love to not admit it) techology in any capacity that brings society together more readily is certainly good for interpersonal and mere acquaintence style relationships.

  • hello peopie of god i.m vr happy to get an introducing to u we the baptist gladtiding frome liberia durring the war we are now in baptist medical centre in nigeria and god create a new worship place those that are andicap arround us we are worshipping together plz there is a little problems ammong those that are andicap some had an accident on thier way to worship place and our leaders son oready have perforated heart problem our feeding are stopped because of over population we u plz people of god agend any render on people that in sorferness

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