Podcasting is an exceptional communication tool for a church of any size. Podcasting has truly unlimited potential for expanding the message and influence of your church. It can be used for growing community engagement, fundraising, spreading the gospel, and more.

The financial investment necessary to produce a podcast is surprisingly modest given podcasting’s incredibly high value. With a strategic allocation of funds for gear and training, a church can create a show using one or more of the formats outlined below. Your podcast show will be able to powerfully serve its mission and enrich the lives of all it touches.

As you strategize about how to best use podcasting to benefit your church and community, keep in mind that the audio quality of the podcast you produce is paramount. Research shows that podcast listeners are profoundly affected by the audio quality, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. They are much more likely to subscribe and stay engaged when production value is high. The hardware and software you choose for the recording and post-production of your podcast, as well as the training of your production team, is of critical importance.

The gear you purchase will be determined by your budget, with consideration of the format of the show you plan to produce. The more resources available, the more production formats you will be able to explore.

Here is a breakdown of six podcast production options that are a natural fit for churches, listed in order of approximate cost:

#1 – Solo Show by Your Priest or Pastor ($215 – $225)

A monologue recorded in-house in a quiet room directly onto a computer

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#2 – Interview or Conversation with Remote Guests ($215 – $225 one time, plus approx. $20 per month recurring)

An interview or conversation with remote guests recorded using a browser-based recording app

  • All the same gear needed for the Solo show above, plus…
  • Subscription to a browser-based recording app (Squadcast, Zencastr, Ringr)

#3 – A Recording of Your Sunday Service or Any Other In-House Event ($320 – $980)

A live recording captured directly from your soundboard

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Cables to connect the outputs of your soundboard to your recorder (the types of connectors can differ depending on your specific equipment):

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#4 – Documentary Style Piece ($480 – $1,230)

A sound-rich piece that weaves together interviews, field and/or archival recordings, and music into a feature about a specific issue, person, project, event, or anything of interest to the community

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#5 – 1-on-1 Interview Recorded In-Person, In-House ($695 – $1,425)

A 1-on-1 conversation recorded in person at a table in a quiet room; recorded through an audio interface onto a computer

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#6 – Roundtable Discussion Recorded In-Person, In-House ($1,432 – $1,962)

A discussion in person between up to four people gathered around a table in a quiet room; recorded through an audio interface onto a computer

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In addition to the hardware packages listed above, you will need software for post-production. You need the ability to clean, enhance and edit the audio, set its loudness to broadcast standards, and publish it to your podcast hosting platform.

Software for Post-Production ($0 – $1,600 and up) 

Digital Audio Workstation (Adobe Audition, Hindenburg Journalist Pro, Reaper, Logic Pro, Audacity, or similar)

(optional) Plugins (Equalization and Compression from Waves, Fabfilter, or similar)

(optional) Audio Cleanup/Restoration

In classic radio news journalism, each member of a team handles different aspects of the production work. While one person is on location or in the studio making recordings, another is editing the raw material. Yet another is handling downstream aspects of post-production such as mixing, mastering, and publishing.

In podcasting, most or all of these aspects are usually handled by a single individual. This offers significant cost savings and a much more efficient production process, but also requires that the producer has competency in each area. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you invest in the audio education of your producer or production team. Podcast Engineering School is the premier online training resource and offers comprehensive instruction in all aspects of podcast production.

If you have questions about podcast formats, gear or training, or want to chat about your specific situation, feel free to visit Podcast Engineering School and send a message through the contact page.

Additional Podcasting Resources:

Audio vs. Video Podcasting: What Your Church Should Use and Why

6 Solutions to Remedy Podcasting to Multiple Audiences

3 Best Practices for Growing Your Podcast on a Budget

Get Started with Church Podcasting

5 Podcast Ideas to Connect to an Online Audience