Podcasts enable just about anyone to post content online for others to download and listen on-the-go. A quick search reveals a wide variety of podcast categories and topics. One approach to podcasting is to attract a very specific audience or a niche. Podcasting with topics targeted towards specific niches is one way to communicate with a broader audience. While many churches create podcasts that are a repurposing of the weekly sermon, it might be time to brainstorm more podcasting ideas. Churches can choose to narrow their focus to reach groups that they couldn’t address directly before.
Consider these alternative podcasting ideas:
#1 – Timeless Tales
Parents want to raise well-adjusted children who have a moral compass to guide their decisions. What if a church created a weekly bedtime story podcast with classic stories meant to both entertain and instruct. It might be tempting to use only Bible stories (and that’s a viable way to do this), but the stories might also include other tales which would teach children lessons that would help them as they grew. Stories are so central to the human experience that it could be quite effective to tell the story of “The Boy who Cried Wolf” alongside “David and Goliath.” One teaches the importance of being truthful and the other tells about having the courage to fight against large obstacles.
#2 – Leadership Lessons
Imagine a leadership conference put on by the church. Whether it’s a retired government official, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or a well-known church leader, each could teach a lesson on leadership. Perhaps it would be designed with church leaders in mind, but business leaders would be welcomed as well. What if a church with a gifted leader did something like this on a weekly or monthly basis, via a podcast? What if the host interviewed different leaders from across the leadership spectrum to learn about different facets of leadership? This could quickly become a resource that draws people to other aspects of the church’s vision. Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel are two pastors who have leadership podcasts.
#3 – Marriage Minutes
There’s a thriving community of marriage bloggers/podcasters already that teach lessons gleaned from their own lives. Why not pick up on this trend and have someone from the family ministry of your church talk about lessons that they’ve learned? When you have a family that gets healing in their relationship from infidelity or even apathy, why not interview them and learn what they did to join God in the healing? This podcast could include dating ideas and strategies for overcoming the little decisions which separate couples instead of bringing them together.
#4 – Teen Topics
Despite what adults think, there really are a large number of teens that want to make good choices in dating, education, career, etc. Why not have a show for teens by teens sponsored by your church where students can connect with each other and share advice and struggles? Guys could share how they’re overcoming the temptation to treat girls as objects and girls could share how it feels to really get how much they’re loved by Jesus (or vice versa). Teens who’ve struggled with cutting could share what they’ve done to avoid self-injury. Those who look like they have it all together could talk about what it feels like to feel alone. Those are a few podcasting ideas specifically geared towards teenagers.
#5 – Musical Moments
In this culture, music plays a huge role. Starting in the late ’90s, VH1 recognized that people wanted to know more about the bands than just their latest single. In a series that continues to the present day, “Behind the Music” sheds light on the stories that often go untold. A church could do something similar with Christian music or even secular music that pertained to a weekend message. What’s the story behind Johnny Cash’s cover of the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt?” Why did the church play a particular hymn? What is the story behind “It is well with my soul?” This could span several genres of music, depending on the type of church that undertook it. As with most art, there is something deeper behind songs that may seem quite shallow. What are those stories?
#6 – Technical Training
It might seem like technology is devoid of Christian values, however, it's merely a medium containing a variety of messages. What that message is, depends on what you want it to be. Perhaps training on video production or sound mixing could attract people who think churches are devoid of modern technology. Learning to run lights or run social media could be the starting point for a life of faith for someone who hadn't even considered it before.
These are just a few podcasting ideas. What are some others? How has your church gone beyond repurposing the sermon and toward reaching out to groups that might ignore the traditional three-point presentation of the Word?