Not EVERYONE has a podcast, you know…
Before you blow off the idea of putting out an audio podcast because “everyone has one,” you should know that podcasting to reach the masses isn’t what churches should really be about. We should be focused on reaching our local community and their connections and if God wants to blow you up, great! Cross that bridge when you get there.
At this point, most churches have their sermons set up as an audio podcast, and they may have even thought “what if we do a conversation with our pastor afterward about all the things he/she couldn’t fit in the sermon as a podcast?”
But beyond that, most churches are not utilizing the powerful platform of podcasting in the way it was really meant to be used: niche audiences.
Now, aside from the equipment, time, planning, and distribution barriers for podcasting (see this blog for what equipment I use and this blog for best practices), the biggest issue I hear is knowing what else you would even broadcast a show about.
Being the idea guy that I strive to be, I’ve got you. Here are lucky 13 other ideas for podcasting that churches can all probably create successfully.
Church Podcast Topics
Most of these can be done without involving your pastor. Why do I bring that up? Because many pastors have no desire to be part of creating more “talks” like this during the week as they are already tapped out because of their existing calling. Pastors that want to be part of a podcast often do not have the time, drive, or stamina to produce a podcast like one of the following suggestions and can quickly become the ceiling for an otherwise awesome show.
These show ideas can be headed up by another pastor on staff like an Executive Pastor, Teaching Pastor, Discipleship Pastor, etc. and the Comms/media people needed to make it happen. So with that said, here we go!
Get with your teaching pastor and/or a Licensed Professional Counselor in your church or community to put together a 6 episode show on marriages. I’ve actually done one of these before and it’s still going! Just decide 6 topics that married couples struggle with and that’s your episode titles. If you have a marriage ministry like ReEngage, then this is a no-brainer.
I know as a parent, I could use some help. How do I help my student navigate identity, gender issues, choosing friends, etc? I’d love it if someone could get a pastor to talk about these issues specifically and HELP ME.
Men/Women Spiritual Growth and Issues Podcast
I know there are lots of these already, but not with your voice and not with your men/women in mind. A regular standing devotional thought-type podcast or even a full-on Bible study aimed at these groups is a welcome show for them to listen to when they are doing chores or driving to work during the week.
Culture/Tech Tips for Parents Podcast
As a parent, I have no idea what is really going on in the world of my teenagers. Even though I work in the social media/tech space, it is really tough to keep up with trends that they are paying attention to. However, a student pastor is actually paid to keep up with it. That’s one service I wish more student pastors offered: informing parents of trends to watch both good and bad to help them parent their kids well. Here are some episode ideas: What to do if your child tells you they are transgender. How to love your kids’ friends who aren’t believers. What is that new app they are downloading called again? 5 phrases your kids say and what they mean. Defining emojis and how to use them. You get the idea.
Devotional Thoughts Podcast
A general devotional each week could be a great way to keep your congregation engaged in the Word during the week. Simply put together a series of Devotions (or even use something already in existence) and broadcast a 10-15 minute show each week. This is a great idea for a Wednesday show, providing Biblical encouragement every mid-week to your people.
Leadership Training Podcast
These are for senior leaders to be able to trickle-down training to their staff members without having to hold a huge meeting that interrupts the day. Explain the philosophy of leadership at your church, interview current staff, or just create a static podcast that contains a deeper explanation of your vision for onboarding new leaders/staff in your church.
Hard Questions Podcast
Tackle those questions that warrant more of a conversation rather than a presentation. Things like sexual identity, racism, or the like are not things that are easy to navigate well from the pulpit. I believe we still need to be part of the conversation, so a podcast allows you more time to explain your thoughts on these topics, so I like it for this. These are really great for those who are searching on Google for answers to these questions. It would be really great if a church could show up as a result to provide a good answer or at least a connection.
Bible Study Podcast
An obvious choice for a pastor. However, it will require a little more preparation. Sometimes this is the “extra thoughts I couldn’t get to in the sermon,” but I haven’t really seen that work well. What may work best is to have staff members chat about the pastor’s sermon from the weekend instead so he doesn’t have to prepare and deliver it all over again.
Church History Podcast
Because I grew up Baptist (sorry Baptist friends), I didn’t learn much about church history and most of what I heard was…embellished. Like the reason we don’t dance is because John the Baptist was killed by a dance and since the Baptists come from John the Baptist, so…not even sure where to start with that. But informing your people of the history of the church, especially the history from the time of colonization to now would be very interesting and relevant. Of course, you’ll have to know what you’re talking about. So find experts in your church or go through a trusted book source or curriculum.
Think of these as a one-shot show. You create a set number of episodes based on training volunteers on how to do something like greeting, leading a small group, etc. Video works best for these kinds of things but having a volunteer talk to you on these to share a tip or story is also a great way to increase volunteerism and knowledgable serving. These could also be used as a way to highlight volunteers through interviews or to onboard new volunteers.
Many people are uncomfortable being on video but will quickly forget about an audio recording device in the room for a conversation. Try recording stories from your church people and producing them into a podcast. Don’t try to keep this going indefinitely either. Just do a batch of 6 or so and release it as a season of storytelling.
Missionary Stories/Report Podcast
Each year, you can call up and interview some of the missionaries you support out in the field. It is really great to hear from them more than just when they are home on furlough or visiting to try and raise money. What they are doing is important enough to be talked about all year long.
Young Adult Conversations Podcast
A conversation around a coffee table is a good format for young adults and students alike. Have some of your group come in to talk to you about issues they are facing, comment on current events, talk through theology, or whatever. You will find a wealth of knowledge, experience, and insight that other YA’s (or students) want to hear.
What are your church podcast ideas?
Maybe your church has a specific ministry that could be a podcast topic. Share with the group below in the comments or join the conversation over at The Seminary of Hard Knocks Facebook group (that’s my podcast).