First of all, what exactly is a podcast? Simply put, it’s like a subscription to a magazine, only instead of issues delivered to your house each month, it’s an audio file of some sort delivered to your computer or mobile device on a set schedule. The most common use for churches is to podcast weekly Sunday sermons, but podcasting bible studies or other classes are just as possible.
Like any web design task, adding a podcasting or streaming solution to your site will vary depending on what tool you use to build the site in the first place. In many cases, third-party tools like SermonCast or SermonDrop provide “plug and play” solutions that require very little setup from an administrator. Oftentimes, these types of tasks can be assigned to a volunteer with minimal training required.Your users will have a program, such as Apple iTunes, that will automatically check for new content on a fixed schedule, and download it for the user. If they’re using an iPhone, iPad, etc., they will be automatically synced between their computer and device every time it’s connected.
If you already have recordings of your sermons, putting them online in podcast form is quite easy. Once you have recorded an audio file of your sermon, putting it on your site with a program such as SermonCast or SermonDrop is very simple. Often, it is just pasting in the “embed” code provided to you, just like embedding a Youtube video. WordPress, a very popular content management system, and one that is widely-used by churches across the world, has many built-in plugins that do all the work of managing the podcasts for you. These can usually be installed by simply going to the plugin menu and selecting them. Once installed, the process of uploading the sermon file is as easy as attaching a file to an outgoing email.
Sometimes your parishioners may be out of town, too ill to go to church or for whatever reason they can’t make it to Sunday Service, but that’s no reason why they should miss out on the enrichment. Podcasting allows you to get your sermons to your church members no matter where they are, and can be listened to whenever they have time. Podcasts are a great way of keeping in touch with one’s community.