As a church, you’re already producing high-quality valuable content each week. Starting a church podcast is a great way to reach new members and serve your existing congregation. A podcast makes your church messages available to anyone with internet access (and even without internet after downloading on directories like Apple Podcasts)!
Podcasts are growing in popularity. Currently, 2021 holds the record for hours spent listening to podcasts with 15 billion hours! By 2024, it’s estimated there will be 100 million podcast listeners in the U.S.
How Do You Start a Podcast?
The first step to getting your church messages online (and into platforms like Apple Podcasts) is to record them. If you run sound through a soundboard or mixer, your audio is already being converted to a digital format, now all you’ll need to do is to record it. For best results, you should record it as an .mp3 file.
Here are the simplest ways to record and publish your podcasts:
1. Use a computer for recording (recommended)
The simplest solution is to use a computer running software like Audacity (free) or GarageBand (free for Macs). You’ll just run a cable from your mixer into your computer, spend some time optimizing the audio, and you’re ready to go. This is the recommended route since it removes the step of transferring the audio file to your computer.
2. Use a digital recorder
You can use a digital recorder to record the sermons and other church messages. Just make sure you can run a cable from your mixer to the recording device. If you take a few minutes to optimize your levels, you’ll see a big improvement in audio possible.
3. Move the recording to your computer
If you recorded your church message on your computer then you’re already done with this step. If you used a smartphone app, digital recorder, or SD card, then you’ll need to get the file onto your computer.
4. Edit your audio file
You can use Audacity or any other recording software to make some edits and adjust the volume levels. There is a learning curve but it’s not bad. Sometimes we can get caught up in the perfect sound quality of the recording, and forget about what is really important. People are going to listen to your podcasts because the message resonates with them, not because it has the perfect audio levels. As long as you don’t have ear-piercing hums, hisses, or pops, you should be fine.
5. Host your content online
After your audio file is saved to your computer, you’re ready to host it online. It’s a fairly common misconception that Apple Podcasts and other podcast directories host your podcast media files (typically an MP3). You don’t actually upload your podcast episode files to popular podcast platforms.
What really happens is you show Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, etc. where your podcast files are located in the form of an RSS feed. Then every time you upload a new episode, your feed is automatically updated – and all podcast directories update your show listing with the new episode accordingly. This mean you need to find one host platform for your podcast audio files to live and then they'll be available to all podcast directories using the RSS feed.
Promote Your Podcast
Once your church podcasts are available online, you’ll want to spread the word so that your congregation can listen to the new sermons and share them with their friends.
Here are the top three ways to promote your church podcast:
List your church podcast in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Podbean, and other podcast directories
Embed an audio player on your church website
Post a link to each new podcast on Twitter and Facebook
The best part is that after you’ve been listed on podcast directories like Apple Podcasts and posted a player on your website, both #1 and #2 are updated automatically each time you upload a new sermon. Now your members have a way to listen to your messages anytime they want!
If we can help you with this or other tech related things, reach out to us today, [email protected].