In Layman's Terms: Podcasting

Todd Seifert


While I’m a big fan of video – and still prefer that medium – there’s no denying that podcasts are quite popular. And it’s actually easy to see why.

People these days are busy. You can play a podcast from a mobile phone like an audiobook while exercising or while driving to work or hitting the highway for an extended trip. If it’s good for people to “read” the latest best-seller, why not provide a podcast of the weekly sermon?

Clergy and laity alike can use podcasts to record discussions on timely mercy and justice topics of interest to the congregation. Podcasts can be used to provide a midweek devotion or to tease an upcoming sermon series. Interviews with church members can be used to introduce the surrounding community to the people in the congregation.

And that’s only the beginning of the possibilities.

Unfortunately, while I know how to shoot videos and have a workable understanding of editing footage – especially sermons and preview videos – I don’t know much about how to put together a quality podcast.

But fear not. One of the strengths of our United Methodist connection is that if one person is not an expert on a desired subject, another person affiliated with our denomination is the expert who can help you.

When it comes to the mechanics of podcasts, the best expert I know is the Rev. Ben Hanne, campus minister at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. Ben has provided podcasts from such events as the 2016 General Conference. And he co-hosts an ongoing podcast “Preach, Pray or Die” with the Rev. Amy Lippoldt.

Ben was generous with his time to record a video with Eugenio Hernandez, the Great Plains Conference’s multimedia production specialist. In his video, Ben shares some basics on things you’ll need to know to start your own podcast:

  • Define your purpose for the podcast.
  • How to import audio into your computer.
  • Secrets for choosing a microphone.
  • Tips for capturing high-quality sound.
  • Preparing your audio recording via a computer.
  • How to make your podcast available for others to hear.

Watch the video featuring Ben. Take note of his suggestions. And put those tips into practice to help your church reach beyond the walls of the building by sharing the sermon or other topics of interest in your mission field.

Todd Seifert is communications director for the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church. He can be reached via phone at 785-414-4224, or via email at Opinions expressed are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Great Plains Annual Conference or the United Methodist Church. Follow him on Twitter, @ToddSeifert.