I sometimes wonder, what’s the real-life job that’s the most similar to podcasting? Forget about the media world; too similar, or rare (how many radio DJs have you met?!). The more I think, the more I always end up at: church leaders! Whether you’re a pastor, a priest, an imam, a rabbi, a reverend or any number of other similar roles, you’re a born podcaster.
You speak for a living, and you do it on a regular basis. You’re always coming up with new topics to speak about, new things to teach, new people to inspire. That’s the podcast life. So, why not turn those regular sermons into a church podcast?
The brilliant thing is, you can share your voice, now, with the entire world. Not just your local community. Podcasting for churches, whether Christian or any other religion, is increasingly popular and as easy as turning on your computer.
It’s also great for your local community. Religious Podcasting allows followers to listen to mass or sermons while travelling, or at their own convenience. And with simple and easy podcasting tools readily available, Christian Podcasts, or those for any religion, are really simple to create.
So, interested in creating a podcast for your church? Let’s take a look at how to set one up.
Creating Your Religious Podcast
The first step when creating a religious podcast is to record the sermon or the material. That means a recording device!
Audio quipment can be a little techie and intimidating, but the setup can be really simple.
You can record your voice with nothing more than a digital recorder and a lavalier (tie clip) microphone. At it’s simplest, the digital recorder could be your smartphone, and the microphone could be a smartphone compatible tie-clip mic – just remember to stick your phone on silent if you’re recording this way!
Here’s an easy setup for you:
And if you’re recording with your smartphone, just use this mic:
Many churches and religious organizations already use a mic and speakers to broadcast every sermon around the church. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to output that to a digital recorder, too. If that’s the case for you, then the bulk of the work is already done.
The next step is to get the audio podcast-ready. Sure, you could just upload it as-is. But a few extra steps can help your show stand out amongst the others in your space.
Introduce & Close Your Episodes for New Listeners
It’s worth recording a separate introduction and outro to ‘bookend’ your sermon. This means new listeners who find your show will know who you are and what to expect, as opposed to just being dropped into a recording with no context.
What About Editing & Producing a Church Podcast?
You’re probably busy enough without adding too many other steps to your workflow. But there are tools out there that can simplify this process by automating a lot of the techie stuff. That means you get all the benefits of having ‘broadcast quality’ audio with consistent volume levels throughout, without spending a tonne more time on it.
One such tool is Alitu, which automates all of the cleaning up, levelling, and post-processing for you. You can also record your intro and outro segments directly into Alitu, build your episode in there, and publish it directly from within the Alitu interface.
Using a tool like Alitu, you don’t have to learn how to be an audio engineer. It’s just drag and drop, and a lot of automatic magic.
Why Stop With Sermons?
If you’re using Alitu, you can record remote interviews and conversations with pastors, ministers, and peers all around the globe. These can make for excellent additional episodes to enhance your main content. This route also allows you to keep putting out episodes during times where getting together in your church isn’t possible (hello pandemic!).
Add Some Music?
A few seconds of music at the start and end of your episodes add that final layer of polish to your church podcast. You can’t use copyrighted material, but there are a few good places to find podcast music that’s safe and legal to play on your episodes. In fact, we run a free podcast music library ourselves, so check out the link there for more details on how to use, and how to give credit.
Uploading & Publishing a Church Podcast
Once your first episode is ready for the world to hear, you’ll need somewhere to upload it. If your church has a website, you can upload it directly onto there, but this isn’t recommended.
Instead, sign up with a dedicated podcast hosting provider. You can get a great hosting package for the price of a couple of sandwiches per month. Your hosting account is where you fill out all the show’s details – the title, the description, etc – and you upload the cover art, too.
If you’re already using Alitu to record or edit your show, then you’ll be delighted to hear it’s got hosting built in too. Once you’ve finished editing, just hit publish right inside the same app!
The beauty of podcast hosting is that you can push new episodes out automatically to every app and directory where podcasts are consumed. This includes top platforms like Apple/iTunes and Spotify.
Once you’ve created your show inside your hosting provider of choice, submitting to directories and apps is a one-time process. Going forward, each time you publish a new episode, it’ll be pushed out to all of these listening platforms automatically!
Promoting Your Church Podcast
While many people are interested in listening to religious podcasts, they can have trouble finding them. Proper promotion is important. Placing notices in bulletins, newsletters, and the church’s website are some of the best ways to reach your existing (in-person) audience. Feel free to link to our handy listening guides that’ll help your congregation find and access the show
If you get creative in your sermons with real-life anecdotes, you can maybe even work in the story of how you’ve started a podcast, and everything you’ve learned so far.
Promotion doesn’t stop with your existing audience though. Far from it. There’s no limit on the size of your following when it comes to podcasting. If you want a deeper dive on getting the word out there and boosting those numbers, check out our article on podcast promotion, as well as our ‘ultimate guide’ book, Podcast Growth.
Growing (& Keeping) Your Audience
A key factor in the long-term success of your church podcast, though, will be subscribers. You always want to encourage your audience to ‘subscribe’ or ‘follow’ (assure them it’s all free!) the podcast on their listening app of choice.
The ability to ‘subscribe’ or ‘follow’ the podcast is an “everybody wins” benefit. It means nobody will ever miss an episode, even if they don’t check back on the church website or social media channels on a regular basis. After subscribing to the podcast, users will automatically receive new sermons and material as soon as they are published. They don’t have to do anything to download the material.
Your Church Podcast in Other Mediums?
Additionally, churches can choose to record video, for those who enjoy watching a sermon instead of just listening. The audio track can easily be re-purposed from that video so that you offer both mediums. It’s a great way to cater to people’s personal tastes. You can find out how to record in that manner in Chapter 7 of our Content Stacking series.
Next Steps in Creating Your Church Podcast
Choosing to podcast your sermons is a great way to reach a larger audience and many churches are now taking advantage of this limitless content delivery method.
Finally, we mentioned Alitu during the creation section of this guide. Alitu is the ‘Podcast Maker’ web app that lets you record, edit, produce, and publish your episodes all from its simple-to-use interface. If you think Alitu could be the driving force behind your very own church podcast, you can try it out free for 7 days.