When it comes to consuming content, my general tendency is to read books, articles, and blogs and scan social media. For far too long, I neglected these (not-so) newfangled things called podcasts—but now they’re near the top of my go-to list. Here are a few reasons I’m hooked on podcasts:
1. On Demand
You can listen at a time that works for you—while you’re in the car, at the gym, doing dishes, or folding laundry. These audio files allow for multitasking (to a point, anyway), and I’m a fan of that.
2. Stay Informed
Whether for professional development or simply for your own enjoyment, podcasts are a great way to learn something new and grow in your understanding. They can also be a great avenue for discovering new resources. On numerous occasions, podcast hosts or guests have pointed me in the direction of helpful books (see my Amazon online shopping cart for confirmation on this one), blogs, and even other podcasts.
3. Specific Content
Interested in a specific content area? Podcast apps have categories to browse and, of course, a search function. If you’re looking for a place to find and organize podcasts, a.k.a. a “podcatcher,” Digital Trends has some helpful suggestions.
4. Stories and Conversations
Stories and conversation have opportunity to unfold in podcasts. Some podcasts take on a “talk show” format, as hosts and guests discuss a variety of topics. Others engage the listener in a narrative harkening back to the days of radio dramas.
Podcasts can also be great resources to share through a congregation’s communication outlets to nurture and equip members. Take these as a starting point:
- Lutheran Hour Ministries: It’s only natural that this outreach organization continue in their broadcasting heritage as they produce several podcasts, including their flagship The Lutheran Hour and daily devotions.
- Seeds of Faith: This weekly podcast is an excellent resource for Sunday School teachers and can easily be sent in a weekly team email. Aimed to aid in the preparation process, each episode “provides background information on the week’s Bible story, discusses the Bible story’s Law and Gospel points, answers the question Where is Jesus in this story?, and offers ideas for how to discuss the week’s lesson with students.”
As you can see, podcasts have the potential to educate, encourage, challenge, and entertain. There are those that enrich understanding and give us cause to see things in a new light. I tend to gravitate toward series discussing theology, culture, and communication, and I appreciate their ability to turn my office into a classroom or let me in on a conversation among friends. Word-of-mouth (or of Twitter) recommendations seem to be a driving force in building podcast audiences, so as a listener, ask your family, friends, and colleagues what they tune in to and don’t be afraid to share what you’ve found helpful!
Now it’s your turn! We want to know, what are your go-to podcasts?
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