Are You Plugged into PodCasts?

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 Okay, I admit it:  I like technology.  I love preaching with PowerPoint, surfing the web, sending emails, carrying a Blackberry.  Some months ago, my daughter, Anna, introduced me to podcasts.  If you don’t know what podcasts are, you certainly aren’t alone – though, like me, you are probably well over 40!  

Podcasts are audio and video programs that you can download and listen to on your computer or on an iPod, a popular, hand-held media player marketed by Apple.  The thing is, you can download and listen to podcasts on a vast array of topics for free.  (Like much of what is on the Internet, you do have to be selective.)  Many congregations offer their sermons as podcasts.  The best way to keep your podcasts organized is with a free program call iTunes, which you can download for free athttp://www.ituness.org/default.htm.  And then you can even subscribe to different podcasts and they will be downloaded for you automatically.  I told you I could get a little geeky.

And why am I talking about this on the CT Blog?  Because there are some really worthwhile podcasts out there that relate to Congregational Transformation.  For example, The Fermi Podcast.  The iTunes Store description is: “The Fermi Podcast gives listeners a behind-the-scenes experience with thought leaders on the topics of the culture, the Future, the Church and the Gospel.  Gabe Lyons and Andy Crouch host these concise, informative twenty-minute conversations about the opportunity for the church to once again play a role in shaping culture.”  To date, there are 23 episodes which you can download separately or you can download all of the past episodes and also subscribe to future ones. 

As I was working out on a step machine last night, I listened to two episodes.  Let me tell you about one of them: Episode # 18, an interview with Matt Emerzian.  The reason I found this so fascinating is that as we have spoken about Salty Service as one of the core practices of disciple-making congregations, many persons have wondered what they might do to have a salty influence for Christ in their community.  Matt Emerzian and Kelly Bozza have written a book entitled Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Differencein which they talk about very practical, proactive ways that people can make a salty impact.  You can find out about the book on their website: http://everymondaymatters.com/  and you can watch an introductory video clip at: http://everymondaymatters.com/every-monday-matters-video/ .  As congregations seek to extend the radical hospitality of Christ and to be salty servants to others in the world, this is a great resource!

And I never would have run across it, if it hadn’t been for listening to the Fermi Podcasts.  I’ll be sharing some of the other podcasts that I’ve enjoyed in other CT Blog entries, from time to time.  If you are interested in other religious podcasts, go to the iTunes Store, once you have downloaded the iTunes software.  Then click on “Podcasts”, in the upper left hand box and then on “Religion and Spirituality” in the box below it. 

Happy listening,
Jeff Stiggins



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