By Dr. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence and Minister of Spiritual Formation
It’s not uncommon in her sermons to hear Carla reference a book she’s been reading or a podcast she’s listened to recently, maybe an episode of “The Moth.” It only recently occurred to me that not only are there people who’ve never heard of that program, but we may have some in our congregation who don’t even know what a podcast is, which is something I’ve always paid attention to in preaching, that preachers and listeners don’t necessarily speak the same language. If you don’t know what a podcast is, don’t worry. It wasn’t that many years ago that I didn’t have a clue myself. I myself don’t listen to them, although I have listened to one or two before. And now I’m hosting one, if that’s the right language.
Here’s the back story. When I was brainstorming with Carla how we might get more people out on a Monday night for the adult ed classes I teach, starting a podcast was one of her ideas. I’m pretty sure I said something like, “Any other ideas? Not interested.” Or I pretended it was a good idea, confident she would leave me alone. And now I’m a believer. Truly. So, let me back up and explain what a podcast is for anyone unfamiliar, because that’s the teacher in me. Then I’ll say a word about mine in hopes you’ll listen and tell your friends about it. It’s called “Heart and Mind.”
If you Google “podcast” like I just did, here’s one description: “a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series.” I’m pretty sure if I didn’t know what one is now, this would make no sense to me. Let me tell you what mine is instead. On Monday nights I teach classes, like the one I did on “Reading Romans Again for the First Time” or the one my good friend David May taught, “New Doors into the Book of Revelation.” Class sessions are from 7-8 pm most Monday evenings during the school year and about 50 folks on average attend. But sometimes they have to miss a session and some people can never attend because of their busy schedules or whatever. Being there is always better than a podcast, to be sure, but we’re dealing with reality here. So, my podcast is a broadcast I record summarizing the highlights of a Monday night, but in about 25 minutes (enough time to listen on a treadmill, which is apparently really popular with podcast folks). For the one on Revelation, I interviewed David, which is more interesting than my solo attempts. But I have ideas to make mine better. Really.
And the way you get this podcast (which is another thing I’m not even going to attempt to answer because there are all sorts of platforms for getting them, if that’s the right term) is to go to Apple Podcasts where our sermons are available or SoundCloud, and I’m getting in over my head already. Tell you what, here’s the link. I hope you’ll listen and maybe tell others about it. I’m getting ready to post two more, on “Making Sense of the Cross.” Stay tuned. (I assume that term applies in the podcasting world.)