Friday, October 15, 2010

Why I Love Podcasts

Over the last six plus years I have been lucky to have a job that allows me to listen to a lot of podcasts on a daily basis while I complete my job duties. Over that time I have found some great advantages and disadvantages to having the time and access to teachings electronically. Today I want to provide my take on the advantages of podcasts.

Anytime Anywhere
I can listen at work. I can listen in the car. I can listen on a plane. I can listen in the living room. I can listen mowing the yard. I can listen on the train. I can listen walking. I can listen in the bathroom (though maybe I shouldn’t). I can listen at work at my desk. I can listen on the moon. You get the point. I can listen to this content anywhere where my MP3 player has power after a charge. As long as I have device power, I don’t need or require a cord or access to another device. I could be listening while standing in a cave, and that’s a powerful and convenient tool for enriching one’s spirit and mind. Podcasts and MP3 device liberate me from having to be at a set location and time to access content.

Great Teachings
Podcasts allow you access to teachers and preachers that geographical location would never make available to you. I have lived in both predominantly rural and urban areas during this six year span, but I have always lived distantly from those pastors and leaders I enjoy listening to. Without podcasts, I would not have access to those who unknown to them are helping to spiritually mentor me. Additionally, since these podcasts represent a number of diverse churches they have guest speakers that are either prominent or up and coming that I may not typically seek out on my own. While some of these speakers may be hit or miss they have also introduced me to authors that I would have not have typically sought out. And it was all free.

Variety, Variety, Variety
I listen to a variety of speakers from a variety of denominations with a variety of styles. Additionally, they have differing topics they empathize more than others. Creation care is one great example. For some of these speakers creation care is something that humans are very much a part of with calls of action to actively actively participation in stewarding the environment. For others, they do not stress the care of creation, or advocate the trashing of creation, but place it as a secondary issue behind salvation. Additionally diversity has introduced me to new ways of interacting with theology. I had courses in systematic theology, but it was through podcasts that I was introduced to narrative theology and I love a good story. Additionally, I was able to take in different teachers with different styles preaching to different kinds of communities. The great thing is when you take in so much variety, it becomes easy to see what matters most to us as a “Christian Culture.”

Churchless Does Not Mean Message less
I have been churchless my friend, but the great news is now I’m found. During that time I visited several churches, and during periods of burnout I visited nowhere. But during that entire time span despite not having a community I was not left without teaching and preaching. There really is no excuse for not accessing good teaching and preaching anytime anywhere thanks to podcasts and a little internet access.

These are all great reasons to start browsing the large library of teaching hosted on the internet.

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