Churches Not Cut Out To Do Podcasting, New Media?

Oct 9th, 2009 | By | Category: General, New Media Organizations

churches-podcasting-godcastingMost churches and religious organizations are skipping podcasting and social media, and putting “shovelware” onto the Web instead, according to the Barna Group, an organization that does research on faith and culture.

While there’s been a lot of talk about godcasting and using social media to connect with congregations, it looks like most churches, as they are currently organized, aren’t cut out for it.

According to Barna:

  • About 1 percent of churches nationwide are currently making continuous, ground-breaking progress, according to Kinnaman;
  • Between 60 and 65 percent of churches have an active Web site and web presence; and
  • Between 35 and 40 percent of churches simply don’t bother.

Two big issues face congregations:

  • Podcasting and new media are still complex and take a lot of work to be successful at, and many churches don’t have the resources;
  • Huge social networks like Facebook and Myspace monopolize people’s attention, and churches don’t know how to respond to that.

While some religious organizations are using Internet media in very interesting ways, Barna’s research suggests that most are being left behind.

Image: PhillipC

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No Responses to “Churches Not Cut Out To Do Podcasting, New Media?”

  1. Final Taxi says:

    Sorry, but I work for THE largest religious media outlet in the world and I feel this information is wrong. We have been podcasting for almost 4 years. We have thousands who download our podcast daily. We do not have feedburner or other tracking sources that someone like Barna would use.
    Most churches that podcast do it very quietly and most do not list the "church" as the podcast but the pastor who is talking.
    Look at Fr. Rodrick over at SQPN – do you even know what church he is with? Yeah he has won awards for his shows.

    Fr. Mitch Pawca is another who poscast but you do not know what the name of his church is.

    There are many churches that 'tape" their sunday school classes or the preaching / homily and just play that as a podcast.. I am sure there are many who do not go by a church name or even use a "deacon this" or "Pastor That" to do their podcast but it still is a religious podcast.

    I question these results.

  2. While not every individual church has it's own podcast, it doesn't need to. There are still many churches that podcast, but churches by far are a social medium themselves where people meet in person.

    And if you look at religious broadcasting, churches surpassed podcasts decades ago with TV broadcasts–and radio before that. Bishop Sheen use to be as well known as Regis Philbin. There are even radio and TV networks which air just religious programming.

    But it should be pointed out that parishes are regional and the Internet is better at reaching an International audience. There just isn't the need for an individual parish to podcast or even have a website. Many parishes do still publish bulletins and some also put that information on their websites. But if you actually go to church and look at the people there, it becomes apparent that online information isn't the best way to reach these people.

    It's also misleading to classify all churches together. Each religion handles things differently. The Vatican website has been around for at least a decade and many smaller parishes have their own websites. The KofC even manages a Catholic Encylopedia online. But there is a tendency for Catholics to handle things collectively because they have the size. Protestant preachers, especially for smaller churches, are more inclined to have their own podcasts depending upon how structured a church they come from.

  3. jmack says:

    Let’s not forget churches like to make money. LOTS of money. And their struggle appears to be quite similar to that of the music industry’s. They can’t Podcast their material because then nobody would come to church. And if nobody comes to church, nobody puts money in the collection plate.

    Sure as a podcaster you could accept donations. But after transaction fees and the majority of people listening without being guilted into giving money, these pastors and preachers and evangelists would stand to lose a great deal of cash.

    So why not keep it in the church and maximize income?

    Go god!

  4. […] Read this piece about why so many churches are so bad at new media. […]

  5. Boy92 says:

    How does the living organism avoid decay? ,

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