"Godcasting" a Growing Trend
According to one estimate, as many as 20% of all podcasts have a spiritual context. Listeners say they enjoy podcasts of their pastor's sermons when they travel, and on Sundays when they miss church. Instead of seeing it as a replacement for "live" worship, listeners see podcasts as an extension.
For churches, podcasting is a relatively inexpensive way to distribute sermons, music and other material to a wide audience -- especially if that audience consists of tech-savvy young people with hectic schedules. With podcasting, churches can promote themselves and increase their reach far beyond their physical radius.
No less a force than the Vatican itself is jumping on the godcasting trend. Vatican Radio has been streaming media for some time, and both popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have strongly endorsed the use of technology in support of the Catholic Church (indeed, Vatican Radio has been a major part of the Church's ministry since 1931). "The church should not pass up the opportunity to make liturgies and prayers available via podcast, as well as downloadable sermons by 'podpreachers,'" said the magazine La Civilta Cattolica recently.
RELATED: Japanese Buddhists can now "tele-pray" using a webcam and a remote control to manipulate a sacred artifact called a kin.