I have always been a big fan of podcasts. The fact that you could get free information of a wide variety was always appealing to me. Mostly, I enjoyed the level of access I got with a podcast, hearing so many people who are experts in their fields taking a moment to share their insights with me. In terms of Christian podcasts, I ate the stuff up. A Matt Chandler sermon here, an R.C. Sproul teaching series there, interviews with my favorite authors and pastors at my disposal, making commutes more manageable.
Last year, I started a podcast called “Cultivated.” I first got the idea for “Cultivated” years ago. I wanted to create a podcast that centered on two things: expository preaching, and theological discussion. Expository preaching is not often as accessible over podcasts. But I find a deep value in studying through books of the Bible verse by verse. Our culture gets mostly bored with the Bible, but expository preaching seeks to reverse that line of thinking. The most obvious forms of studying theology are reading books or reading blogs. But both of these avenues are only one voice…where is the discussion? I wanted to grow Cultivated into a plurality of voices that sought to have an honest, candid exploration of different theological topics and expose the audience to the glory of God in His Word.
I kept the podcast up for about a year, walking through the book of Philippians and having various roundtable discussions along the way. It was a rich time, and I was glad to see that the podcast bore fruit. But I haven’t posted anything in a few months. After posting weekly for nearly a year, I’ve stopped podcasting altogether. Here are some reasons why and where we’re going from here:
1. Podcasting Takes a Serious Time Commitment.
With the way we were set up, the weekly amount of time we had to put into our episodes was quite a bit. Not that this is time not well-spent, but especially when doing expository-style preaching, we cannot afford to minimally prepare. Also when working with others on the podcast, it’s a big ask for others to set aside a few hours of their week to get things recorded. I’m still navigating the best way to approach the time piece, and don’t want our episodes to suffer based off of lack of invested time.
2. We want to find our niche.
The best podcast are the ones that have discovered and own their niche, whether it’s a targeted audience, a targeted topic, or a certain “X-factor” portion of the show. Our niche is probably a little more broad than it should be. We need that certain “thing” that makes Cultivated unique.
3. We Don’t Want to “Add to the Noise.”
Until we are able to determine our niche and make adequate time for Cultivated, we don’t want to detract from all the wonderful podcasts already out there who have clearly identified these first two steps. You can see my recent post on some of my favorites, suggestions for those of you looking for quality podcasts while we are off the air.
4. A Focus on Writing.
As our podcasting began to wane, I wanted to spend a bit more time focusing on my writing, getting this blog started, and so forth. I would rather be deeply invested in a couple things than spread thin in many things, and I really value writing. If, in the future, I get more time to devote to and focus on a podcast that won’t compete with my ability to write, I’ll go for it.
A Way Forward
We aren’t done with podcasting just yet. We just want to be faithful with our ministry. Cultivated is supposed to be a resource set on equipping. Right now, I feel like my blog can be that. And hopefully one day, a podcast can again become a part of that, too.