Podcasts See Rise of 'Godcasting'

Religion appears to be the fastest growing segment of the podcast community, CNN reported on Tuesday. Fueled by word of mouth, more and more Evangelicals are getting into the "Godcasting" scene.

Mosaic Church's Erwin McManus and Harvest Christian Fellowship's Greg Laurie are two examples of this new trend, but preachers everywhere are finding the Internet medium convenient to propagate the Word.

Spiritual listings on the Web site Podcastalley.com have nearly tripled since July to about 500 cyber sermons, reports CNN. The number of downloads for audio and video podcasts has been surprising some church leaders.

The Church of the Resurrection, in Leawood, Kan., provides podcasts each Tuesday of the previous Sunday's sermon.

"Depending on the topic of the sermon, as many as 4,000 people will view a sermon," said Peter Metz, the church's communication director.

Cyber sermons are catching on with the younger and the seeker audience.

The people who use iPods are primarily young people – the most difficult to reach age group – and sermons and other spiritual content are being made available in a format much less cumbersome than the traditional audio cassette.

Podcasts can be downloaded over the Internet and into the small, compact iPod made by Apple. The audio can then be stored and replayed. This is a step up from the Web cast, which requires Internet connection and a laptop at the minimum.

Evangelical Christian and software designer Craig Patchett, from San Diego, Calif., started The GodCast Network (TGN) a year ago, believing that there is a call to "spread that information," and podcasting is "one of the easiest ways to do it," according to CNN.

Godcast listener Ian McCallum told CNN that listening to sermons on his MP3 player allowed him to stay in touch with his faith, even when he is on the road.

"I travel a lot and frequently have to leave on Sundays, and so I don't get to hear the sermon, to stay connected with the church."