Are Christian Podcasts Replacing Church?

"Podcasts have become such a phenomenon among Christians that some are starting to worry: If listeners can just download 'church' and partake on their own time, will they still feel the need to belong to an actual church?"

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TylerR's picture


I imagine the same conversation was had when churches began televising or live-streaming their services. This is nothing new. The church is visible in a local body of called out believers who meet together to worship God, hear the preached word, observe the ordinances and encourage and edify one another - period. No amount of podcasts, live-streaming or multi-site venues can change that or replace it. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Jim's picture

I was sick and home-bound for 3 months in 2011 and almost 3 months in 2012. Listening to our church's services on WCTS was a blessing. 

I just started doing Podcasts 2 months ago: Mohler, some financial stuff (Bloomberg & Wells Fargo Advisors) and Serial 

That being said - there's nothing like being at church with believers: singing, discussing the Word (ABF) and the worship service. 

dcbii's picture


If it were, there would indeed be no need to attend if you can listen on the radio, watch TV, listen to a podcast, etc. Like Tyler said, there's nothing specific about new media like podcasts that is significantly different from older media in this regard.

Obviously, church is about more than preaching (though that is clearly a big feature). It's about the fellowship, getting to know one another, being able to empathize with things in friends' lives, encouraging and admonishing them, etc. We can't provoke one another to love and good works if all we are doing is listening to a remote service or message.

Interestingly, in one of our recent company surveys, a big complaint about modern methods of communication was that even though we may have phone conferences, video conferences, email, etc., it was still difficult to get to know and work with remote team members if there is no face-to-face communication. If that's true in a business environment, it's even more true in a church, where the personal interaction is so much more necessary to the building up of the church, and our commission to make disciples.

Dave Barnhart