Relaymedia

Listeners are Tuning into Godcast

( [email protected] ) Jul 04, 2005 10:56 PM EDT

Ever since the introduction of podcasting, audio recordings downloadable on the web and playable on Apple iPods, the influx of amateur DJs and orators has emerged with great interest. Godcasts have increased faster than most other types of podcast programming and have emerged as one of the genre's most popular.

Godcasting are podcasts which focus on belief and inspirational content from many sects of religion, including Catholics, Jews, Presbyterians, Mormons, and Buddhists.

Most religious organizations have no official position on Godcasting. "The church encourages the use of all forms of media to spread the Gospel message," says Bill Ryan, a spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C., according to BusinessWeek.

One of the most popular pod-portals is PodcastAlley.com, listing about 2,884 podcasts. Users can browse the 171 religious and inspirational podcasts available. Vonhogan's Catholic Insider program ranks in the top ten, ahead of other secular programs with streaming rock music and general news. There are even programs for the tech-savvy Christian called Wired Jesus Podcast.

With just a home computer, Reverend John Butler, pastor at Beal Heights Presbyterian Church in Lawton, Oklahoma, spins church music from choirs and bands as far away as Ukraine and Australia. And he's no amateur - he worked as a DJ at a radio station before his pastorship.

Reverend Tim Hohm has only 100 parishioners in his local church in El Sobrante, California, but has an additional 1,900 people listening to his Godcast, some as far as Belgium and Vietnam.

"I am upbeat and inspirational," he says.

His "RevTim" show offers advice, such as temper management in the workplace or schedule management to set aside time with the kids. The latter has become a personal issue to Hohm ever since he added podcasts to his regular duties.

Even 8-year-old Rachel Patchett has a weekly podcast called Rachel's Choice by playing a Christian song she selects and then reading a Bible verse. Up to 1,500 fans tune in to each show, produced by her father and fellow Godcaster, Craig Patchett.

Patchett is a major player in the Godcasting world. A few months ago, he began assembling The GodCast Network, a web portal offering 14 different religious podcasts, including RevTim and Rachel's Choice. Patchett hopes his network will turn others on to Christianity.