Broadcasting the good news.
There was an article in Christianity Today that didn’t cause a big reaction in evangelical circles, but it still caught my attention. The points of the article are that podcasting sermons decrease the value of the sermon, reduces the entire meeting of the church into listening to a sermon, and discourages church attendance.
The author of the article has the fundamental false assumption in thinking that the podcast listener does not already understand the purpose of the church. The author of the article assumes that the listener does not understand the importance of the church. The author assumes church attendance is already not a priority.
The bigger problem, as Stephen Altrogge puts it in his rebuttal blog post, is that we have deficient knowledge regarding the sacredness of the gathered church. If church attendance is already a priority, then podcasted sermons become supplemental. They become bonuses. And this does not diminish the inherent value, because a podcasted sermon removes the context – the church – which is already established to be necessary and irreplaceable.
I don’t believe that podcasting helps the act of preaching in the sense that God needs help delivering or empowering his word. But what I mean is that podcasting promotes preaching. It supports preaching. It encourages preaching. And it’s not the preaching that is the end in itself. It’s the object of our preaching. It’s the point and purpose of our preaching: Jesus.