Explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK.
Word spreads as fans flee in confusion, terror, fear.
Hold your breath and hope it’s just a false alarm, an equipment malfunction perhaps.
And then we learn it’s what we feared.
A willful slaughter of fun-loving innocents.
Bloodshed and tragedy and weeping and despair…
And all the words just leave.
Hollow, is what I am. Every time this happens, this is what it feels like. (And this is what I think they feel like — until dread reality crashes in and they wake up.)
Because there are no words to describe or explain.
All the people — pundits, politicians, preachers — try to make sense of it. But all the words and feelings and thoughts just blur. There is no distinction.
We were not made to fathom these dark depths, to contain them, to grasp them.
This is death the world cannot contain. Their blood will cry out for eons and eons and forever. Their tears will scream across the immeasurable depths of space and pain the ears of extraterrestrials (if they are out there).
Neil Gaiman’s 2001 fantasy novel, American Gods, couldn’t have been more prescient when it was written. Now that the series is getting the small screen treatment, the clash of gods—mythical and modern—reminds us that there really is a war going on, and the battlefield is our hearts. Continue Reading
Okay, you’ve done the hardest part. The cold plunge is always the toughest, and you’ve taken it. However, what comes next is equally difficult. The overwhelming majority of podcasts do not become successful overnight. Like anything in life, success in podcasting comes with time, patience, and commitment. With that said, here are three keys to successful podcasting.
1. Be brief. People are busy. And as much as they may want to listen to your podcast, there will always be something more important for them to do. So, the less of their time that you take up, the more popular you will be. If you can deliver what you have promised in the space of a television commercial break, you will likely reach more people than you would with a thirty minute or hour-long podcast.
2. Be consistent. After the first few episodes of your podcast, you should settle on a release schedule that works for you. Whether it is every weekday, once a week, or on the fifteenth of every month, decide on a regular schedule and stick with it. People will begin to depend on that schedule. If you are consistent, they will begin to look forward to to each new release. Just as you do not like it when your favorite TV shows decide to go on hiatus in the middle of the season, your viewers don’t like finding out that you haven’t done a podcast on the day that they have come to expect one. Does this mean that you can’t take breaks? Of course not. If you plan on taking a few weeks or months off, just announce it ahead of time on your podcast, your podcast website, and your social media accounts, so people will know what to expect.
3. Be real. Authenticity is a valuable trait, but one that is rarely seen. No one likes to bare their heart and life to the world, but people who are honest about their failings are able to help others much more than those who aren’t. If, on your podcast, you are talking about a topic that you have had experience with, you will have a greater impact on your listeners by telling your story. Don’t whine (or brag). Simply say, ‘This is what happened to me, this is what I did, and this is what I learned from that experience.’ You will find that people will come back to listen to you.
Godspeed and best of luck in all of your podcasting endeavors.
This post concludes the PODCASTING FOR MINISTRY blog series.