Earlier this summer I spent a week recording what I thought would be a fantastic vlog in the behind the sermon series. And it just got posted. This was the vlog that would never end, and I probably uploaded it around 12 times before everything was good.
In other words, this might be the last one, because it was a massive headache. Or not.
If you want to catch the whole sermon, here it is.
Over the last two months, I have fallen in love with Anchor.fm. Imagine easy to create podcasts mashed up with Instagram stories. Anchor provides an amazing user experience, the ability to easily create up to 5 minutes blocks of audio content, the quickest publish to iTunes and Google Play that I have ever seen AND an amazing user community interacting with each other’s content. I think anchor and ministry together makes absolute sense.
I believe in the medium of podcasting right now. I think we are going to see audio content reach an unheard of level of engagement. And I think Anchor might be poised to become one of the major players in the field. If you have ever wanted to dip your toe into podcasting, I quickly recommend them to people constantly for the best beginner platform. You can use your phone or upload previously recorded and produced audio content to Anchor. And you can get the content on all the major podcasting platforms. Plus, and this is a big one, Anchor plays embedded clips on both Twitter and Facebook natively.
But before we talk about Anchor and ministry, we need to talk about social media and ministry…
I need to say something about using any social media platform for ministry. Social media is inherently…well, it’s supposed to be social. Before we investigate, utilize, strategize or anything else, we need to be users. I’d encourage you to sign up for Anchor first, start listening, engaging and creating content and then think about how you might apply it to ministry. We have to think about the end user, and if we don’t actually use the service…our marketing is going to appear false and disingenuous. Folks will smell that out quick. And Anchor is all about the social side of it. Trust me, it’s like an all-day audio party.
So we will now get onto why you clicked this link in the first place.
Anchor and Ministry
Here are the potential use cases I see for Anchor. You need to approach it not from the perspective of a Facebook page. Think about it like an Instagram story that can be shared and publically interacted with. Jumping into any of these 4 will be for a great ministry design using Anchor.
My channel is called Rev. Chad’s Real Life. I talk about ministry some, but I also talk about drinking beer in my neighbor’s driveway, ranting about bad traffic, and what the difference is between a good day and a bad day. I try to create at least 1, if not more, daily reflections on life.
If you’ve ever lived in an area where a church has a 2-minute radio spot, this is the 21st-century version. And folks listen and engage pretty well. I think most of them aren’t Christian and I’m the only pastor they have ever had a relationship with. So I work from that angle and try to be approachable.
You can get a lot of devotional talk done in the 5 minutes (more if you upload external audio, it just breaks them into 5-minute chunks). It isn’t odd for me to pop on in the morning and connect the various pieces of scripture I read together that morning. My church has created 5-minute devotions on our normal podcast feed before, and we would get around 4x the downloads we would normally get in a week.
I could write several more blog posts about what this 5-minute devotion could do, especially in regard to continuing sermon content.
Think about how you might use Anchor to share information, tell stories and cast vision for your leadership. All from your cell phone. This is a delivery strategy that could make fantastic use of the iTunes/Podcast feature Anchor offers. As long as your leadership subscribes to the feed, they get the content. And they don’t even have to use the app!
Break Sermons Apart
If you have ever wanted to create a behind the sermon/after the sermon feature, this would be easy. Again, this could be shared via the podcast or with anyone who uses the app. Plus, the embed feature on social media sites makes it easy to get it out to folks who choose not to download an app or subscribe to an RSS feed.
Tell Stories of Church Life
If you are willing to do a little audio production, you could create killer 5-minute mini-docs about your church. Think NPR or American Public Media. This is really taking advantage of the highly social and 24-hour content cycle of Anchor.
So go be social. Engage with folks, create amazing content and dream about how you can use the audio revolution in your ministry content.
Since the beginning, I’ve wanted the Productive Pastor to not just be about tips and tricks, but to also foster conversations about the spiritual dimensions of productive ministry. This past Sunday, I preached a message on Rest for an entire series on margin. We did a pretty thick survey of the congregation (around 60% of the adults in worship) and developed the series around the fears and emotions we have about feeling stretched.
I wanted to share it with the community because these are all lessons I am learning as well right now (I go into that a little more in the episode).
Are you listening to my daily podcasts on Anchor? It’s a fantastic new medium.
Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It’s an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It’s absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community.
Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.
Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.
I lead better.
I preach better.
I pastor better.
I live better.
I am better.
So I’ve realized I want to commit to starting reading at the levels I used to in the past. My own odd obsessions with note-taking and journaling helped me realize my own previous benefits of reading. So in an effort to share this commitment with others, I want to start sharing with you what I’ve been reading each week. This list will mainly be books, but specific journal articles and/or long form blog posts.
So this is what I’ve read this week.
HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Teams
This book has been in my hands for the last two weeks. I’ve taken it everywhere with me. Not because it is that big, but I want to process really well what it has. Over the last year I have grown fascinated with what it means to have a great ministry team built. I’ve done OK with part of this and I also have areas I really want (and need) to grow in. This has been a great learning piece as I try to learn from past high-performing teams that I’ve worked on and led.
Soul Keeping: Caring For The Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg
My Dad gave me this book last year and I’ve just now looked at it. I read it in 3 days. It is a fanastic look into the relationship between John Ortberg and Dallas Willard. Jon uses his life with Dallas to outline the reasons our soul acts the way it does. For anyone who has wanted to start slowing down and living more, it is absolutely fantastic.
The Ben Lilly Legend by J. Frank Dobie
Ben Lilly was a legendary bear and panther hunter in North Louisiana in the early 20th century. He spent the last part of his life out west pursuing the same animals. This guy is a legend around where I live and once I heard his story, I couldn’t pass up the chance to read it.
I’m always wanting to explore how people are using new media. Earlier this summer, I started (very mildly) vlogging with Youtube. I’ve enjoyed it, but it takes a TREMENDOUS amount of time. I still enjoy it, but it takes too much time up to really get into the platform. This week, I’m experimenting with Anchor.fm
As much as I love video, I still think we are moving into an economy of audio. Most of our cars have bluetooth and/or aux jacks. With smartphones, we can play audio pretty much wherever we are. It’s no secret how much I believe in podcasting. Between Productive Pastor, The Threshing Floor, FOUNDRYcast and other experiments, I think podcasting is a fantastic way for ministry leaders to reach and influence folks.
Anchor.fm is a new audio delivery service with some fantastic ideas. You can create content right on your phone, stream music and many other things. I love the call in feature as well. So I’m experimenting in and with Anchor. I’m thinking of shorter bits of content with some music thrown in. Really light and super real life focused.
Chad Brooks is a United Methodist Pastor serving in Louisiana. Married to Meredith, he is currently starting a new church in northeast Louisiana. Host of the Productive Pastor Podcast and lover of motorcycles, Chad would love to find Bigfoot one day.