By: Tom Bandy
The more worship becomes part of a discipline of spiritual growth, the more churches are finding ways to interface worship with long-distance education. The Uncommon Lectionary, for example, really demands that churches develop websites, blogs, exclusive access email forums … and podcasting.

Podcasting is really an evolution from blogging that embeds an audio data stream that can be readily downloaded to an IPOD or MP3 player. You can take away music, sermons, lectures, audio discussion, and any other form of teaching that takes place in a worship service, like the Disciple Cycle of the Uncommon Lectionary. The limitation of podcasting is that it does not provide a vehicle for dialogue, which is why the “pod” is best embedded in a “blog” or at least tied to an exclusive access e-forum.

Why do all this? Because growing churches have high expectations for spiritual growth among leaders. They are the mentors who will eventually interact with seekers. Since these same leaders are probably just as busy, mobile, and pressured as everybody else today, you have to help them customize their own learning process and timetable.