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Podcasts join list of technology resources offered by LifeWay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Hearing your favorite Bible story, nurturing your Christian walk through a well-delivered sermon or just learning more about your church and its mission used to mean restricting yourself to the church building or at least a single location equipped with a television or CD player.

But now LifeWay Christian Resources has introduced Christianpodder.com to allow users to listen to quality Christian content anywhere from a crowded urban subway to the secluded Australian outback and everywhere in between.

Christianpodder.com provides a free repository of podcasts, or digital audio files, that users can download to their MP3 players or other devices for playback at any time and any place. Since Christianpodder.com is a repository, not a directory, the files are housed on the site itself so users can download directly from there.

“Podcasting is the next wave of ministry opportunity,” said Gary McClure, manager of marketing in LifeWay’s e-business department. He pointed out that as of last fall about one-quarter of American consumers owned digital audio players, and they are always on the lookout for interesting downloads.

“With all the negative music and content available for people to download, LifeWay saw a definite need to provide positive, Christian material as alternative content for digital players,” McClure said.

Christianpodder.com already includes podcasts on a wide range of topics including Bible study, instrumental worship music, family and relationships, and theology. McClure said he anticipates the site will grow immensely as pastors and ministry leaders submit their own audio content for download.

Jack Graham, pastor of the 24,000-member Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church, has contributed several files that address general Christian living, including segments on grace, spiritual breakthrough and spiritual inventory. The segments are portions of Graham’s biblical teachings through PowerPoint, his radio, television and Internet broadcasting ministry.

An article in the December 2005 issue of Christian Computing Magazine reported that research shows 67 percent of Americans are turning to the Internet for spiritual answers. McClure pointed out that podcasting appeals to that Web-based audience but offers time and location flexibility that streaming audio cannot.

“Streaming audio on webpages requires users to be at their computers for a set period of time,” McClure said. “With podcasting, you download the file that appeals to you and listen to it whenever and wherever you want.”

In addition to the downloadable content, Christianpodder.com offers users an opportunity to rate podcasts, as well as share their thoughts and questions in an online forum.

“Christianpodder.com is a free interactive site that allows people to engage with timely, relevant Christian messages in a manner convenient to their lifestyle,” McClure said. “Offering the ability to interact with other listeners to discuss the material is definitely a bonus.”

For more information, to download podcasts or to contribute to the repository, visit www.christianpodder.com.

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  • Brooklyn Noel