Making Meaning & Community with Podcasts

Thanks to Seth Patterson, Minister for Spiritual Formation and Theater Producer and Chris Bohnhoff, Digital Ministry Specialist (and host/editor), both of Plymouth Congregational Church of Minneapolis, for creating and sharing this All Ages/Intergenerational Great Idea!

We’re so excited about it, we asked Chris (who is also a United Theological Seminary student) to lead one of our Belonging: Welcome Wellbeing webinars to share it with others! Learn more about the webinar/series here.

Chris shared this Great Idea with The Ministry Lab originally at the UCC MN Conference Gathering in Spring, 2022. Here’s his write-up:

The goal is to, “hold space for congregation members to consider the spiritual significance of their own ‘doing’ in the world, and to get to know fellow members more deeply”.

To this end, “Plymouth Congregational Church of Minneapolis has been producing a podcast called ‘Meaning’ since early 2022. Each podcast episode is a conversation between the host, Chris Bohnhoff, and a member of the community talking about how the guest makes spiritual meaning out of what they do in the world. Each episode ends with a number of questions meant to prompt the listener to bring the guest’s story into contact with their own and help them to consider their now meaning making.

The podcast is available through the church website, on numerous podcasting apps, and on the church’s social media. In addition, Plymouth hosts regular in-person and hybrid small groups where an episode is used as the starting point for small group conversation.

Since its launch in March, eleven episodes have gone live, with roughly 350 cumulative listens. A six-week Lenten small group series was based around the first six episodes and drew twelve attendees. Three Sunday education hour small group sessions drew from 5-15 participants each.”

To get your own meaningful podcast started you will need:

  • a theme to establish a field of conversation
  • a convener of conversations and an editor of conversations
  • people to talk with
  • a way to record and edit conversations
  • a way to distribute conversations (a platform)
  • a way to let people know about the conversations (marketing and communications)
  • in-person and virtual ways to engage with the conversations in community

Meaning (the podcast) can be found here.

Find other tech and social media ideas for ministry in these other Great Ideas: