O ne of the first Brazilian podcasts led by Seventh-day Adventist pastors is returning online, more than a decade after its first release.
BibleCast, a creation of Pastors Diego Barreto and José Flores Júnior, became wildly popular as people continue to search for answers to life’s most pressing questions.
Today both presenters live far apart (Barreto in the United States and Júnior in São Paulo), but that’s not a barrier to the relaunch. The Adventist South American News Agency (ASN) decided to talk to Barreto about the return of BibleCast, which has completed more than 130 episodes.
How did the idea of making a religious and pastoral podcast come about more than a decade ago?
It all started when Pastor Júnior and I realized that the content of many of our conversations, always theological, could help people in their spiritual life, in understanding the Bible and the history of the church. We have always felt a gap between the official theology of the church and that found in the pews of the church itself and we wanted to create a bridge of understanding. But every time we talked about these important topics, nobody else learned but us. Then the urge to record these telephone conversations arose.
We still didn't know how to present this or whether listeners would be interested in a recorded conversation. It was there that “coincidentally” I had contact with the first podcasts on the Brazilian internet. I saw that people were interested in conversations around important topics and that it was very much like a radio debate program. So we decided to try it out. The first program we recorded was a telephone conversation that we had in which I recorded without telling Júnior that we were recording (to keep the conversation natural). Finally, I told him that I had recorded it and that it would be aired. Three days later I published the first BibleCast to a group of 15 friends and we were amazed at the response.
What motivated the relaunch of the podcast now in 2020?
In fact, we never officially “stopped”, but we did stop. The difficulty of organizing time in the face of an increasing volume of ministry activities hit us hard. Recording became more and more difficult and the program's format ended up on TV Novo Tempo under the name of Hyperlinkados, with producer Isaque Resende. So when we weren't recording, we did our ministerial activities and it was difficult to synchronize the recording and production of the weekly program.
The truth is that the pandemic has opened space on our schedules. And thanks to the time zone difference between us, recording became easier. Technological advances have also facilitated production. And the fact that everyone now seems to have woken up to the podcast format made it seem a good time to start over. We now have a “season” format we hope will endure.
What are the tips for those who want to make a good podcast interesting and useful in the context of evangelism?
- Get a good team together, as this is an inglorious path for those who want to go it alone. Multiple participants make a conversation richer and more interesting. Besides, the work is lighter and more rewarding for everyone involved. And of course, include God in every step of this project.
- Emphasize the content, but don't forget the technology.
- Nothing will be more important than the content, because this will draw listeners. So, define well what kind of podcast your ministry will be, what kind of differentiation it will have in relation to the others, what is it that people will always find in it. With that defined, create guidelines rich in content and with an interesting format. But don't underestimate good audio that requires a microphone at least regular for acceptable pickup.
Find a regularity. Here is something that people underestimate in the beginning, but that is essential for the growth of the audience. Establish a regularity for your podcasts. It can be daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, semiannual, for seasons, whatever the case may be. This needs to be established and explained to your audience so they build the habit of listening and know what to expect.