There are a couple churches here in Columbia, MO that already provide podcasts of church services, and more than a few people are talking about it.
"SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- Even the faithful miss church occasionally, but these days they do not have to miss the sermon -- they can download it to their play lists.
Cyber sermons are catching on with a religious audience who are on the run, torn between worship and work...."
"...Podcasts are essentially talk radio for your digital audio player, available on the Web for download, and cover content from politics to comedy to children's stories.
Religion appears to be the fastest growing segment of the podcast community, and Patchett believes this is based on word of mouth...."
This may grow by leaps and bounds. Many churches in the past have provided cassette tapes (or cds) of services, so this is a natural evolutionary step.
Being a computer professional, I rate this high on the "geek index", but I value face-to-face interactions as well.
Have web browsing, email, blogging and podcasts really enhanced our fellowship?
I can see both sides of this issue. I have renewed old acquantances (directly and indirectly) via blogging activities, and I find email to be invaluable in communication with the members of the Mission Committee of my congregation. The information that is available on the World Wide Web is staggering and, with discretion and discernment, can be a liberating thing.
On the other hand, will podcasts, websites, and blogs reduce the fellowship that comes from sharing worship, sacraments, Christian education, and meals?
I suppose it boils down to how people use these tools. And one thing seems intuitive: People are being reached who otherwise might not be.