For the first time ever, leaders in Greater New Jersey will be able to tune into a podcast designed specifically for them. With a purpose of empowering ministry, the new venture seeks to answer questions and hear thoughts, experiences and vision from GNJ United Methodists on both the conference and local church levels.
“Podcasting was something we wanted to do for quite some time,” said James Lee, Director of Visual Arts and podcast co-host. “As we moved into the Mission and Resource Center, we built into our media and productions studio the capacity to produce a podcast.”
Dubbed “The Uncovered Dish” the podcast got its name after a creative brainstorming session by the GNJ communications team which plays off the beloved United Methodist tradition of a covered dish supper. Each episode uncovers a new dish, both literally and figuratively. Guests to the show are asked to bring their own unique plate such as their favorite food, a homemade dessert from a church member, or some kind of snack. Guests also bring their own distinct topics; sharing their wisdom, advice and life-experience with the show.
Primarily centered on leadership, each Uncovered Dish episode will cover a variety of themes. From church vitality, small groups, making new disciples, and worship, to interviews with various GNJ pastors, and local and statewide community leaders outside the church with valuable experience. Additionally, the podcast serves to cover and promote various events within Greater New Jersey.
“As people who work at the Mission and Resource Center, a question we always have to ask is how we can be a resource to the GNJ pastors,” said Lee, who hopes the new podcast will encourage awareness of available resources. “We want to create a podcast that serves and inspires pastors.”
Kaitlynn Deal, Communications Administrative Assistant, joins Lee as the podcast’s co-host which makes for a vibrant duo whose gifts and personalities balance each other out. Both Lee and Deal enjoy listening to podcasts that make them feel as if they’re hanging out with the hosts themselves.
“A good host is someone who makes the audience feel included in the hangout and facilitates the conversation in a way that produces great content,” Lee said.
“If you’re a church leader listening to ‘The Uncovered Dish’ and you have three other people in your car who might not necessarily be involved with church, we want them to be able to follow along with the episode and enjoy it, too,” said Deal. “After all, it’s about growing new disciples.”
Lee concurred. “Yes, we want pastors in GNJ to feel comfortable sharing the podcast with anyone.”
Episode one features worship. Director of Worship, Eric Drew discusses worship and songwriting by challenging leaders to feed into the creative space of music. Pastor Catherine Jordan-Latham of Monmouth Grace UMC is the second guest and talks about multicultural worship. The podcast seeks to give a voice to GNJ pastors in the field to share their real-world experience as they live out specific areas of vitality.
“Anything is possible at this point,” said Lee, who looks forward to seeing the podcast evolve and take shape over time. “Let’s see what kind of dish we uncover next.”