In the hustle and bustle of our fast-paced world, finding moments of serenity and reflection can be challenging. But Rev. Gina Hendrickson, the lead pastor of First Methodist Church (FMC) in Moorestown, has embarked on a journey to provide a refreshing summer experience for weary wanderers seeking respite from the busyness of daily life. The “Soulful Summer Rhythms Podcast,” which launched July 5, invites listeners to join Hendrickson on a chilled, relaxed nine-week exploration of inspiring stories and practical tools for embodying a soulful summer rhythm.
The birth of Soulful Summer Rhythms
FMC has committed to three core values for the next five years: being relevant to the community, impacting all generations, and practicing radical acceptance. With an eye on their community’s needs, the church’s leadership discovered through MissionInsite that 6 out of 10 families in their neighborhood were not affiliated with any faith community. Additionally, health and well-being emerged as the primary concern for the area. After several ideas were tossed around from blogging to vlogging, new communications coordinator Matt Dunnam proposed podcasting as the perfect bridge between these community insights and the church’s core values.
The soulful rhythm of podcasting each week
Hendrickson quickly recognized that hosting a podcast demands an approach distinct from addressing a live congregation on Sunday mornings. While Sunday preaching is a medium that addresses the community, the podcast proved to be most effective when approached as though having a one-on-one conversation. Also, the podcast was intentionally aimed at non-religious and nominally religious folks, leading to the decision to exclude churchy language. “We talk about sabbath and spiritual disciplines without saying ‘sabbath’ and ‘spiritual disciplines,’” said Hendrickson.
Behind the scenes: a collaborative effort
While Hendrickson writes the content and weaves in her gifts with words, it is the work of a dedicated team that brings the “Soulful Summer Rhythms Podcast” to life. In charge of editing and fine-tuning each episode, communications coordinator Dunnam plays a pivotal role in maintaining the podcast’s smooth flow and captivating sound. To further enhance the experience, contemporary worship leader Brad Ludwick listens to Hendrickson’s spoken content and crafts original background music for every episode.
With about 100 listeners each week and growing, the team’s approach is working. “I love the podcast. It’s like we’re sitting down and having a cup of coffee together,” said Carol Talbot, a FMC member. “Gina’s podcast has been an oasis in the chaos of my daily routine,” said Rachel, an avid listener. “It’s exactly what I need to slow down and embrace the beauty of summer.”
Tips for aspiring podcast hosts
For those considering starting their own podcast, Hendrickson offers valuable advice garnered from her experience with the Soulful Summer Rhythms Podcast. She emphasizes the significance of authenticity and vulnerability, encouraging aspiring hosts to share their genuine selves with listeners. “Don’t be afraid to show your true self and your passion for your content,” she advises.
Hendrickson cites the significance of identifying the podcast’s target audiences, recognizing that tailoring content to meet their specific needs and desires fosters a stronger connection and engagement. She also underscores the value of collaboration, highlighting how the podcast is only made possible by the collective effort of the team. Working together enriches the podcast with diverse ideas, she says, and it ensures a more resonant and impactful experience for listeners.
Tune in to Soulful Summer Rhythms Podcast
Listeners eager to embark on a soulful summer journey can tune in to the Soulful Summer Rhythms Podcast through the end of August. Whether you’re seeking a moment of calm on a busy day or a deeper connection to your spirituality, Rev. Gina Hendrickson’s podcast promises to be an enriching and soul-nourishing experience.