I used to be a sermon junkie. I would listen to preaching all the time. I still enjoy listening to some messages here and there, but honestly, I do not have the time to listen to as much preaching as I used to.
Podcasting is an amazing technology that we now have access to some of the best preaching in the world at the click of a button. We can grow closer to God, we can listen to the message from our church if we were gone that weekend. A world of information and growth has been opened up to us. You can even listen to many seminary courses via podcast and get the equivalent of a seminary education for free. Its pretty amazing.
Here is the flip side. I see a disturbing trend developing among Christianity in America. We are more excited about listening to a “famous” preacher than we are concerned about actually doing the work of God. In a sense its kind of like watching some reality TV shows. You simply sit and observe other people achieving something great in a show like The Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover Home Edition. You are not actually achieving anything, you are just watching other people do great things.
I feel this is what some people in churches do. They are more content on actually watching and observing other great teachers and preachers do ministry than they themselves are actually doing it. This is a dangerous thing for American Christianity. We need to get out of the pew and actually do the work we watch other people doing. It creates a lazy, self centered, me first Christianity. Its easier to listen to a podcast than it is to actually minister to our friend who has serious issues.
God did not call us to listen to other people teach and do nothing ourselves, he called us to make disciples. Listen to podcasts, but do not let it substitute doing actual ministry. There must be a balance in our lives.