BELL–Two pastors, hanging out, just talking about ministry.
That’s how Pastor Chuck Scott describes the new podcast aimed at pastors of churches in the North Florida region. It’s called “Rev. Podcast: A Podcast for Southern Baptist Pastors in Florida.”
Scott, pastor of Priscilla Baptist Church in Bell, began the weekly podcast a few months ago to get to know and learn from other pastors in the area.
“One of the things I’ve always tried to do is learn from someone,” Scott said. “If God has given you the gift of discipleship or counseling or anything, I want to glean some of that from you. I may have something that others can glean from me. I’m looking to see how I can continue to refine myself as a pastor and how God can use our gifts to refine one another.”
Each episode focuses on one pastor and is between 28 to 50 minutes long. He’s only 11 episodes into this new podcast and he’s covered a variety of topics from bi-vocational pastors, church revitalization and church planting to church shut-downs due to Covid and one pastor’s hobby of hunting down the elusive Skunk Ape.
And while any pastor or person may enjoy the podcast, it’s really aimed at pastors – like himself – who are from this specific area of Florida,. That’s what sets this podcast apart from others, he said.
Churches in Bell– located about an hour west of Gainesville—”are a lot different than churches in Miami,” he said. “There is a different ministry context here. There are other podcasts for pastors, and I encourage people to listen to them. But this one is North Florida focused for churches that can relate to this area.”
Churches in this area are more laidback, more rural, more agricultural, and more generational, he said. While churches in larger cities may attract mostly first-generation members, the smaller, rural churches like his have families that have been members for generations. One of his members’ great-grandfather started the church 135 years ago. All these things combined could create quite the learning curve for a pastor new to the area.
“Maybe you’re from Colorado or California and now you’re here pastoring a church of 40 people in Madison County. Man, talk about a cultural difference,” he said. “Now here’s a podcast where a pastor can listen to and glean how do we think, how do we operate, how do we minister, those types of things.”
Scott first became a fan of podcasts as a seminary student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He was pastoring a small church about 30 minutes away and started listening to podcasts during the drives to and from the church. “Now, anytime I get in my car, I rarely ever turn on the radio. I’m turning on a podcast instead.”
Once he decided to do a podcast, he spent quite a few hours researching and watching YouTube videos to learn what equipment was needed and where to start.
For each episode, Scott likes to travel to the pastor he’s interviewing and do the recording at their church. He starts with some basic questions to establish a good connection early in the podcast, and then goes into more specifics about their church and ministry. Since this is his own personal ministry, he does this on his days off. He takes his wife along so they can enjoy a meal out and time together to and from the destination.
Currently the podcast averages about 150 downloads each week, not too bad for a first timer who has not done any advertising. And while the bulk of those are from Florida, there are regular downloads form California, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Chicago as well as China, Japan, Northern Ireland and Brazil.
While the podcast’s exposure is sure to grow, Scott said its purpose remains the same.
“I just want to build awareness and recognition between local pastors and be an encourager to pastors,” he said. “I think often we feel we’re on an island and we don’t have a friend. But let’s look and see there are other pastors going through the same things we are. Here’s how they’re handling it and how we can learn from them.”