Not when I was out hiking 13,000 foot peaks in Wyoming.
Not when I was on my thrice weekly run.
But rather when on the treadmill as this vile of a winter that refuses to end:
Podcasters are the new pastors.
I say this not for my own egotistical self, but rather an observation whilst listening an episode of Stefan Molyneux's podcast. He was reviewing the numbers and 2013 was by far his best year. Over 50 million downloads, the "Truth About" series helping with that, and enough income to at least keep the lights on. This all without a building to preach in, housing, or a congregation all provided by the parish. It was with a microphone, a computer, some bandwidth, and some servers Stefan (and his adjutant) Michael were able to deliver, in just one year, more "sermons" in the form of podcasts to more listeners' ears in a week than your average pastor will deliver in his lifetime.
Driving this naturally is technology. And of course people would rightly point out this could have been said about radio hosts. However podcasters pose a greater threat to pastors than radio show hosts in that they don't need to cover the overheard of a radio station and a radio tower. Ergo, they can focus on special niches in life and attract smaller, but very loyal audiences, instead of aiming for a mass, boring, indifferentiated market share.
The result is a plethora of podcasts and shows that address every imaginable topic. Aurini and Molyneux cover philosophy. I have my own economics/sociological/courting podcast. Ed has his political podcast. Kerry Lutz his precious metals podcast. FTM their survival podcast. Alton Brown his...well..."I'm Alton Brown and everything I touch turns gold because I'm that freaking cool of a guy" podcast. Every imaginable facet of life has a podcast and people can now tune into very specific and precise shows leaving the mass-market-appealing radio shows behind.
But the area podcasters give pastors a run for their money is philosophy and real-world advice. And this is where podcasters are not so much putting pastors out of business, but eating their lunch.
Understand with philosophy, life advice, financial consulting, dating, etc., podcasters are serving a horrendously underserved market of (primarily) youngerish people (45 and younger) who have been misled purposely or unintentionally by all instititutions and entities in society. Revisiting much trampled ground before - courting, careers, dating, health, politics, government, etc., etc., - nearly every one 45 and under have been lied to about the real world. Consequently they very much are lost sheep and are in desperate need of being deprogrammed from the brainwashing they received and then being informed about how the actual real world works.
However, whereas this would be the domain of pastors and clergy members, they fail miserably addressing these social problems because they have their hands tied behind their back.
Tied by what?
Whether you are a rabbi, a priest, an imam, or a pastor, you are relegated to to dispensing advice through the lens of the Torah, Koran, or Bible. You are also further regulated by tradition where all of your sermons must be religious. Ergo, the best a man of the cloth can do is lecture around 500 people once a week, pulling a lesson from their religious tomes that has a real life world application. This of course ONLY AFTER you waste 25 minutes on the front and 25 minutes on the back of the sermon doing calisthenics, kneeling, praying, singing, and saying, "the lord be with you" to some stranger to your right. And heaven help you if there's a baptism or communion. For 2 hours of attendance, you maybe get 15 minutes of sermon, 2 minutes of which is actually practical advice.
But not with podcasts.
With podcasts it's direct, topic specific, and immediately practical to your life. There's no interruptions with pointless 3,000 year old traditions and chanting. It's a fraction of the cost of tithing (because all your good religious people tithe, right? RIGHT?). And it can be listened to anywhere.
Now, will the advent of podcasting flatten the churches, raze the synagogues, and destroy the mosques?