Amazon.com bestselling audio books from religion and spirituality:
- “The Real Enemy” (Sophie Trace Trilogy, Book 1)
- “90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Life and Death”
- “The Five Love Languages“ Audio Cassette
- “The Secret” (Unabridged, 4-CD Set)
- “Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God“
iTunes most popular podcasts from religion and spirituality:
- “Joel Osteen” Audio Podcast
- “Cornerstone Simi” Audio Podcast
- “1 year Daily” Audio Bible
- “Joyce Meyer” Radio Podcast
- “Desiring God” Sermon Audio
iTunes most popular non-christian religion and spirituality podcasts:
- “Meditation Oasis” (Spirituality)
- “Zencast” (Buddhism)
- “Dalai Lama Audio Teachings on Tibetan Buddhism“ Podcast
- “Audio Dharma“ (Buddhism)
- “The Chopra Center for Wellbeing“ (Spirituality)
Source: Amazon.com, iTunes.com
The busy, hectic pace of many people’s lives can leave little time for personal and spiritual thought, but technology has allowed these people to practice faith on the go.
From audio books to audio streams of local church sermons to faith podcasts, churches and spiritual leaders are offering a variety of alternatives to the traditional church service.
The Lawrence First United Methodist Church offers sermons from its senior pastor, Tom Brady, on its website, www.fumclawrence.org.
“Part of it is just as a service to our own congregation if they can’t be there,” Brady says. “It gives them chance to hear either what was said in service or catch up with a sermon series.”
The church’s website also offers other spiritual resources like useful links and Bible study tools for prospective and current members. Brady said the wave of younger prospective members increasingly choose churches through websites and the Internet.
“I think it’s a comfortable way for people to visit the church without actually having to come in the door,” he says. “And that’s part of what all of our website stuff is designed to do is to give them a feel for who we are and what we do.”
Eventually, Brady would like to post video of the whole service to the church’s website to offer members and non-members even more access to the church.
“A lot of the stuff we do is just an experiment to see what kind of response we hear and it’s hard to know what the needs of your following are until you start doing more,” he said.
Outside of the church setting, Signs of Life, a coffee house, art gallery and bookstore at 722 Mass., offers a variety of Christian audio books from children’s tales to spiritual lessons from James Dobson to a series of influential sermons.
The store offers about one-third general interest books and about two-thirds Christian literature.
Clay Belcher, owner of Signs of Life, said though most of their business is still from traditional books, many people choose audio books as an alternative to reading.
“People will come in and look for the books and say, ‘Oh, there’s an audio book; I’ll get that instead,” he says.
Belcher says reading and audio books sales are declining though because of the growing presence of technological resources like e-readers and podcasts.
“It’s declining all the time for brick and mortar stores,” he says. “People will just download it from the Internet now.”