The Graveyard Shift Approaches Milestone 100th Podcast
The 100th episode of the Graveyard Shift will be released in mid–March representing a significant milestone for the three presenters who, in their own words, “hang out to talk about church culture and its effect (or lack of it) on us as individuals and in our ministry”. During the last two and a half years Scott Evans, Greg Fromholz and Alan Breen have had about 40,000 ‘listens’ to their podcast and have occupied the number one spot in Ireland in the Religion and Spirituality category on iTunes on a number of occasions.
The Graveyard Shift is a podcast about faith, life and Christian culture from an Irish perspective. The trio are longtime friends and taught themselves the skills of podcasting by watching YouTube tutorials. Scott Evans is the Church of Ireland Chaplain in UCD, Greg Fromholz is (among other occupations) Dublin & Glendalough’s Young Adults Officer and the Revd Alan Breen is Curate in St Patrick’s Church, Greystones and Chaplain at Temple Carrig School in Greystones.
Between them, Scott, Greg and Alan have about 60 years’ experience in ministry and would often meet to talk about their experiences and to let off steam. They began to look for a way to share their musings as a means of connecting with young adults but also to show that sometimes living a life of faith is tough… but that’s ok.
“For us it’s cathartic,” Scott explains. Greg adds: “But then people start listening to it. The podcast is not a church but it has an incredible attendance among Irish young adults. It’s opt in technology – you have to choose to listen to a podcast and about 500 to 600 people a week are opting to listen to it”.
The Graveyard Shift’s listeners gain a diverse experience from the podcast. They’re laughing, learning and connecting via social media. Scott believes that it is a helpful introduction to church. “As a Chaplain, to ask people to go to church is a challenge but The Graveyard Shift creates an entry point. It gives people the opportunity to participate without being noticed and then decide if they want to enter further into the Kingdom of God,” he comments.
Scott, Greg and Alan are at pains to stress that they do not take themselves too seriously. They may disagree about issues during their conversations but they do not fall out and each believes the others’ perspectives are legitimate. Their listeners may also disagree with them and challenge their views but they are happy to get the feedback.
In the world of podcasts, the temptation is to get traction by doing something glib, short or shallow. But some of their most listened to episodes have dealt with biblical interpretation, relationships, digital burnout and meditation. “People are looking for depth and how to live their lives and live well,” Scott contends.
That is not to say that The Graveyard Shift is very heavy going. They play games including ‘50 Shades of Pray’, ‘Design–a–Church’ and ‘ForGodorForCountry’. “We don’t take ourselves seriously but we do take the content seriously. It’s permission giving: have the conversation and don’t be afraid to have the conversation. The Graveyard Shift may not be a polished podcast but if people want to sit in on a conversation about life, then this might be for them,” Greg concludes.
The Graveyard Shift received a Church of Ireland Priorities Fund Grant this year for which they are very grateful and which enabled them to upgrade their equipment. You can become a patron of The Graveyard Shift at https://www.patreon.com/thegraveyardshift
Listen to The Graveyard Shift on iTunes at: https://goo.gl/hRnE2o or on Stitcher at: http://goo.gl/ItvSN5. You can also follow them on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/thegraveyardshiftireland/ and Twitter at: @gyardshift.
Photo caption: Greg Fromholz, the Revd Alan Breen and Scott Evans of the Graveyard Shift.
This article was originally published in The Church Review.