Podcast series looks at nexus between church and culture

By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – INTERSECT: WHERE CHURCH MEETS CULTURE – a Christian-based podcast series [see INTERSECT] addressing the nexus where church encounters popular culture – is reaching out to an ever-expanding audience in the Midlands of S.C. and beyond. And co-hosts, Pastor Josh Desch and his wife Betsy Desch, say the newfound popularity of the twice monthly series reflects both the need for informative local Christian programming and the program’s filling a niche wherein the episodes are less sermon-like, less Bible study, less newscast, and more talk-show format; though everything discussed is from a Biblical perspective.

Pastor Desch says the catalyst for launching INTERSECT several weeks ago was two-fold: “First, Betsy and I are both huge readers with a particular interest in the intersection of culture and the Christian life. Culture is the air we breathe, so naturally most of us never think about it. Fish don’t think about water. They just swim. That’s what culture is to humans.”

Desch adds, “We also felt like there was a niche that was not being filled by the available podcasts out there, and we are big podcast listeners.”

According to Desch, there are many Christian podcasts that are political, theological, leadership-focused, among other topical approaches. “But we are not aware of any series that takes the approach we are taking in terms of examining the intersection of culture and the life of the average Christian,” he says.

INTERSECT was launched, Sept. 13, but included a few previously recorded episodes geared toward the launch itself; providing listeners with seven episodes so far of approximately 20 minutes each.

The uniqueness of INTERSECT is its “comfortable conversation,” says Bonnie Mauney, INTERSECT’s publicist.

Desch agrees, and says “comfort” is deliberate.

“This podcast is – as it sounds – two people having a thoughtful conversation over a cup of coffee,” says Desch. “And we include a good bit of humor, which is easy for us because we are genuinely best friends and enjoy discussing fun, interesting topics.”

A lot of thought, research, and consideration goes into every episode.

“We address things that most people can relate to,” says Desch. “For example, we have an episode on the importance of family meals. We have another episode on the rising rates of loneliness in our society and what we can do about it. We research these topics extensively before we record.”

Topical research comes naturally to this husband-wife team. Desch is the pastor of Community and Discipleship at Northeast Presbyterian Church in northeast Columbia, S.C. He previously served churches in New Jersey and Georgia.

Betsy Desch is a ‘cultural anthropologist’ and part-time fitness instructor.

The Desches have four children.

INTERSECT: WHERE CHURCH MEETS CULTURE is available on iTunes, Google Play and anywhere podcasts may be found. Listeners might also visit INTERSECT’s podcast webpage at nepresbyterian.org/podcasts/, and follow INTERSECT on instagram: @intersectpodcast.

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