Podcast Episode 0: Who am I and Why

zach haas podcast

A Zach Haas Podcast

Hello and welcome to the Critiques and Caffeine podcast. I run the same-titled Critiques and Caffeine blog over at zachhaas.com. So, who am I and why am I doing this? Well, I’m Zach Haas. I graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2011 with a B.S. in computer science and a minor in math. I then decided going to seminary would be a good idea and got my MDiv from Wesley Seminary in 2014. In 2011 I started managing the youth group at my church and I’m still there. I’ve had a number of different jobs in the past 10 years and now I have an almost two-year-old son. I’ve lived in upstate New York in a summer tourist town most of my life. The summers are great, but winters are long. We are nowhere near New York City, and we’d prefer it if you remember that when talking to us.

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So, with that said, welcome to the first episode of my podcast. Although, really, let’s consider this episode zero as it is more of an introduction as to why I think it would be interesting to start a podcast. First, I imagine it being sort of an extension to my blog. Therefore, I want to use this venue to talk about similar things. Things such as culture, Christianity, the Bible, ministry, stuff like that. I think that podcasts tend to have a little bit of a different audience. When you are reading a blog, you are fairly preoccupied. However, with a podcast, you can listen while driving, or at work, or my favorite while you are doing the dishes.

I’ve never done anything quite like a podcast. To be honest, I thought they died in the late 2000s, but as my wife would tell you, that is actually quite wrong. As a matter of fact, podcasts are so popular that they made a tv show about one a couple of years ago. Most people if you ask for a podcast recommendation will have at least one that they are familiar enough with to recommend.

If for some reason you’d rather read what I’m saying, I plan to post a typed-out manuscript on my blog as well.

I’m hoping that this will be fun for me, and beneficial for people who are listening. If there are topics or ideas you’d like me to research and address let me know and I’d be happy to explore.

I have a couple of ideas that I plan on using as I develop this podcast. First, if you have spent any time on my blog you probably noticed that I really enjoy crazy, odd, and bizarre Bible studies. Sometimes when we are reading the Bible we almost zone out. It becomes really easy to bypass a completely outlandish story even after reading the same passage multiple times. I think these stories are really fun. Sometimes they show God has a sense of humor. Sometimes they teach us that we will never be able to fully comprehend God. Other times, the stories are just too awesome to not bring to light.

Second, I have this idea of addressing Christianity’s pet peeves. What I mean by this is that there are some things Christians say or do, or things that people think about Christians that I find to be either a little unfair, untrue, or annoying. While I hope addressing some of these pet peeves ends up being humorous, I also hope that they make you think a little bit.

Third, every so often something comes up in the world with an interesting relationship to God, Church, or Christianity. I think when these things come up it is beneficial to spend some time digging a little bit deeper into. For example, in my blog, I found some interesting concepts in Harry Potter and how it points out a big flaw in Christianity. Or, when the Coronavirus scare first started in America there was a really cool letter by Martin Luther that was getting passed around.

Fourth, I think it would be interesting to be able to interview some local pastors and hear their perspectives on different issues that we are facing as Christians.

My goal for each episode is to be around 10 minutes long. This isn’t something that I am going to make a hard and fast rule, but it seems to be a good amount of time. Not too long, not too short.

A couple years ago my wife started telling me that podcasts were popular. That they were the way to go now. I resisted the idea for a couple of months. Then, Christmas came around and I wasn’t sure what to ask for. After thinking for a bit, I finally caved and told her I supposed a podcast mic would be interesting. I wasn’t sure if she’d actually consider getting one for me but sure enough, I opened it up that Christmas. Christmas of 2018. Which means, I’ve had this nice Blue Snowball microphone for some time now and have only used it for a few videos that I made for church and youth group.

As we currently find ourselves in this time of quarantine due to Covid-19, I’ve had a bit more free time and opportunities to use the mic as well as test out and get used to talking to… well… talking to thin air. I must admit it is much, much different than addressing a crowd. I think I’ve gotten better at it but it is still something that I’m working on and figuring out all the nuances and getting the bugs out of the way.

At this point, I’ve done enough public speaking that it doesn’t really phase me a whole lot. When I first started out, I needed to go on a micro-fast and avoided all caffeine. I got really nervous the first couple of minutes and I knew my voice was quavering. Now, I am able to actually eat and even drink coffee before speaking without feeling nearly as much anxiety. However, there is something much different about audio and video recordings. I’m honestly not sure how this is going to turn out or be received, but hey, you got to start somewhere right?

My goal is ultimately to monetize what I am doing. This is also why the typed-out version on my blog will help as my blog is already monetized through Google. Building a passive income is a cool idea to me and this is another way for me to start building. Another, will be episodes of a book that I’ve been talking about for years. I promise, there really is a book that I’ve been writing. There are lots of words written, but editing and organizing takes more time and effort than you might think.

At any rate, I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to a brand-new podcast. I truly hope that I am providing you with some value even if it ends up just being humorous. Spreading joy is, in my opinion, one of the best things that we can do as human beings. I hope that I am able to teach you something and make you laugh. Here’s to seeing what becomes of this next adventure. Until next time, God Bless!

For more info and to support the podcast, check out https://anchor.fm/zach-haas

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