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Within the past year or so I have fallen in love with podcasts. I have always loved audio-books for when I’m driving, but have now started listening to podcasts when I’m cleaning and/or getting ready. It all started when Jen Hatmaker started her podcast, and I’m down for pretty much anything she does. Most of the others that I now listen to I discovered through the For the Love podcast as Jen has had various guests on who I really liked.
Since I enjoy them so much, I thought I would share with you my top 5 favorites. I listen to more than just these 5, but these are the ones that I listen to the most. (You can click on the title for each to find out more.)
I’ve already mentioned this one, but I’ll still elaborate, because it is my absolute favorite. I have listened to every single episode, and I count down the days until the next one is released. It is set up in various series. For example, the series she just ended was called “For the Love of Women who Built It”. It focused on women who built various ministries and businesses. She has done light-hearted series like, “For the Love of Laughter” and “For the Love of Fall and Holidays”, as well as more serious series such as “For the Love of New beginnings” and “For the Love of Moxie”. However, one of the things that I love about this particular podcast is that any time Jen is involved, there is a mixture of serious and funny. So, every episode has a little of both. Jen is a straight forward, encouraging, loving, servant of Christ, and she brings those same qualities to her podcast. Another fun thing about this is that the last episode in every series is crowd sourced, meaning that she goes to her tribe of followers on Facebook and Instagram and asks them who she should interview that fits that category. So, not only are we being introduced to men and women that Jen knows within each series, but also fellow members of her tribe that are living out the topic being discussed. Jen releases a new episode every Wednesday.
I think I was actually introduced to Annie via the Catalyst podcast. She is just a chipper, bright soul that is a joy to listen to. Not only is she fun and relatable, but she is also a truth-bringer and an avid preacher of the Word. I’ve just been listening to her podcast recently, and I am in the process of trying to get caught up on past episodes, but it seems like most of the episodes are stand alone, as opposed to being part of a series. She has a variety of guests on from John Crist, to Bob Goff, to Atlanta Brave Dansby Swanson. The topics vary according to the guests and there is a new episode every Thursday. One of the things I like most about this one in particular is that there is not theme or central idea other than sincerely following Christ. Annie often says that she loves introducing her friends (guests on the podcast) to her friends (the listeners), and they is exactly what she does.
This one is a little different from the others because it is not ongoing. It is based on Jo Saxton‘s book by the same title. There are only seven episodes, each of which is based on a chapter or more of the book. Not every chapter of the book is represented, though. Jo has a variety of guests on to talk about their experiences with the ideas she discusses in the book, which centers around our identity in Christ and living fully into the dreams He has given us. Although I have not read The Dream of You, after listening to the podcast, it is definitely near the top of my to-read list. While each episode deals with a different topic, they are all related to the same central idea and do somewhat build off each other.
This was the first podcast I ever listened to. It is from the same people that do the Catalyst Leadership Conference, which Adam and I have been to a few times and absolutely love. The conference and the podcast were developed with the idea of helping and encouraging Christian leaders. They have a variety of guests on to discuss a broad spectrum of issues within the realm of Christian leadership, most often specifically related to leadership within the church. However, I think that the discussions that take place on this podcast would be beneficial for all Christians, whether you are in Christian leadership or not. Most of these episodes are stand alone, and there are currently 461, so there is a plethora of material to choose from. It also releases a new episode every Thursday.
Many of you probably know Whoa Susannah from her Facebook videos (if you don’t, take a minute to click on the link in her name and treat yo’ self to some pure hilarity). If you can imagine her and her friend, Anna, leading a Bible study, it is everything you think it would be. It is hilarious, random and fun, while still managing to be insightful and challenging. They don’t typically have guests on since there are two of them hosting, so it is already set up in a conversational format. This one is particularly interesting to me because they do not only discuss issues related to our faith, they lead a Bible study within each episode. Occasionally they will refer to something they have said in a previous episode, but for the most part each one could stand alone. They release a new episode every Monday.
Most of these podcasts last about an hour per episode, give or take a little. Here’s the deal, not all of us have time to sit down and read Christian Living books that challenge us in our walk with Christ, but that is not an excuse to keep from growing and learning from those that God has gifted in speaking and teaching. So, if you are crazy busy and wishing you had the time to read all these great books you hear people talk about that challenged them so much in their faith, check out a few of these podcasts. They’re not exactly the same, but they are just as challenging. Also, if you are the type that just can’t hack the dry nature of nonfiction books, one of these podcasts might work better for you. You are not listening to them read a script or a book, you are listening to them converse. It provides a level of interest and intimacy that is not always available in nonfiction.
I am always looking for suggestions, though. Which podcasts do you love? Let me know in the comments below.Follow "By the Grace of God I am" on social media