I remember the day podcasting broke out of its shell it had been living in for nearly two decades and became an influential medium in American culture. It was October 3rd, 2014.
On this date, millions of us tuned in to hear journalist Sarah Koenig investigate a crime that took place in Baltimore 15 years ago. And by the end of 2014, over 40 million of us were captivated by this story titled, Serial. Those final three months of 2014 served as the runway for podcasts to soar to the heights of impact most of us experience now.
Today, we’re flooded with over 660,000 podcast voices covering nearly every topic one could imagine. This is good news for those of us who were never impelled to join Sarah Koenig in her 3-month long investigation and prefer a different genre to consume our commute. It’s also daunting news for us who would like to discover empowering and practical content suited for our role as a leader who loves the Church. Finding a podcast that aligns with our needs can be like searching for a needle in a haystack.
This article is meant to help you cease the searching. After much conversation, listening, and friendly debating, the Catalyst team has compiled a list of the 11 podcasts every church leader should listen to.
“It’s impossible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.”
I have yet to see a more profound and timely message as a sub-title for a book. Pete Scazzero published Emotionally Healthy Spirituality in 2006, but has been practicing and teaching emotional health for a few decades now. He joins his fellow NY pastor, Rich Villodas in this practical podcast focused on forming emotionally healthy leaders within the Church. You will hear a healthy mixture of sermons and practices to implement even as you’re listening. Some examples within the past few months include teachings on creating goals, practicing silence and solitude, and learning to say no.
Every leader is called to care for more than themselves and their team. We are called to have a pulse on the culture we live in so that we may engage our cities with the hope of Heaven. This takes a strategic and intentional approach of paying attention to the activity of our cities and the world at large. This Cultural Moment is a podcast dedicated to helping leaders follow Jesus in a seemingly post-Christian climate. It’s a brilliant, ongoing conversation with John Mark Comer, Pastor at Bridgetown Church in Portland, Oregon and Mark Sayers, Pastor at Red Church in Melbourne, Australia.
Sometimes you just want to hear two friends have a fun, light-hearted conversation that leaves you with laughs and plenty of truth to think through. Annie F. Downs provides this for many leaders. Her ability to have authentic conversations built on empathetic curiosity show us all the power of friendship and fun. She also offers incredibly practical recommendations ranging from books to restaurants.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Craig Groeschel’s podcast is one of the most helpful resources out there. As the Pastor of Life.Church, one of the largest and fastest growing churches in the country, Craig proves that the best results come from intentionally investing in the people around you. And one of the best parts of this show is his ability to consistently and clearly communicate dynamic practices in under 25 minutes.
Many churches now record their weekly teachings and release them through their podcasts, but Transformation Church is the only sermon-based show mentioned on this list. If you were to look at the Top Charts for faith-based podcasts, you would see Transformation Church sitting at number 8. Transformation Church is based out of Tulsa and led by Pastor Mike Todd. Mike and his team tackle a wide-range of topics fitting for anywhere you find yourself on your leadership journey. And his role of leading a large team at a young age equips him to be relatable to just about anyone listening.
Nobody is quite positive as to when the enneagram was crafted as a tool to help individuals practice self-discovery, but Ian Cron made it a much more accessible tool for many of us when he published his book, The Road Back to You in 2016. His podcast is an insightful, light-hearted continuation of the conversation he started with his book. It features Ian sitting down with his friends to share stories that help us make sense of our neighbors and ourselves.
A new and upcoming show to keep an eye out for is The Nurtured Church hosted by Pushpay. Pushpay’s unique positioning of partnering with over 7,000 churches worldwide makes them the perfect host for a show all about helping church leaders think through how they can be cultivating healthy spaces that drive connection, engagement, and discipleship.
Ranked #2 in faith-based podcasts at the moment is The Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast, and with good reason. This power-packed team of women has been providing practical content for over 25 years. Their podcast has been a breath of fresh air for many parents, pastors, and Church-loving people for the past couple years. Some topics you can expect are parenting, therapy, marriage, leading a small group, calling, and much more!
You really thought we were going to go through this whole list without mentioning Andy Stanley? As the pastor of the largest church in the country, Andy Stanley has established himself as the guru of church leadership. One of the greatest communicators of our time offers a flood of content packed into episodes that are shorter than your commute.
The EntreLeadership Podcast is another remarkable resource backed by the powerhouse of Ramsey Solutions. Dave Ramsey continues to produce content that empowers the people around him, and this podcast is no exception. Hosted by Ken Coleman, you will hear lively discussions with some of the top business minds. As our culture transitions more and more into the gig economy, this podcast is becoming increasingly relevant for helping people learn how to lead themselves and their relationships with their customers.
Catalyst has been hosting a weekly show with leading speakers and authors since 2007. With a bank of over 500 shows, nearly every topic a leader could imagine is discussed. These in-depth interviews give you an insight to the lives behind so many change makers you look up to, while introducing you to new and upcoming voices we should all be listening to.