I’m such an auditory learner! I can remember exact times and places when I listened to transformative talks and sermons. I remember the cadence, timbre, and rhythm of each speaker’s voice. Now that Podcast streams, this app has become my primary way to listen to audio. I use to have to scrounge the internet looking for good sermons and audio files, download them to my computer, drag the files to iTunes, then sync my devices. All I have to do now is simply stream.
Like my top books of 2013, I’ve reviewed using the same categories of head, heart, & hands.
- Usually every Saturday morning, while I’m making pancakes for the family, I listen Ed Stetzer’s weekly podcast The Exchange. My favorite episodes was the State of the North American Church, where Ed explains that though the Western Church is not dying but loosing nominal Christians – which is a good thing. He also suggest that if America wants to get a glimpse of the future of American Christianity, the North West (Seattle, Portland) is about 10-15 years ahead of the central and southern States.
- This is not exactly a podcast, but audio files I found on the internet. In 2013 I discovered James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College. I saw in blogsphere that many were discussing his recent books series Desiring the Kingdom & Imagining the Kingdom, so I googled him and found several online talks. I found his New College Lectures at University of New South Wales, Australia and Winter Conference talks at Redeemer Church in Knoxville, TN. I listened to these lectures many times over. Prof. Jamey’s works has profound implications not only for worship but also for how we make disciples in the normal rhythms of life (liturgies). I hope to connect the dots more in a future blog post.
Living in Peru, I am not around much good preaching in English. So I water my soul via preaching podcasts. Here are my top two:
- Since our days in RTS Jackson, I have witnessed phenomenal growth Richie Sessions’ preaching. He is Senior Minister of IPC Memphis; the church that we are eternally grateful for allowing our family to live in their mission house during our 2010 Furlough Year. Not only is Richie a clear communicator and passionate lover of Christ, he preaches with unction – that tangible presence of the Spirit. Check out IPC’s sermon podcast.
- While living in Memphis, I met an amazing church planter, Jonathan Macintosh. He moved to Memphis the same time we arrived the River City. Sandi burns through Jonathan’s sermons while on the treadmill. What I like about Jonathan is that he is culturally relevant as well as gospel-centered. His sermons are not only entertaining, but thoughtful and convicting. Check out his podcast here.
This past year I have tapped into several great leadership podcasts. Here, I’ll mention my top three.
- I have been the most helped by Michael Hyatt’s podcast this past year. Not only does he have tons of sanctified wisdom, he is also extremely generous with sharing free materials. He is also super productive, which means he’s has a ton of material online. Some of my favorite episodes are How to Create a Life Plan, Seven Steps to Thinking Bigger, 10 Practical Ways to Boost Your Energy Level.
- Andy Stanley’s leadership podcasts is also one of my new standards. Although I do not follow Andy in much of his attractional megachurch event model, he is very gifted and seasoned leader. His principles are transferable beyond church leadership. I’ve listened to his recent episodes on the Power of Teams several times. The main draw back is that he only broadcasts once a month.
- Finally, Thom Rainer has afforded some great information for church leaders at his podcast. As president of LifeWay Christian Resources, he and Stetzer have access to the most up-to-date ecclesiastical stats for the evangelical church in America. Most of his podcast is the application of their research. For example, I put into practice immediately several of his points from his episode, The Main Reason People Leave the Church.