Top 10 Podcasts Church Planters Should Hear

Chris —  March 5, 2015

Legend has it that Karl Barth once said that preachers should have the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in another. I’d like to think that if he were alive today, Karl would say that we should have a Bible in hand and a podcast in our ears.

I won’t mention the obvious listens like This American Life or Radiolab. Chances are if you don’t listen to them already it’s because you don’t own earbuds.

If you are a Church Planter, Pastor or just a reflective follower of Jesus, you should be listening to the following podcasts:

10. Pray as You Gocover170x170

About a year and a half ago, I discovered a new level of anxiety I didn’t know how to handle. One of the lifelines I found was the Pray as You Go Podcast. Produced by British Jesuits, this daily Lectio Divina podcast has become central to my daily spiritual practice.

Where to Start: Anywhere! However, I recommend subscribing to the podcast instead of using their website or app.

9. The Liturgists1406568173470

Unless you have a time machine, you’re probably ministering to “post-Christendom.” Almost everyone I know in my age cohort has had to reconcile the faith they received a very, very different post-modern world. The Liturgists follows David Gungor and Science Mike as they rebuild their faith in Jesus after stints with atheism.

Where to start: Episode 2—Genesis & Evolution

cover170x170-38. Sermonsmith

My co-conspirator at Austin Mustard Seed delves into the process of preparing to preach. As a busy bi-vocational guy, having a clear process is essential for anyone who wants to have something meaningful to say.

Where to start: Brian Zahnd

7. Robcast cover170x170-2

Whatever happened to that proto-hipster Pastor who lost his platform for having doubts about Hell? He moved to California, took up surfing and got a job working for Oprah. Rob Bell has spent the last few years surf and deconstructing, now he’s back with a Podcast! This isn’t like the old Mars Hill sermons—it’s more like the notes from Rob’s own therapy sessions.

Where to start: Episode 3 | Receipts

serial-social-logo6. Serial

If you don’t know what Serial is, where have you been? Besides just being an incredible feat of true crime storytelling, Serial is a portrait of 21st century, post-white American youth culture. Stop everything you’re doing and listen to it now. Where to start: Listen to the whole thing from beginning to end!

cover170x170-45. Seminary Dropout

Host Shane Blackshear describes it as halfway between seminary and youth camp. Shane talks to brilliant thinkers as an equal, drawing out their hopes and intentions. Every interview is insightful, even if you haven’t heard of the guests.

Where to start: Scot McKnight Part 1 and Part 2

You-Made-It-Weird4. You Made it Weird

Pete Holmes has a bit in his stand-up that his natural skill set only allows him to be either a youth pastor or a stand-up comedian. After a painful divorce and a lot of deconstruction, Pete is carving out a comedy career and rediscovering his faith. In each episode, Pete asks comedians to describe their opinion on comedy, sex and God.

Where to start: Zach Galifianakis or Dana Carvey

Z59s1XPU3. Reply All

Simply put, it’s a show about the internet. The two guys that created TLDR for On the Media jumped ship for Gimlet. The fact is, much of our life takes place on the internet today. It’s crucial to think missionally about the internet.

Where to start: An App Sends A Stranger To Say I Love You

IMG_0244-1024x10242. Tear Gas and Gumdrops

When I said “Hey Kyle, we should have a podcast. What do you want to call it?” He said “Tear Gas and Gumdrops, because ministry is really tough, but it’s really good, too.” We try to be brutally honest about church planting, youth ministry, and our own—often painful—journey. Take a listen, subscribe on iTunes and tell your friends.

Where to start: Secrets I’m Afraid to Tell My Church or Unwanted? Single Christians in a Church for Married People


1. Startup

If you ever think you want to plant a church, listen to this podcast. If you ever think you want to start anything, listen to this podcast. If you like good stuff, listen to this podcast. Alex Blumberg captures his journey of leaving This American Life to start his own network. He takes the microphone everywhere, captures tons of blunders, and somehow manages to get a his company off the ground.

Where to start: Listen to the whole thing from beginning to end!

What do you think? What else should we be listening to?

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