Have you heard the expression, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with?” I don’t know if there is science to back that up, but I DO know that we are powerfully shaped by the people around us. It’s why Scripture speaks frequently and adamantly about the importance of keeping good company (1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 13:20, Romans 12:2).
In this era of digital influencers, it’s crucial that we hold our parasocial relationships with even greater care than our real-life relationships/influences; these virtual conveyors of ideas—whether they come to us through TikTok videos, books, blog content, or podcasts—have the potential to mold and even transform our ideas, beliefs, and perspectives. This can be to our detriment, but if we are entering into healthy “relationships” with these influential resources, they have the power to form our ideas for good. (I would not be blogging if I did not believe this to be the case.)
I regularly take inventory of the ever-widening circle of influencers that come to me through my podcast feed. Not every podcast I listen to is in full alignment with my beliefs (my feed is neither a bubble nor an echo chamber), but I am intentional about filling my ears with predominantly true and uplifting content. Thankfully there are numerous options for podcasts that influence my parenting, faith, and worldview in ways that are rooted in the truths of Scripture and always point me back to the One who MUST be the ultimate influencer in my life.
I regularly recommend and share inspiring or informative podcasts with my friends and family, and I share specific episodes here on the blog every month. But I haven’t compiled a more extensive list of faith-edifying podcasts in quite a while, so I decided to put this list together as a reference for those of you who might also be seeking out new podcasts that can positively influence and bolster your faith.
I haven’t listened back from the beginning of most of these shows, so I can’t entirely vouch for every episode, but I am a regular listener of every one of these podcasts that have deepened my understanding and application of Scripture at both an intellectual and heart level. I hope that they can be positive formative influences for you, too.
BIBLE STUDY AND TEACHING
The Bible in a Year (with Father Mike Schmitz)
Podcast Description (in Their Words): In The Bible in a Year podcast, Fr. Mike Schmitz guides you through the entire Bible in 365 episodes. Using an exclusive reading plan rooted in The Bible Timeline (a ground-breaking approach to understanding salvation history developed by Biblical scholar Jeff Cavins) you won’t just read the Bible … you’ll finally understand how all the pieces fit together to tell an amazing story that continues in your life today!
Logistics: Episodes are 20-30 minutes, released every morning.
Episodes to Get You Started: You can start at the beginning of the Bible (which you can do by adjusting the settings in your podcatcher to sort Oldest to Newest). Or (my recommendation) you can subscribe and start listening today, right in the middle, then start back at Genesis 1 next January 1.
Kendra Note: Even as a non-Catholic, I have benefited from Father Mike’s perspective. I like that podcast episodes include a reading of the daily Scripture in addition to commentary.
The Bible Recap
Podcast Description (in Their Words): If you’ve ever closed your Bible and thought, “What did I just read?“, this podcast is for you! In about 8 minutes a day, we’ll give you a summary and highlight reel of that day’s Bible reading from our 1-year chronological plan (free on the Bible app), and you can start anytime—it’s always a good time to read the Bible!
Logistics: Episodes are 5-10 minutes long, released every morning.
Episodes to Get You Started: Read/listen through these beginning tutorials first. Then, as with the Bible in a Year podcast, you can start at the beginning of the Bible (which you can do by adjusting the settings in your podcatcher to sort Oldest to Newest). Or (my recommendation) you can subscribe and start listening today, right in the middle, then start back at the beginning of the Bible next January 1.
Kendra Note: I’m on my third read through the Bible with this podcast, and I still pick up on something new almost every day!
John Mark Comer Teachings
Podcast Description (in Their Words): The teachings of Jesus lead us to a better, fuller life. This was true in the ancient world where Jesus first taught, and it’s still true today. But what does it mean to actually practice the way of Jesus in today’s complex, secular world? In this podcast by Practicing the Way, John Mark Comer responds to that important question through his teachings at Bridgetown Church in Portland, Oregon. Join us as John Mark provides practical insight on how you can be with Jesus, become like Him and do what He did wherever you are today.
Logistics: Episodes release Friday mornings and are around 45 minutes long.
Episodes to Get You Started: Who is Actually Blessed? | Gospel of Matthew // The Four American Gospels | Preaching the Gospel E2 // Can We Trust the Bible? | Scripture E1
Kendra Note: John Mark Comer is my favorite Bible teacher. Even though these episodes are a few years old (back from the time when JMC was a regular teaching pastor), they are always relevant and enlightening.
BIBLICAL WORLD VIEW
The Alisa Childers Podcast
Podcast Description (in Their Words): Equipping Christians to identify the core beliefs of historic Christianity, discern its counterfeits, and proclaim the gospel with clarity, kindness, and truth.
Logistics: Episodes release Sunday evenings and are around an hour long.
Episodes to Get You Started: #191 5 Tips to Deception-proof Your Kids, with Elizabeth Urbanowicz // #181 Is God Different in the Old Testament Than He is in the New? // #174 Sharing THE truth when truth is considered hate speech, with Dr. Jeff Myers
Kendra Note: Alisa’s books on countering popular deceptions and confronting the progressive church are also excellent resources.
The Natasha Crain Podcast
Podcast Description (in Their Words): In my show, I equip Christians to think biblically about worldviews, apologetics, culture, and parenting in a challenging secular world.
Logistics: Episodes are about an hour long and published inconsistently, but always worth the wait.
Episodes to Get You Started: 25. Navigating Culture with Grace and Truth, with Sean McDowell // 20. What Is a Biblical Worldview? with Dr. George Barna
Kendra Note: If you like this podcast, you MUST read Natasha’s book, Faithfully Different, which is probably the most helpful book I’ve read on Biblical worldview.
Podcast Description (in Their Words): It takes conviction and courage to stand unshaken in a culture where the battle rages between the authority of God and the millions who obey the authority of the self. Alisa Childers and Natasha Crain will help you be equipped, emboldened, and encouraged to speak truth without fear, to love the way God loves, and to stand firm no matter the cost.
Logistics: Episodes are released Wednesday evenings and are under 20 minutes long.
Episodes to Get You Started: #14 Are the Red Letters More Important Than the Rest of the Bible?// #9 How to Discern a Church Website
Kendra Note: These two teachers are a dynamic duo, bringing the best of each of their shows to this short form podcast that addresses relevant issues with truth and approachability.
APOLOGETICS FOR PARENTS
Foundation Worldview Podcast
Podcast Description (in Their Words): Join Elizabeth Urbanowicz as we seek to answer your questions to equip you to help the kids that God has placed in your care to carefully evaluate every idea they encounter so that they can understand the truth of the Christian worldview.
Logistics: Episodes release a few times weekly and are around 15 minutes long.
Episodes to Get You Started: Talking To Kids About Their Sin Nature without Damaging Their Self-Esteem // Children’s Ministry: From Entertainment to Biblical Teaching // How to Parent a Toddler // How Do I Hear God?
Kendra Note: I am working through the Foundation Worldview curriculum with my kids as part of our homeschooling, and I can’t say enough great things about it!
Mama Bear Apologetics
Podcast Description (in Their Words): Mama Bear Apologetics is a podcast for mothers of biological, adopted, or spiritual children who want to learn about how to defend the Christian faith, help give their children reasons for faith, and understand the worldviews that challenge Christian faith in the first place.
Logistics: Episodes are under an hour and are released sporadically, but always worth the wait.
Episodes to Get You Started: Episode 40: Why Your Children DO Need Apologetics: Correcting Misconceptions // Episode 41: Yes, Women Need Apologetics…But More Importantly, Apologetics Needs Women!
Kendra Note: Podcasts episodes are a great companion to the Mama Bear Apologetics book. This podcast has directed me to a number of other great parenting and apologetics resources.
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES & THEOLOGY
Rule of Life
Podcast Description (in Their Words): How can I arrange my life to apprentice under Jesus? The Rule of Life podcast is designed to guide you in arranging your everyday life around being with and becoming like Jesus. Each season will cover one of nine ancient Practices from the Way of Jesus: Sabbath, Prayer, Fasting, Solitude, Scripture, Community, Simplicity, Generosity, and Hospitality. You’ll hear from pastors, thought leaders, and everyday apprentices of Jesus, all hosted by John Mark Comer and produced by Practicing the Way. Each season will be released alongside a Practice – a four week long experience created by Practicing the Way, designed to integrate these ancient practices into your everyday life.
Logistics: Episodes are around 60-90 minutes and release Mondays during the podcast season. (Only one season has been released so far.)
Episodes to Get You Started: You’ll want to listen to every episode within a season. Listen to the first episode on the Practice of Prayer here
Kendra Note: This podcast and the spiritual formation practice it unpacks is unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere. It would be fantastic to work through in a group setting.
Verity by Phylicia Masonheimer
Podcast Description (in Their Words): The Verity podcast is hosted by author, speaker and public theologian Phylicia Masonheimer. Covering topics of faith and culture from a biblical perspective, through a historical lens, the podcast is designed to inspire you to ask better questions, go deeper in faith, and defend your beliefs with both grace and logic.
Logistics: Episodes are around half an hour long and release Wednesday mornings.
Episodes to Get You Started: 106 | How Do I Know I Am Truly Saved? // 104 | Bible Study for Your Learning Style // 101 Why Bother With the Church // 095 | How Do I Know I’m Interpreting the Bible Correctly
Kendra Note: Phylicia’s teaching is SOLID and engaging. I’m looking forward to reading her book on theology, which is sitting on my Kindle TBR.
Have you taken a careful look at the podcasts (or other media) you are allowing to shape you? Do you have any POSITIVE sources you would add to this list?