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Best Podcasts for Church Leaders

Here are the best podcasts for church leaders that I have found. 

Update: January 30, 2010.  

Here are some suggestions I gave a friend recently: 

  • Video podcasts: Meet the Press, This Week, Face the Nation, Reliable Sources, NBC Nightly News; Audio podcasts: Shields and Brooks. I know those are all politics but those are the ones I almost always listen to. T
  • Here are lots of other good ones that I listen to as well: Rob Bell Mars Hill; John Ortberg Menlo Park; Will Willimon; Mark Goodacre NT Pod; Harvard Business IdeaCast; Willow Creek; Andy Stanley North Point Ministries; BusinessWeek--Behind This Week's Cover Story; Catalyst Podcast; The Kindlings Muse; Neue; This American Life. 
  • iTunes U also has a treasure trove of good stuff--Duke, Stanford, Yale, Harvard, MIT. I love the "Recently Added" option in the left column of iTunes which tells me the latest podcasts that have been downloaded.

Original Post October 10, 2006

The ITunes links will only work if you have the free ITunes software installed on your computer.  See below for more directions.  I have also put the MP3 location for each link in case you don't want to bother with ITunes. 

Catalyst Podcast (ITunes): MP3 location.  The Catalyst Conference was this past weekend.  It is this cool conference for pastors under 40.  See my preview of it here.  There are good interviews with Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Andy Stanley, Eugene Peterson, and Donald Miller.

Defining Moments Podcast (ITunes): MP3 location. These are samples of the Willow Creek Association Defining Moments audio CD's.  They are good 10 minute interviews but really leave you wanting more.  And that is the point.  They want your church to become part of the WCA and then the pastor will get the full CD's.   

Emergent Podcast (ITunes): MP3 location.  The Emergent Village is the main organization of the Emerging Church movement.  These podcasts are usually just plain good theological discussion.  You will enjoy them even if you aren't "emerging."  The first seven are with Yale theologian Miroslav Volf. 

Mars Hill Bible Church (ITunes): MP3 location.  Rob Bell, of the NOOMA DVDs, Velvet Elvis author and author of spring 2007 book Sex God, has more people download his sermons than anyone. 

Mosaic (ITunes): MP3 location. Erwin McManus, author of The Barbarian Way, and numerous other books, and pastor of Mosaic in LA. 

MPPC Sermon-Cast (ITunes): MP3 location.  John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, and author of The Life You've Always Wanted and other books, is an outstanding teacher. 

North Point Ministries: Life Rules (ITunes): MP3 location.  This is a series on relating with one another.  This is with Andy Stanley, pastor of the #3 influential church in the nation according thechurchreport.com and author of the new book Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication. North Point only podcasts their most recent sermon series. 

Practically Speaking (ITunes): MP3 location.  This is a series for church leaders based on the Seven Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley and friends. 

Covenant Worldwide of Covenant Theological Seminary has thirteen classes that are podcast.  They actually have many more for free at their website here. Below are the ITunes links. 

  1. Old Testament History with V. Phillips Long (now at Regent College).
  2. Biblical Theology with Gerard Van Groningen.
  3. Life & Teachings of Jesus with Daniel Doriani.
  4. Life & Letters of Paul with Hans Bayer. 
  5. Ancient & Medieval Church History with David Calhoun.
  6. Reformation & Modern Church History with David Calhoun. 
  7. Calvin's Institutes with David Calhoun.   
  8. Christian Ethics with David Jones. 
  9. Apologetics & Outreach with Jerram Barrs.
  10. Youth Ministry with Mark Davis. 
  11. God and His Word with Michael Williams. 
  12. Humanity, Christ and Redemption with Robert Peterson. 
  13. Spirit, Church & Last Things with Robert Peterson.

See also my post about the best audio on the internet which is my most popular post. 

Other ITunes podcast links:

The below ITune links either aren't as strong as the ones above or are not directly related to church leadership.  But I thought I would place them anyway for your to see what is available and what I'm listening to.  The links below will only work if you have ITunes installed on your computer.  If you don't, I'm sure these MP3's are available but you will probably have to google them.  I don't want to take the time to find them right now. 

NYT Op-Ed Podcast (New York Times and other NYT is good.)
NPR (Anything at NPR.org or podcast is good. National Public Radio)
Moyers on America (PBS)
Nature (Science journal)
Science Talk: The podcast of Scientific American (Science journal)
Relevant Podcast (Relevant Magazine for Christians in 20's)
Jesus Asked (Book by Conrad Gempf; Zondervan, 2003. Read by the author in 15 minute segments.  "In the Gospels, when people asked Jesus a question, he often replied with one of his own. This book looks at the questions Jesus asked and how they can enrich our understanding and faith.")
PeterKreeft.com (Christian Catholic philosopher)
wiredparish.com (interview with Rob Bell is pretty good)
Willow Creek podcasts (not much there right now except a few random sermons)
Leadership Network  See my posts about listening to these video venue audio segments here.
Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Gordon-Conwell Chapel
Donald Miller a few posts from a while ago
BusinessWeek - Climbing the Ladder
Christian Audio podcast - Devotional Classics
Duke Chapel Podcast including Richard Hays and Walter Brueggemann
USA Today's Pop Candy - on pop culture

Here are some basic instructions to get you started using ITunes for podcasts. Itunes

Basically, you download ITunes here.  It is free.  I would recommend doing it.  You might as well learn what people are talking about and it is free and convenient to have ITunes download your MP3's for you. 

Basically, ITunes like Internet Explorer doesn't work unless you are connected to the internet. When you open ITunes and see the ITunes store, go to the right side of the page under "Quick Links" and click "Power Search."   On the next screen, click "Podcasts" which is on the right side of the page.  Under Title, put "Mars Hill Bible Church" and then click "Search."  You will have found the podcast for Rob Bell's church.  Click on Mars Hill Bible Church.  Then you can see the main page for the podcast.  At the bottom, all of the episodes are available.  If they are not in the right order, click on "Release Date" to have them organized from most recent to least recent.  You can either "Subscribe" at the top so that you get each new sermon as it is posted on the net each week or you can just click "Get episode" and download the past sermons that you want. 

You can click on "Podcasts" under Library on the left side of your screen.  This will show you all the podcasts which you have downloaded and subscribe to.  Right in front of the title of the podcast you have downloaded is a little triangle pointing right or down.  If it is pointing down, you can see all the details of what episodes you have downloaded.  If it is pointing right, the details are hidden.  When you click on the name of the podcast, it is highlighted and a little arrow appears to the right of the title.  You can click on this arrow to go to the ITunes home page for that podcast.  You right click on the icon of the podcast on its ITunes home page to get its ITunes link (url). 

If you want to get back to searching for more podcasts, just click on the left side of your screen where it says "ITunes store."  In the ITunes store, you can always click back to the ITunes front page by clicking the little house at the top of your screen. 

The podcasts you download are audio computer files called MP3's.  Podcasts are generally free.  You can also download audio books or songs but you have to pay for them. 

Unlike the Apple song files, you can play the podcast MP3's on any computer and MP3 player. You can also burn them on CD's and play them on some CD and DVD players. 

For convenience, you might want to be able to access your ITunes MP3's without ITunes.  Here is the default location where podcasts are downloaded to your computer:

C:\Documents and Settings\yourusername\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\Podcasts

If you want to make a shortcut, go to My Documents, My Music, ITunes, ITunes Music, Podcasts.  Then right click and click Create Shortcut.  Cut that Shortcut folder and paste it on your desktop. 

You can grab the MP3's there if you want to transfer them to your MP3 player or a CD.  I

You can double click the photo on this post to get a bigger photo of what my ITunes looks like. 

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