“Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
Romans 10:17, NIV
When we talk about ways to cultivate our faith, a lot of it centers on hearing the message about Jesus. This can happen in a ton of different ways. In fact, even as a part of an average Suncrest weekend worship experience, we have an opportunity to do this. We experience the word about Jesus through songs we sing. We experience the message of Jesus through sharing in experiences like communion together. And of course, we get a chance to hear God’s word shared each week through teaching from people like Greg, campus pastors, Bobby, Beka, Brendon, and others who share from time to time on the weekends.
For me, a key to cultivating my relationship with Jesus always lies in making sure that my mind is filled with the truth of God’s word. It’s kind of cool to see how as I continually get into the habit of hearing the message about Jesus that I really “marinate” on it throughout my day, or even throughout my week. And one of the ways I get to do that on a regular basis is as simple as using the Podcast app on my phone to listen to some messages online.
Depending on the type of smart phone you have, the process of actually getting podcasts is different. But if you head to your phone’s version of the App Store and type “Podcasts,” chances are very high you’ll have plenty of great apps at your disposal. If you have a device that runs iOS (like me), I recommend download Apple’s podcast app, simply entitled “Podcasts.” It automatically ties to the Podcast Store in iTunes, which has an extraordinarily high variety of podcasts available for you to subscribe to or actually download onto your phone.
Again, the process for getting podcasts is generally different depending on what app you use. But it’s made to be simple and easy for you to do (if you’re having trouble, ask your “go to” tech help person and chances are that they can probably help you out). Below I’m going to list some great podcasts for you to check out that have some consistently good message material that’s great to really help you hear the message about Christ. Listen on your way to work, while working out at the gym, or maybe even throughout the week as a part of your “quiet time” with God to learn and grow. Message podcasts have definitely spurred some great thought and growth for me, and I hope that they will for you, too!
Here are ten great selections to start you off. Do all ten, pick one or two, your choice. And of course, there are some great ones that didn’t make the list! (Share some if you want in the comments section!)
1. North Point Community Church (Andy Stanley): Many of you experienced Andy’s teaching in our Guardrails small groups last fall. He’s an engaging, practical, helpful communicator and a good guy to listen to… probably my favorite guy to hear teach. Also check out the Your Move with Andy Stanley podcast for some more great material from Andy.
2. Cross Point Church Audio (Pete Wilson): Some of you remember our all church study with Plan B a few years ago. That was Pete. He’s a guy that really speaks well to the emotions we are all feeling and encourages us to take some practical, Scriptural next steps in growing in our relationship with God.
3. LifeChurch.tv Audio (Craig Groeschel): Craig is just your average guy. For those of you men who may not be huge fans of the “preacher type” guy, this would be an awesome place to start.
4. Saddleback Church Weekend Messages (Rick Warren): Rick is the pastor of Saddleback Church in Orange County, CA. He’s also the best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life (recently republished as What on Earth Am I Here For?). Super application-oriented and easy to follow.
5. Elevation Church: Charlotte, NC (Steven Furtick): If you like energy, Steve’s your guy. He’s just a good ol’ southern boy, preachin’ the gospel. If you wish Suncrest was more of an “AMEN!” kind of church, this is your podcast.
6. Timothy Keller Podcast: This is for the bigger “thinkers” among us; Tim is the pastor at a church located in downtown Manhattan and is critically-acclaimed for his extremely thoughtful approach to Christianity and incredible desire to engage cities with the gospel in every way possible.
7. Menlo Park Presbyterian Church Sermon-Cast (John Ortberg): It’s hard to walk into any Christian bookstore and not see the name John Ortberg plastered everywhere. He’s a great thinker and writer who captures the Christian faith beautifully for all of us.
8. Parkview Christian Church Podcasts (Tim Harlow): Parkview is a church based out of Orland Park that’s doing some really cool things (we stole our original spontaneous baptism idea from them like three years ago). Tim’s a great communicator who does a good job of challenging you while also offering grace and helping us think about what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
9. Crossroads Church Audio (Brian Tome, Chuck Mingo): This was my “home church” for a time when I lived in Cincinnati. I loved this place, and both Brian and Chuck are really dynamic communicators who have a heart to lead those who may have given up on church, but not on God. If you feel like you’re starting at “square one” spiritually, this is a great podcast to listen to.
10. Willow Creek Community Church Weekend Podcast (Bill Hybels): Finally, one last local selection to finish off. Bill is in my top 3 communicators and I love listening to him. But even more, I love his heart to follow Jesus and to reach those far from Christ. Those both come out in a huge way in his teaching.