One of the hardest things about guiding our kiddos in their spiritual development is when we feel like we’re living on empty. There’s a million reasons that get us feeling that way- lack of sleep, lack of community, lack of spending time in Scripture or communication with God– and sometimes, at least for me, it can be because of a lack of interesting spiritual discussion.
We’re all wired totally differently, so some of you are probably thinking, “What is she talking about?” but for others of you, you totally GET ME. When I learn something new about God, my faith is strengthened. When I get into a deep conversation about some tricky or important faith issue, my faith is strengthened. I don’t know WHY, it’s just how I am. Thinking leads to a worshipful heart.
Things like intensive Bible studies are vital to me. Friends that like to wrestle with deep faith issues and ask lots of questions are vital to me. Communities that get and can celebrate my need for mental wrestling are vital to me. Worship songs that are profoundly theological are vital to me. Sermons that go the extra mile are vital to me.
I’ve moved around enough to know that I don’t always get the things that are vital handed to me on a silver platter. Sometimes I have to get creative about how to find these things. I’ve learned that if I don’t, my soul begins to wilt a little (or a lot), as well as my energy to pastor my kids.
Podcasts have become a really important piece in this puzzle for me. I can tune in anytime, from anywhere, to listen to conversations that feed my soul.
Here are the podcasts that have been helpful to me in this piece of my faith journey. The first three are my regulars (i.e. I listen to most of the episodes), but the last two are more hit/miss. I will just listen to what sounds interesting to me.
I came across this one upon recommendation of my good friend, Scott. When I first listened to it, I was on a 5 hour road trip to pick up cookies for my SIL’s baby shower, and I basically listened to this nonstop. Each week, host Shane Blackshear interviews an interesting Christian author/activist/thinker. I have yet to hear a less than stellar episode.
When I listen to the Liturgists Podcast, I nearly always say to myself, “I need to find some friends like this!” I love their banter, their honesty, and their unique way of viewing the world. While I don’t always agree with their perspectives, I’m SO thankful for the way they share their faith and how important the intellect is to them. Listening to them makes me laugh, makes me think, and makes me feel really normal.
This one includes one of my IRL friends, JR Forasteros. He teams up with 2 other pastors to teach the Bible in short, 20 minute bites. They are great teachers, funny people, and they love Jesus. The 20 minute format is EXCELLENT. You even get homework.
I graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary, so I’m obviously biased towards this one. Each week we get a short, 5-7 minute piece of theology from one of the staff at Asbury. I had an incredibly positive experience there and have a deep respect for the professors. They love God, are incredibly committed to the Scriptures, and are as equally as committed to loving and serving people. This wins in my book!
I’m on again, off again with this one. I loved it in my 20s, walked away from it for awhile, but have started coming back to it here and there. I don’t think I’m the target audience (I’m 32 with 4 kids!), but there have been some great episodes that have been insightful and thought-provoking.
How about you, what podcasts are nurturing your soul these days?