A roundup of some of the new podcasts released this year.
It seems 2023 has been the Year of the Podcast, with new offerings emerging almost every month from the Christian media community across Australia and New Zealand.
Here we give you a snapshot of just some of the podcasts to drop over the past 12 months or so, produced by a mix of radio stations, evangelistic organisations and individual creators. Follow the links to dive deeper and take a listen!
Capitalising on the runaway success of the hit TV series, #FollowingTheChosen is a podcast presented by Hope 103.2 screen critics Laura Bennett and Ben McEachen. Launched in March, it's aimed at fans and delves into every episode of the beloved TV show, starting from Season 3.
The presenters chat about “storylines, Bible bits, what’s been added, what should have been cut, and how often The Chosen makes us all grow in our Christian faith". It also features interviews with key cast and crew members.
This podcast needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Produced by Brisbane’s 96five, Mind Made Matter is an energetic, fascinating and highly listenable apologetics show, exploring the countless solid reasons for faith – delving into the worlds of science, philosophy, theology and culture. It’s beautifully produced with thinkery music beds, colourful segments, and a level of passion from presenter Ken Green (of 96five's Breakfast) that turns even the most lofty ideas into listener-friendly fun facts.
For the seeker, it’ll challenge and provide compelling answers to questions, doubts and misconceptions. For the believer, it will equip and make you even more sure of your faith.
Assuming dead elephants are those ‘elephants in the room’ that are the most starved of oxygen, The Dead Elephants Podcast lives up to its title: offering discussions about life’s awkward questions that Christians find it hard to talk about. Hosted by former Hope 103.2 Breakfast presenter Duncan Robinson, and pastor-author Chris Cippolone, the podcast was launched in February and tackles a compelling mix of hot-potato topics with honesty, courage and humour. In the words of Duncan, the show aims to delve into “that middle space that isnt a Sunday Sermon and isn’t necessarily a Facebook topic.”
Topics bravely covered in Season 1 include burnout, ageing, deconstruction, sex, ChatGPT, women in ministry, the Holy Spirit, gender dysphoria, gay weddings, euthanasia, anxiety, social media, greed, fantasy sports, depression, boring sermons, death, denominational tribalism, marijuana, toxic masculinity, when to leave a church, and modern dating!
The podcast also has its own Discord channel allowing listeners to enter the conversation with the hosts.
Launched in September by Rhema Media, Life in the In Between skips over life’s extremes, and instead dives into “the ordinary and everyday”. In an interview on Star FM, presenter Diane Campbell explained the premise: “In life we often talk about those really big moments, the mountain top experiences, or we talk about those really hard times that are really tough,” she said. “But most of our time is spent in that in-between space, just ordinary life, taking the kids to school, getting up, having breakfast… I thought, if we are going to spend most of our time in this space, how do we do it well?”
In each episode, Di heads out into the community to chat with guests in their homes and workplaces, exploring life’s deeper aspects, such as meaning, justice, chronic illness, spiritual rhythms, grief, and loving one another.
Hosted by seasoned interviewer Clayton Bjelan of 89.9 TheLight in Melbourne, Towards Understanding has just been launched by Positive Media, kicking off with discussions on The Voice referendum, and the ethical implications of AI technology. The show is an intelligent, thoughtful and absorbing listen, and promises “a mix of interviews based around the understanding and living out of Christian faith, and those just doing remarkable things in our world.”
While it’s a radio show first and foremost, (and one that’s generously made available to all Christian radio stations around the nation), each episode is also being released in podcast form.
Avid movie buffs Laura Bennett from Hope Media, and Russ Matthews from Reel Dialogue, are the hosts of this fortnightly ‘what-to-watch’ podcast. Its description promises help with sorting through the maze that is screen entertainment: “Between all the different streaming platforms and the blockbuster movies coming to cinema… we are spoiled for choice… Deciphering all the voices in entertainment, and how to think about the themes raised in movies, TV and streaming is tough: enter our new podcast The Watchlist.”
As well as reviews of recent releases, the pair also delve into cultural conversations such as the death of the rom-com, problems in the multiverses, the best franchises, gaming in cinema, whether screen awards are relevant, and much more.
Launched in October 2022, The YesHeIs Podcast forms part of the bold re-vision and rebrand being rolled out over the past 12 months at YesHeIs. It’s focused squarely on encouraging Christians to share their faith: “Talking to people about Jesus can feel weird—but it doesn’t have to,” says the podcast description. “If you want to feel confident sharing your faith, you’re in the right place!”
Episodes are between 20 and 60 minutes, with topics like ‘How did Jesus share the gospel’, ‘Why does sharing Jesus feel so awkward’, ‘Sharing the gospel in everyday moments’, ‘How to share your testimony’, ‘How to share Jesus with New Agers’ and more.
Following on from The Lord’s Prayer Podcast produced in 2022, comes this new Bible-based chat series from Hope 103.2 presenter Ben McEachen and theologian-author David Hohne. Released in September, The Psalm 23 Podcast explores the world’s most famous psalm and what it means for our lives, in a succinct three episodes. The episodes explore the meaning of Psalm 23 both before and after Jesus came to earth, with the third ‘Bonus’ episode being a summary of the entire book of Psalms.
In his podcast description Ben describes the conversations as sitting “somewhere between a sermon, Bible study and dinner party”.
If you’ve got a question about life that you’ve never had the courage to ask anyone, chances are that Sandy Oswald has heard your question before. She’s a counsellor, author and psychotherapist based in Brisbane and - in partnership with 96five - she presents the So Many Answers podcast. It aims to give answers to some of the most-asked-questions Sandy has heard in her three decades of therapy. She shares comforting wisdom on topics such as self esteem, offense and forgiveness, family relationships, depression, anxiety, pornography, guilt, disappointment, and the big one: the meaning of life.
In her 10-to-20-minute episodes Sandy also draws on her Christian faith, referencing scripture and the teachings of Jesus to help answer the questions of life.
Also in the psychology space, the Clergy Wellbeing Downunder Podcast is for pastors, ministry leaders, and those working in mental health. It’s hosted by Valerie Ling, a clinical psychologist in Sydney who does a lot of work with those in Christian ministry. This year Valerie completed her academic research into “burnout, psychosocial safety and leadership behaviour with Australian clergy”. The podcast promises to delve into not just the findings of her research, but practical solutions too, in conversation with experts and practitioners from around the world. It covers topics such as pastoral burnout and resignation, what it’s like working in parish HR, suicidality, and psychological safety in the church-workplace.
Rhema Media in Newcastle has just dropped its latest podcast titled How To: Market Your Church. It’s a practical series aimed at “senior pastors, ministry leaders and communications pastors who need to get the word out about their church but are often juggling other jobs, working with volunteers, have zero budget and are trying to work out which online platforms to prioritise.” It’s described as “the sweet spot where faith-based organisational experience and digital marketing collide".
Hosted by digital marketer and former church marketing staffer Jodie McEwen, the episodes feature guests who are expert in their fields. Topics include: ‘Does a church really need a brand?’, ‘How to get your church found online’, ‘Crafting digital strategies for hyper-local impact, ‘7 ways churches can leverage Christian radio’, and ‘Smart IT tips for churches’.
Another one for pastors and leaders, Engage All Ages was launched in February and is focused on fostering an all-generations approach to church ministry.
It’s presented by Intergenerate Australia and New Zealand, an organisation working to raise awareness of the importance of being more “intergenerational” within faith communities, believing we can do more together than alone.
Hosts Michael Stalley and Tammy Preston speak to experts from around the world about how the different generations can worship and do life together. Topics covered include moving beyond stereotypes, adapting your language and environment, and collaboration.