Christianity has embraced podcasting, and this has revolutionized how people can hear the Word of God. Now, your church doesn’t have to be the one down the street – it can be any church you choose, even if you never set foot inside the actual building. You can simply download the podcast of whatever church appeals to you, and listen to sermons on your phone, laptop or tablet device. Best of all, the podcasts are free and you can listen to them on your own schedule.
Here are some of the top Christian podcasts:
1. Crosspoint Church with Pete Wilson
Located in Nashville, Tennesse, Crosspoint Church aims to be a church for everyone. The church motto is “Everyone’s welcome because nobody’s perfect, but we believe that anything’s possible.” Crosspoint aims to be culturally relevant when talking about God’s timeline message.
Originally founded in Nashville in 2002 by Pete and his wife Brandi, today Crosspoint is a multi-state church with a large online presence. They reach over 5,000 people each weekend across their five campuses, as well as countless others through their podcasts. New podcasts are available every few days, and they make the podcasts especially entertaining through the use of music, sound effects and radio-play style drama. They currently have 120 podcasts available, going back to 2012 (with an additional podcast from 2002).
2. Northpoint Church with Andy Stanley
If you’ve watched Saturday Night Live in recent years, you might be familiar with Andy Stanley. His show, Your Move with Andy Stanley, airs after SNL. His ability to appeal to such a wide, secular audience is a testament to how engaging he is.
Stanley presents clear messages about common problems and temptations. He’s funny, energetic and offers practical advice. He’s the founder of North Point Ministries, the founder of InTouch Ministries, and a senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Atlanta. Northpoint is the second largest church in the country.
Stanley offers a wealth of material online. Every week, he puts up a new 25-minute podcast, and there are archives of over 80 podcasts going back several years. The podcasts cover a wide variety of topics, so you can easily find something of interest to you. He promises to teach you how to make better decisions and live a life of fewer regrets.Download the Northpoint Church Andy Stanley podcasts here.
3. Woodlands Church with Kerry Shook
Woodlands Church was founded in 1993 by eight people, including Pastor Kerry Shook. Today, the church has grown to multiple sites, with an average attendance of 18,000 every weekend.Woodlands believes church should be “The Best Hour of Your Week,” and strives to provide an entertaining sermon which grabs the listener’s attention. His podcasts are based off his Sunday sermon, so roughly four are available for each month, going back to the start of 2013.
Shook and his wife, Chris, are the authors of One Month to Live: 30 Days to a No-Regrets Life and One Month to Love: 30 Days to Grow and Deepen Your Closest Relationships, both of which are New York Times Bestsellers. Additionally, their television ministry broadcasts to all 50 states and over 200 countries.Download the Woodlands Church podcasts here.
4. Southeast Christian with Dave Stone and Kyle Idleman
Southeast Christian has very humble beginnings. On July 1, 1962, a collection of 58 people met in the basement of Goldsmith Elementary School in order to talk about God. Today, however, Southeast Christian is one of the largest churches in North America, with an average weekly attendance of 21,000.
If you don’t live near Louisville, Kentucky, you can still listen to their popular sermons via Podcast. Over four years of sermons are available for free online. You can hear for yourself why Senior Pastor Dave Stone and Teaching Paster Kyle Idleman are so popular.
5. New Hope O’ahu with Wayne Corderio
You’ll want to attend services at New Hope O’ahu personally if you can – they’re located in the beautiful paradise of Honolulu, Hawaii. However, if you can’t make it in person several years of sermons are available online.
The New Hope O’ahu Church is all about "ohana", which is Hawaiian for “family.” They connect the interconnectedness required among those living on an island to the interconnectedness we all share with God. While their average weekend attendance of 11,500 is impressive, the 3,000 people who attend weekly service entirely online is perhaps more impressive. This is a church which knows how to spread the gospel in an entertaining way. In fact, Outreach Magazine called them one of the “top five churches to learn from.”
6. Crossroads Church with Brian Tome
Pastor Tome believes that “everybody wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves.” He’s certainly on to something – according to Outreach Magazine, Crossroads is the twenty-first largest church in the country.Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, Crossroads was founded in 1995 as a place to “bring your friends, minus the church lingo, bad coffee and kum-ba-yah.” Today, his plain engaging message is available online. Crossroads church has one of the largest collections of podcasts available, going back over four years.
7. Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram
Chip Ingram started in 1995 as a radio minister in Santa Cruz, California. By 2011, his radio ministry could be heard on 850 stations, including stations across many Middle Eastern and Russian countries. His second radio program, Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, can be heard on Sirius XM Radio. He is the senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California.
Ingram has a gift for sermonizing over the radio. He often tells stories of his own life. Ingram was not born into a religious household, and only discovered Christianity as a young man traveling the world as a member of three different college basketball teams. He has only recently made his sermons available in podcast form, so there aren’t a huge number available right now, but they are being updated every Sunday. These podcasts are a great introduction to a Christian radio legend.
8. The Village Church with Matt Chandler
Matt Chandler knows podcasting. In October 2012, his podcast was among the top five most listened to podcasts on iTunes. Today, he offers over 50 full length podcasts from recent years.
Chandler is the lead pastor of teaching at The Village Church. This Dallas-Fort Worth megachurch consists of four campuses: Flower Mound, Denton, Dallas Northway and Fort Worth. Recently, with the arrival of Chandler, the church has switched to all-male leadership.
Chandler has published two well-known books. The first, The Explicit Gospel, helps clarify the gospel and its implications. The second, Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church is about the gospel’s real world impact on “all the church is and does.”
9. Victory Church Tulsa / Oklahoma City with Paul Daugherty
Pastor Paul Daugherty has only been a pastor at Victory Church since May, 2014, but he’s been an attendee since birth. His father Billy Joe Daugherty founded the church 33 years ago in Tulsa. It grew to become one of Tulsa’s largest churches, with over 14,000 members.
Tragically, in 2009 Pastor Billy Joe died from cancer. His wife continued on as senior pastor until May, when she named her son the new lead pastor. Son Paul is 28, the same age his father was when he founded Victory. A graduate of Oral Roberts University, Paul has begun podcasting his sermons. There aren’t many available yet since Paul just started with Victory, but the podcasts are updated every Sunday.
10. Willow Creek with Bill Hybels
This South Barrington, Illinois, church is the home of the Global Leadership Summit. This year, the summit will be held August 14 and 15, and will be headlined by actor/director/writer Tyler Perry. Previous headliners include Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Condoleezza Rice and Bono. This is a widely popular annual event which reaches 80,000 people both in person or online. Organized by the WCA, it’s designed to help Christian leaders navigate their organizations amid a culture which views Christians with distrust.
Pastor Hybels has also recently written a new book, Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul. It’s about the challenges everybody faces in finding moments of quiet reflection in a world where everything is available 24/7.
There’s a lot going on at Willow Creek. If you’re unable to visit one of their churches yourself, you can still listen to their podcasts. They have an incredibly vast library of Sunday sermons which go all the way back to 2008.Download the Willow Creek podcasts here.
11. NewSpring Church with Perry Noble
This Christian Baptist megachurch in Anderson, South Carolina, has been around since January 2000. Today they’re ranked as the second fastest-growing church in the United States. This growth can be attributed in large part to their massive and popular youth outreach program.
On August 5, 2014, they held their ninth annual youth program, The Gauntlet. This event, open to both members and non-members, is a mass baptism and fun Christian party. This year, 733 teens were baptized, a record number for the event, which was first held in 2006. This year also saw another record set in the church, when attendance at a Sunday sermon reached 43,341. Their podcast captures the fun of their live sermons, with sermons available going back to 2012.
12. Cypress Church with Mike McKay
Located in Cypress, California, this inter-generational, neighborhood church is welcoming to all. They’re especially well-known for their sevenEaster services.
Pastor McKay brings the same neighborhood feel to his podcasts. Even if you don’t live near Cypress, you’ll be able to feel the small town values of this friendly church. Over two years of Sunday sermons are available online.
13. Lifepoint Church Lewis Center with Dean Fulks
Lifepoint is an energetic church with many opportunities for kids, teens and college students. They have an on-going #anewselfie campaign where the church members tag themselves having fun throughout the summer, and some are picked as a “selfie of the week” throughout the season.
There are also many programs for college students who want to meet up. Lifepoint offers two campuses -- Lewis Center and Mount Vernon. There are always youth oriented events going on. For students who don’t live close to either campus, there is still interaction to be had online.
There are 50+ podcasts available, going back over the last few years. Many of the podcasts combine faith-based teachings by using pop culture as a relatable entry-point. For instance, sermon titles include “Catching Fire” and “The Hobbit.”
14. The City Church with Judah Smith
Lead pastor Judah Smith has found an unlikely source of fame: he’s a source of encouragement for Justin Bieber. In May, 2014 Bieber attended a service at The City Church, and later tweeted out a photo of himself and Judah. He also tweeted out a message with the hashtag #Jesusis.
Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human is Smith’s book. The book examines Jesus by examining various sentences which begin with the phrase “Jesus is…”. He examines Jesus beyond how most people initially see him, exploring somber periods, happy periods, casual moments and more. Smith delivers his sermons in a cool, modern way, and really connects with a younger crowd. He offers over 45 podcasts, some in multi-parts. They’re all recorded live from the weekend services.
15. The Rendezvous with Rich Wilkerson, Jr.
Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. has a very unique claim to fame: he officiated the wedding of Kim Kardashian and Kayne West. He knew the couple from two years prior, when they arrived unannounced into The Rendezvous, Wilkerson’s young adult ministry. Kim and Kanye were impressed with what they saw and have returned to the church on subsequent visits to Miami.
Rich and his wife DawnChere are young, energetic and very popular among the youth of Florida. His podcasts have also been popular with young people around the world. The sermons present faith based ideas in a modern format, with titles such as “Pain and Gain” and “Close Encounters.” There are 100 podcasts, from very recent all the way back to podcasts from 2011.
16. The Church at Brook Hills with David Platt
Dr. David Platt and his family have served the Church of Brook Hill since 2006. They were brought to Birmingham following damage to their home in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He is the author of three New York Times Bestsellers. The first is Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. The follow-up to that book is Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God. Finally, his most recent book, released in 2013, is Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live. He also recently founded Radical.net, which is dedicated to the process of making disciples of all nations.
The Church of Brook Hills is also known for their Secret Church program. This is an intense six hour Bible study. The goal is to equip the students with the tools to go out and teach others about God’s Word. They offer over 300 podcasts, from very recent all the way back to 2009. It’s a very large selection rivaling just about every other Christian podcast in terms of volume. The Church of Brook Hills strives to truly make a difference in the world among the poor, the lost and the needy.
17. Westerville Christian Church with Greg Bondurant
Westerville Christian Church is a very welcoming church. There’s no dress code, and the sermons include contemporary music, communion, biblical teaching and a time for prayer. This fun, informative presentation is easy to feel even from their podcasts.
Westerville is an independent, non-denominational Bible believing church. They’re located in Westervile, Ohio, a suburb of the capital in Columbus and offer over 100 podcasts with recorded live sermons dating back to 2011.
18. Lakewood Church Houston with Joel Osteen
If you’re a Christian, chances are you’ve heard of Joel Osteen. His Houston-based Lakewood Church has the largest congregation in the United States, with an attendance of over 43,000 each week. Additionally, the ministry is seen by over 20 million people monthly on TV.
Certainly not a bad accomplishment for a church which started in an abandoned feed store! Much of their success can be attributed to Joel Osteen’s friendly and engaging style. He delivers God’s message in a friendly, straight-forward style, focusing more on moral messages and less on specific passages of Scripture.
If you enjoy Joel Osteen, you’ll enjoy his podcasts. His weekly sermons are available for about 30 days, so the four most recent sermons are always there. While there are plenty of ways to hear Joel Osteen’s message, his podcast is a great way to do so on your own timetable.
19. Potter’s House of Denver with Dr. Chris Hill
Potter’s House of Denver is inspired by the famous Potter’s House of Dallas, led by Bishop T.D. Jakes. Jakes is known as an author and frequent television personality, including numerous appearances on The Dr. Phil Show. Potter’s Dallas has no financial backing of Potter’s Denver.
Nonetheless, Bishop Jakes is a mentor to Dr. Christ Hill and serves on the board to Potter’s Denver. The goal of both churches is the same: a loving environment where people can come together to learn about God. The congregation is fairly evenly split among young and old, men and women, and single and married. The church is always welcoming to minorities.
Dr. Hill describes his speaking styles as “a little Chris Rock and a dash of Richard Pryor, without the cussing.” Dr. Hill also discusses a wide variety of themes, from scripture to how to overcome specific phobias. He includes a variety of guest speakers, too, who speak on inspirational themes in a humorous, yet powerful way.
There are over 25 podcasts available. Many of them are designed to overcome fears, even very specific fears such as arachnophobia and claustrophobia. There are also sermons devoted to relationship advice, as well as how to prosper in all areas of your life.
20. Saddleback Church with Rick Warren
Rich Warren and his Saddleback Church, the seventh largest church in the Unites States, are both famous the world over. Warren has been on countless television programs, gave the invocation at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration and has written eight bestselling books.
He’s perhaps most famous for one of those books, The Purpose Driven Life, which was published in 2002. The book outlines a plan for a 40-day spiritual journey, where Christians learn how to apply traditional principles from the Bible to modern living. The Purpose Driven Life has sold over 30 million copies, making it the second most translated book in the world, with the first being the Bible.
Warren has a series of sermons from 2007 available as podcasts. If you’re a fan of Warren or The Purpose Driven Life, this older material might actually be new to you. The messages are certainly timeless.
21. Immanuel Baptist Church with Ron Edmondson
Located in Lexington, Kentucky, Immanuel Baptist is very welcoming to new members. You’ll be greeted by a “First Impressions” team so you don’t have to wander around lost when you come in. This same attitude extends to their podcasts. They offer 30 podcasts from the past two years, most of them involve their core church concepts of giving and serving others. They also offer a six part Christmas podcast.
The main services are led by pastor Rod Edmonton, who has over a decade of experience as a pastor and 30 years of experience as a small business owner. Of particular interest to young people is the Con*nect program, which caters to people in the twenties, thirties, newlyweds and young families. Led by Bill Ellis, Con*nect allows young people to meet and discuss issues of faith which directly impact their lives. Immanuel Baptist has a very active online presence. Aside from their podcasts, their website also offers video of sermons, as well as a lot of interactivity between church members.
22. Coral Ridge Presbyterian with W. Tullivan Tchividjian
Coral Ridge has always been very accessible to residents of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The church was founded in 1978 by D. James Kennedy, and was almost immediately on local television as The Coral Ridge Hour. The audience for The Coral Ridge Hour grew, eventually reaching over three million viewers.
The Coral Ridge Hour ended after Kennedy passed away in 2007. In 2009, however, the church experienced a revitalization with the introduction of new pastor W. Tullian Tchividjian, who happens to be the grandson of Billy Graham.
Tchividijian is featured on many of the over 250 available podcasts, but so are a variety of other pastors including Steve Brown, Scotty Smith and Zac Hicks. The podcasts are usually a multi-part examination of a scripture-related or general interest topics.
The Coral Ridge Hours has had a long tradition with a Rufatti pipe organ. Over 50 years! Today, Tchividijian has found great success switching the pipe organ to a more contemporary style of music. Samuel Metzger, the organist from 2003 through 2009, had released several CDs on the organ. Several other talented musicians have played the organ over the years. Chelsea Chen is now the official Organist and Artist in Residence at the church.
23. First Orlando Baptist with Dr. David Uth
The First Orlando Baptist is one of the country’s largest Protestant churches with over 14,000 weekly attendees. With a 130 acre campus, there is always a lot going on, including services for infants and senior citizens. There are also both traditional and contemporary worship services.
Located in Central Florida, First Orlando is accessible to the entire community, offering language ministries in Spanish, Brazilian, Haitian, Russian, Asian and American Sign Language. Dr. David Uth is one of the main draws of the church. He speaks powerfully about his struggles in life, including when he badly damaged his ankle and found God again after years of straying from a Christian path. The First Orlando Baptist church has a ton of podcasts available including every Sunday sermon since 2010.
24. Church of the Highlands with Chris Hodges
Pastor Hodges doesn’t believe structures and programs should get in the way of a person’s connection to God. The Church of Highlands, located in Central Alabama, has a simple focus and a relaxed atmosphere. They welcome all people, and have a very “come as you are” style. There’s no need to dress up for this church.
Their services encourage you to come in, sit down and check things out – and this philosophy applies to their podcasts too. They feature 10 podcasts from 2013, all in the same direct, easy-going style as their church sermons. Chris Hodges founded the church in 2001 and remains senior pastor.
25. The Exchange Church with Trey & Carrie Rose
When married couple Trey and Carrie Rose felt called in 2003 by the Lord, they knew that they could ignite a congregation. The Exchange Church, located in Round Rock, Texas, is under the leadership of the couple who have 19 years of service. The church mission is that "It’s time to ignite a global revolution" and that’s what the Rose’s and their congregation are doing week after week. Podcasts are available on iTunes going back 4 years, dating September 2010.
The church stresses the growth and spiritual development of it’s members. On the church website, they stress relationships saying, “The Exchange believes every person should live out this core value by engaging in a lifegroup and ministry team.”
No matter what types of sermons you’re interested in, you can find something you like, and for free. Christian podcasts are a great way to discover new pastors and new ideas, as well as catch up on classic sermons from Christian leaders you may already be aware of. When you add in the ability to listen to sermons at whatever time is convenient for you, you should find plenty of ways to develop and explore your faith.