They pastor in different parts of the country and have vastly different teaching styles, but according to the iTunes store's latest "Top 10 Podcasts - Religion and Spirituality" chart, Joel Osteen, Mark Driscoll, Timothy Keller and Charles Stanley are some of the most-listened to Christian ministers — both in the U.S. and abroad.
Top 10 Podcasts - Religion and Spirituality (U.S.) on iTunes:
- Joel Osteen Audio Podcast
- Mars Hill Church: Mark Driscoll Audio
- Timothy Keller Podcast
- Daily Radio Program with Charles Stanley
- Your Move with Andy Stanley Podcast
- The Village Church (Matt Chandler)
- The Potter's Touch (T.D. Jakes)
- Joyce Meyer TV Audio Podcast
- Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast
- Bethel Church Sermon of the Week (Bill Johnson)
An obvious stand-out on the list of top 10 religion and spirituality podcasts is Pastor Andy Stanley's "Your Move…" and "Leadership" podcasts both ranking in the lineup.
Also noteworthy is that podcast programs from Mars Hill Church, Joyce Meyer, Mars Hill Bible Church (founded by Rob Bell) and Bethel Church also appear on the "top 10" lists for religion and spirituality on the U.K., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Norway charts.
Based on the Nov. 21 list for the top podcast episodes in religion and spirituality, Osteen (four episodes) and Meyer (three episodes) dominate the list, although Chandler, Johnson and Brian Hardin (Founder of Daily Audio Bible) are featured as well.
Several years ago, when podcasts were still viewed as emergent, The Barna Group released a technology study that examined how the Christian community uses new or emerging technologies.
While Barna found that Christians were just as involved with and dependent upon digital technologies as was the general population, the nonprofit research group noted a marked difference when it came to podcasts.
"The study found that 38 percent of evangelicals and 31 percent of other born again Christians had listened to a sermon or church teaching via digital recordings available on the Internet (often called a 'podcast'), compared with 17 percent of other adults," The Barna Group report. "In macro-terms, an enormous audience of roughly 45 million Americans reports going digital to acquire church sermon and teaching content. In all, one out of every four adults — 23 percent — said they downloaded a church podcast in the past week."