There’s never been more content in the world than there is right now, but the real question is: which content has helped you the most?
Here’s a second question: which content do you want to come back to again and again for personal study or study with your team?
Enter this list.
Here are the conversations that helped you thrive in 2018, as measured by the total number of times you downloaded them.
In leadership, having the right conversations can be the difference between success and failure, and between isolation and connection. That’s why podcasting continues to grow.
That’s why I started my Leadership Podcast a few years ago. 7 million downloads later, we’re just getting started.
As long-form content continues to explode in terms of popularity (The Joe Rogan Experience—the number one podcast in the world—has 2-3 hour episodes launching multiple times a week), my team and I work hard every week to cultivate the best conversations we can with today’s leading thinkers from the church and business space…some of them well known, others not so much.
What links them is conversations that I hope will help you thrive in life and leadership.
Want a curated approach to the top episodes every year? (P.S. I didn’t do this post in 2015…)
Looking ahead, I’m bringing you six episodes a month in 2019. It seems the appetite for solid, long-form content runs quite deep.In leadership, having the right conversations can be the difference between success and failure, and between isolation and connection. Click To Tweet
The Top Ten of 2018
And now, onto the podcasts you listened to most in 2018.
Each snippet below is just a brief introduction to the overall interview. Click on the links to read the full piece, and maybe bookmark or Evernote this post as a short guide to this year’s best episodes.
You can share it with your team for team discussion to see how you’re handling the top challenges church leaders are facing, or just keep it for personal reflection. And for episodes published starting in October 2018, we now have downloadable, searchable transcripts for every episode.
Subscribe to the podcast for free on your favorite platform. A new episode drops every Tuesday and twice at other random times during the month. Subscribers never miss one.
Here we go….
1. CNLP 217: Andy Stanley on How to Share Your Faith in a Post-Christian World, How to Respond to Your Critics, Overcoming His Judgementalism and the Irresistibility of Love
Andy Stanley outlines the argument he makes in his new book, Irresistible, and coaches leaders on how to have conversations with Christians who have walked away from their faith as well as atheists who have never believed.
Andy also talks about how he had to overcome judgementalism in his own faith journey and talks openly and honestly about the impact his critics have had on him and how to respond when you get criticized as a leader.
2. CNLP 173: Craig Groeschel Deconstructs His Approach to Preaching, Leadership, Success, The Future and More
3. CNLP 218: Francis Chan On Battling Pride and Fame, Why He Left His Megachurch, And His Airbnb Church Experiment
In a moving and passionate conversation, Francis Chan talks about why he left his megachurch in Simi Valley, how he’s battled both pride and fame and why both can be so dangerous, what he learned while living in Asia, and how he (accidentally) planted a radically different church in San Francisco that feels like the Airbnb of church.
4. CNLP 193: Clay Scroggins on How the Digital Disruption is Changing Everything For Churches and Businesses
There’s no question we’re undergoing one of the biggest transformations in history, but the digital disruption that’s happening around us every day has caught most church and business leaders off guard.
Clay talks about how large and small organizations are missing out on one of the greatest opportunities there is, and some ideas on how to respond.
Quote:A building can't create the boundaries of your ministry. Click To Tweet
Greg Atkinson returns to the podcast after a very popular first interview about how most churches lose guests within the first ten minutes of a visit. In case you missed it, check out Episode 132 and this blog post outlining how to lose a first time guest in 10 minutes or less.
In this conversation, Greg walks leaders through every element of a typical weekend service and helps them see what connects with guests and what makes them walk away, never to come back.
Quote:We have to strive for transformation, not information. - @GregAtkinson Click To Tweet
6. CNLP 181: Brad Lomenick on Trends in Church Attendance, Online Engagement, Cool Churches, and Isolation in Leadership
Brad Lomenick is back on the podcast and sits down with Carey Nieuwhof for a roundtable to discuss a number of trends in the church: church attendance, online engagement, the morphing of cool church, isolation in leadership and much more.
Quote:Cool doesn't mean that you're connected. - @bradlomenick Click To Tweet
7. CNLP 187: Tim Elmore on Anxiety in Young Leaders and Overcoming the Battles We All Face in An Increasingly Stressed World
Almost every leader under 40 feels it – the constant stress, anxiety and uncertainty we’re all plagued by.
Dr. Tim Elmore is a world-renowned expert on the issues facing today’s students and young adults. We dive into why so many young adults feel constant anxiety and uncertainty and how to deal with it, with strategies for young adults themselves and every leader who leads them.
Quote:We did a lot better job protecting the next generation than we did preparing them. - @TimElmore Click To Tweet
8. CNLP 184: Brian Houston on How to Attract the Top Leaders, Battling back From Burnout and The Personal Habits and Rhythms that Help Him Thrive
In a candid, personal and powerful conversation, Brian Houston talks about how Hillsong attracts and keeps great leaders, how he stays healthy as a leader, how he battled back from burnout a few years ago, and even shares his message prep process with us.
Quote:I want my ceiling to be the next generation’s floor. - @brianchouston Click To Tweet
9. CNLP 179: Rich Birch on the Church Growth Flywheel – The 5 Things Growing Churches Do That Most Others Don’t
Rich Birch has interviewed over 200 leaders from the fastest growing churches in the US, and he’s taken good notes. He’s boiled down their best practices to 5 common strategies almost every growing church uses and shows you how you can implement them in your church, too.
Quote:Just because something is growing doesn't mean you should criticize it. @richbirch Click To Tweet
10. CNLP 174: Jeff Henderson on the Dos and Don’ts of Marketing Your Church or Product and the Backstory to the #FOR initiative
Jeff Henderson was a marketing executive with Chick-fil-A and the Atlanta Braves before he started leading churches.
He opens his playbook and outlines the dos and don’ts of effective marketing and shares the backstory and strategy behind one of the most viral marketing campaigns in the church in years, the #FOR initiative that’s been adopted by hundreds of churches, businesses and even a politician.
Quote:The more people that can carry the vision, the more people that will cast the vision.-@jeffhenderson Click To Tweet
Got a Fave?
Thanks again for all the support and encouragement. My listeners are the most amazing people.
And thank you for almost 850 reviews on Apple Podcasts today, and for sharing the message with fellow leaders and friends.
In the meantime, any 2018 personal faves that didn’t make it into this list?
Scroll down and leave a comment.