Thom Rainer leadership podcast surpasses 1 million listeners

The "Rainer on Leadership" podcast is on pace to reach 1.2 million listeners this year, having reached a milestone in September when it surpassed 100,000 downloads per month.

LifeWay President and CEO Thom S. Rainer with Jonathan Howe, host of the podcast and operations director of, launched "Rainer on Leadership" in 2013. The podcast offers practical solutions for issues facing pastors and church leaders in the 21st century. Recent topics include dealing with staff conflict, multigenerational worship ministry, keys to a healthy church and how to make guests feel welcome.

The twice-a-week podcast, which has seen 265 percent growth over the past two years, was started as a companion to Rainer's blog at "We wanted to give a pastoral wakeup call to churches in North America," Rainer said. "You cannot deal with the issues until you understand the reality. We're able to share things in a pastoral way that not only lays out the issues but also offers solutions."

Rainer said he's been surprised by the diversity of churches represented. "The blog and podcast are reaching about 265,000 churches in the U.S., and they range in geographic region, denomination and size.", launched in 2012, receives more than 8 million views per year. For each of the past five years, the blog has reached readers from every nation in the world. The blog, like the podcast, is a solution-based resource. The most popular topic has been church guests. The podcast and blog have covered everything from what not to say to first-time guests, how to do effective follow-up and how to make a positive first impression.

"We want to be a sounding board for pastors. Much of our content comes from the feedback we receive from our listeners and readers," Rainer said. "In many ways, both the podcast and blog have become a friend of pastors and church staff."

Carol Pipes is a writer for LifeWay Corporate Communications.

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