Thomas Nelson's Jesus Calling podcast has reached a milestone of 500,000 subscribers in 18 months. The podcast features stories from readers of Jesus Calling and their compelling testimonies, provides insight into the lives and stories of remarkable people, celebrities, and leaders, and illustrates how spending time with the devotional has made a difference in people's lives. Previous episodes have secured the #1 position in the Religion & Spirituality category on iTunes. The podcast is also available on other platforms such as Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and more.
The podcast has attracted guests with diverse backgrounds. Well-known celebrities, country music stars, ministers, authors, nonprofit leaders, philanthropists, Gospel singers, songwriters, and so many more each have shared how Jesus Calling has made an impact on their faith. The 57 podcast episodes have had guests ranging from Reba McEntire and Amy Grant, to sports announcer Ernie Johnson, Jr., to stories of women who have overcome addiction and brokenness through ministries of love.
"The Jesus Calling podcast has exceeded our wildest dreams," said Michael Aulisio, vice president of marketing for gift books, Tommy Nelson children's books and new media at Thomas Nelson. "Fans anxiously await new episodes each week and it has become an impactful, inspirational, and entertaining showcase of our diverse community of Jesus Calling readers."
The Jesus Calling podcast featured one of its most recognizable guests this past week, when Kathie Lee Gifford shared her experiences with the devotional with listeners. Gifford, known for her longstanding career as a television host, singer, songwriter, comedian and actress, currently hosts the fourth hour of the TODAY Show alongside Hoda Kotb. Over the years, she has regularly shared her thoughts on how her faith has shaped her life, and reading all of Sarah Young's books (Jesus Calling, Jesus Lives, Jesus Today, Jesus Always, and Dear Jesus) is an ingrained part of her routine.
"[Sarah] makes faith so accessible for people," Gifford says in the episode. "It's not that she takes the mystery out of it for people; I think she takes the fear out of it, and she makes it so natural. 'Well, of course Jesus would talk to me this way. Well, of course Heavenly Father would say this to me.' She does it in such a profoundly scriptural way."
Gifford has given away more than 200 copies of Jesus Calling over the years and says, "No matter who I give this to-and it's been atheists, it's been Sikhs and it's been Scientologists, it's been broken-hearted Catholics, it's been confused Baptists, it's been every part of humanity that I give this out to-and every single one of them are reading it, and they say to me, 'Oh my gosh, what I read today, it was like exactly what I needed-like God was talking straight to me.'"
Future episodes will include interviews with Mark Batterson, Gloria Gaither, Max Lucado and Lisa Bevere, among others.
Contact: Stefanie Schroeder