’tis a new year. And being a new year, I thought it might be fun to introduce a new-and-occasional feature on the blog.
(Yes. It will be fun. You will like it. Don’t make me come back there.)
I call it Danny Recommends:, posts that tip you off to the stuff that I…well…that I recommend. The recommendations might be products for use in your ministry, resources that will help you develop leaders around you, or just fun stuff that you need. Want. Whatever. Yes, you can always see a constantly-updated list of books and such that I recommend over on the Reading List, but these posts will go into further detail.
And speaking of detail, I’ve said too much. This week’s recommendation is a list of my favorite podcasts. If I’m on my commute, doing some work around the house, or working on a project that doesn’t require much grey matter, you can bet I’ll have my phone fired up and a podcast going. Here are a few that are currently on the playlist (in no particular order):
Serial. Of course I have to mention Serial. Everybody and their dog knows the story of Adnan Syed. We know that Jay knew where the car was. We know that Ms. Gutierrez has an attorney’s cadence that would make Matlock punch a puppy. But Serial’s greatest claim to fame may be that it has hooked my talk-radio-hating-spouse. That’s right: Merriem listened to all 12 episodes of season one and the first three of season two on our recent road trip. No one was more surprised than I, but I’m glad to have her in the club.
Mystery Show. It’s Serial for the common man. Starlee Kine is the anti-Sarah Koenig, a delightfully quirky sleuth who solves “mysteries that you can’t solve online.” (Translated: mysteries that no one cares about but somehow, you’ll desperately care about.) Prepare for multiple rabbit trails that you won’t want to come back from.
5 Leadership Questions. My friends Barnabas Piper and Todd Adkins co-host this twice-a-week podcast, interviewing pastors, ministry leaders, and leaders in general from all walks of life. The gist is – wait for it! – five questions about life and leadership. I especially like it because Adkins curls up into a tiny ball whenever the topic of sports comes up. (We relate.)
99% Invisible. Roman Mars takes you on a quick journey through all things related to design. From check cashing stores to Manhattan’s Bowery Hotel, every episode helps you see the design behind the design. (The best thing that ever happened to this podcast was when it went from four minutes to twenty.)
The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill. Warning: nerds only beyond this point. If you love Disney history (not just Disney churros at Disney’s Magic Kingdom), you’ll love this one. Jim Hill has an eerily encyclopedic knowledge of a half century’s worth of conversations, high level meetings, and Space Mountain blueprints all stored in his skull. He and Len Testa will make you look at Disney as never before.
Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! You know the weekly NPR radio show. You also know that my wife has an aversion to talk radio while we’re in the car (see podcast recommendation #1). Pro tip: the Paula Poundstone episodes are the best.
Wingin’ It: the West Wing Podcast. The West Wing series will undoubtedly end up in a Danny Recommends: at some point in the future. It is, after all, the greatest television drama of our any generation. But for now, trust me when I tell you that listening to Andrea Howat and Sallie Gregory break down every episode is exactly what President Bartlet would have wanted.
The Michelli Experience. This is a podcast you can listen to while pulling out of your neighborhood, provided you have a medium sized neighborhood and you don’t take the speed bumps too fast. Michelli is the author of The Starbucks Experience (find that over on the Reading List) and in two to three minutes he’ll help you craft a better experience for those you serve.
Tick Tock. For slightly larger neighborhoods. Or maybe until you arrive at Starbucks. James and Sean talk about one productivity / marketing / media tool per episode, covering it in six to seven minutes. While they target entrepreneurs and startups, I regularly find tips that are helpful to my world. Some of their recommendations cost, but many are free. If you’re a productivity nut, you need this one. (Bonus tip: James just launched a podcast especially for church planters. I haven’t listed yet, but you might want to try it out.)
And while I’m at it, if you’re not using Overcast as your podcast player of choice, you’re wasting your time. Download that junk.
That’s my top ten. I’m sure I’m leaving out one of your favorites. What do you recommend? Comment below.