June is an important anniversary month for me. I literally began work on Charisma in June 1975, although the first issue wouldn't be printed until August. Of course, that was long before the days of the internet. Now we are not only a print publication, but millions visit our websites every month, read our e-newsletters or even listen to our Audio Charisma. Then, five years ago this month, we began the Charisma Podcast Network (CPN). It began slowly with only 300,000 downloads in 2015, but after five years, we have more than 100 different podcast shows totaling nearly 35 million downloads.
Our very first podcast was me talking to Dr. Steve Greene, Charisma publisher and executive vice president of the Media Group, who first cast the vision for CPN. To reminisce and thank the Lord for the growth, I recorded a podcast with Dr. Greene talking about the vision and how the podcast network has allowed us to minister to millions in a way I would have never dreamed when Charisma began. I hope you enjoy listening to it. (By the way, you need to check out Dr. Greene's podcast "Greenelines," which has been one our most popular podcasts, with 4.6 million total downloads.)
One of our other big podcasts is "Exploring the Prophetic with Shawn Bolz," which has 4.5 million downloads, as well as the "Charisma News Podcast," which has been downloaded 11 million times. My own "Strang Report," which began slowly with only 14,000 downloads during the first year, is now at 4.8 million downloads. (Remarkably, 2.3 million of that total have been in 2020 alone.) With my interest in the upcoming elections, I started the "God, Trump and the 2020 Election" podcast in January, and it now has more than half a million downloads. (To learn more, check out my book of the same name on SteveStrangBooks.com.)
Why has the Charisma Podcast Network experienced such extraordinary growth? Much of it comes from the popularity of podcasting in general. It's a way listeners can download shows they want to hear and listen to them on their smartphones, often as they drive. Plus, as the Charisma Podcast Network has grown, it has added new podcast shows. People come to hear their favorite podcasts and discover new ones they like. As a result, new podcasts, like my friend Larry Tomczak's "Here's the Deal," has more than 329,000 downloads this year.
Of course, all our podcasts (including mine) are also on iTunes and all the podcast sites. But because they are clustered together on our own podcast network, it's easier to find Christian content, and that's why people come.
You can tell I'm excited about this. I'm especially excited that Rick Scarborough of the Joshua Podcast is beginning a brand-new podcast today called "Mixing Church and State God's Way." His podcast trailer shares the vision for his new podcast, and I encourage you to check it out. At the same time, check out our other podcasts and let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org. And while you're at it, leave a good review of the ones you like on iTunes.
The Charisma Podcast Network is just one more way Charisma is bringing attention to the work of the Holy Spirit and encouraging and challenging Christians to live empowered lives led by the Spirit of God.
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