Beating out news, commentary, and other mainstream podcasts, The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz) podcast has taken the top spot in Apple's All Podcast List to start the year.
The Catholic group which runs the Bible study podcast, Ascension Presents, became the most popular podcast for Apple users at the beginning of this year--by taking the number 1 spot in the U.S. podcast charts.
The podcast began in 2020 with airing only three episodes. This year, they officially kicked off the podcast show and have been consistently posting ever since the year started. In an episode that runs for 25 minutes, listeners of the podcast can hear the minister read different Scriptures and afterwards share his own input on the theological and historical context of the teachings.
Listeners from Apple podcast have listened to the first few chapters of Genesis and some passages coming from Psalms. Chapters from Job and Proverbs have been shared as well, giving more chances to people listening to the Word of the Lord.
The podcast is hosted by Friar Schmitz, who is a well-known Catholic priest who is in charge of the young adult ministry in the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota. He has been a popular figure in the young adult ministry with his understanding tone. The podcast has amazingly beat out the New York Times' podcast "The Daily" which only landed at number two, equal with the popular political commentator Ben Shapiro and "The Joe Rogan Experience."
Aside from The Bible in a Year, different faith-based podcasts have been rising up the podcast charts--showing how much people are in need of the Word of God and thus tuning in to different podcasts.
"People long for clarity beyond the sound bites, for a reality that is meaningful and soul-filling, for an answer to the ache we feel for peace and stability amidst suffering and turmoil," National Review reporter Alexandra Desanctis shared.
A faith-based podcast made by D-Group, shortened for discipleship group, landed at the 33rd spot on the same list of the most popular podcasts. Entitled "The Bible Recap," listeners are treated to an experience which consists of summaries of the Scriptures--to pique the attention and interest of the listeners. The podcast in itself lasts only for six minutes.
YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald said in a statement that "This has been a challenging year with many people facing devastating loss, loneliness, and fear." This shows how people turn to the Word of the Lord when they are confused, thankful, and in doubt.
The application released a report that revealed that Isaiah 41:10 was the verse that was bookmarked, highlighted, and shared the most by the app users. The verse reads ""Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."
YouVersion saw an increase in Bible reading as 43.6 billion Bible chapters were read while 7.5 billion audio chapters were played.