Daily Audio Bible, the revolutionary Scripture podcast, downloaded over 47 million times, is wrapping up its sixth year as one of the most-listened-to podcasts in the world. With over 1.5 million listens monthly, what started as a personal project with no global intentions has miraculously become one of the world wide web’s biggest success stories.
In late 2005, GRAMMY® and Dove Award nominated Christian music producer Brian Hardin (Larry Norman, Manic Drive, Jill Parr) woke up from a dream where he felt he should “podcast the Bible.” Podcasting was relatively new, and Hardin had never had a real passion for ministry, but he was unable to shake the idea.
“I hit a real wall in the music business several years ago when a record label I was working with declared bankruptcy,” Hardin recalls. “It rocked me deeply and led me to a true fork in the road of life. I was raised a Christian and even grew up a pastor’s son, but after 20 years in the music business, I was living a comfortable, semi-agnostic life. I didn’t really know God and felt an authentic relationship with Him wasn’t all that critical because everything was going so well, but after major financial loss I had real decisions to make. I could either throw ethics to the wind and do whatever it took to survive or actually give faith a fair play in my life, and the long and short of it is I stuck to my heritage, fully offered my life to the Lord and God provided in a real way.”
At the start of 2006, Hardin posted his name and email address and invited anyone to join him for the Bible readings, thinking that only a handful of people might take advantage of the service. After the first podcast, Hardin had 250 emails, and downloads exceeded 200,000 in the first six months. It was clear that Daily Audio Bible was resonating with a global audience.
“Along with the general awakening to God’s Word,” says Hardin, “there’s been an endless stream of emails from disenfranchised believers who have found a place of healing, disintegrating marriages that have found true restoration because of daily interaction with the Bible, those considering suicide who have found a reason to hope on and many who are bound by some sort of addiction but are finding a path to deliverance.”
Since the launch of Daily Audio Bible, Hardin attended seminary and become an ordained Anglican clergyman, and he interacts with listeners throughout a variety of public speaking engagements. In December, Christian publishing giant Zondervan will release Hardin’s debut book, PASSAGES: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You, which is designed to help readers learn that the Bible was meant to be read in bigger portions, in the way people read every other book, rather than the oneverseatatime method that nullifies the big picture of Scripture. This new, exciting method motivates readers to start a daily Bible reading program that can change their lives as they rediscover the joy—rather than the routine people often make it—of reading God’s Word.
“Before you start reading the Bible, you honestly have to put away your presuppositions about what the Bible is,” suggests Hardin. “It’s a story and not a manual, so when you start reading it in that manner, you start to find yourself in the pages, rather than looking for instructions about what not to do. Our faith as Christians is laid at the feet of this book and it contains everything we believe, but a lot of times people just know what they’ve heard at church or through sound bites instead of really digging in to see everything in context and why each verse is placed where it is. I’ve always believed that the Bible is the best friend you’ve never had. It’s honest with you, can cheer you on, tells you the truth, shares the counsel of ages and can change your life.”
Earlier this year, Hardin further enlarged Daily Audio Bible’s footprint with the opening of Wind Farm Café in Spring Hill, Tennessee, the very first permanent Daily Audio Bible community center that seeks to localize listeners and unite them in fellowship. In time, Hardin hopes to open additional locations to help bridge the gaps of distance between believers united by the unique ministry experience, while staying on neutral ground for those who haven’t felt welcome in traditional church settings.
“The business of music taught me to multi-task.” explains Hardin. “All of the giftings I previously used for commercial purposes have been brought into play with my current direction and it’s shaped a beautiful symmetry that’s also very creatively fulfilling. And most importantly, it really is a family affair, with my wife and children all participating at some level and being endlessly supportive as we seek to spread the Word through so many different arms of this ministry.”
For more information about the Daily Audio Bible, visit www.dailyaudiobible.com.