Faith-based podcasts have become an integral niche within this market as they allow followers to gain a comprehensive and detailed overview of a collection of pivotal teachings. Data from Messiah University informs us that 41% of podcast listeners earn an average income of over $71,000 a year, indicating that this medium is incredibly popular with educated and wealthy individuals. In turn, Netinfluencer will go on to discuss Follow Him, one of the most crucial platforms in the religious podcast niche.
The Creators Behind the Podcast
First founded in December 2020, the Follow Him podcast was created to help those affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints upkeep their study rituals and ensure they fully understand the teachings of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Hosts Dr. Henry ‘Hank’ Smith and John Bytheway, use this platform to make religious teachings fun and enjoyable for their vast number of listeners.
Hank Smith is well recognized for his wealth of fundamental religious texts such as Living the Parables, making him a key figure within the inner circles of his faith. Smith has also dedicated a large section of his life to education, earning a Master’s Degree from Utah State University. He now shares his knowledge with other driven students, acting as Assistant Professor from BYU.
The Follow Him podcast is also hosted by John Bytheway, a fellow author and BYU alumni. Bytheway also works in various academic fields, sharing his adoration of the Book of Mormon with students across Brigham Young University as well as BYU Salt Lake Center. When he is not focusing on his faith, he can be found devising non-medicated sleep aids for those suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Themes and Topics Covered
This podcast acts as an accompanying study resource for many Mormons, helping them to extend their knowledge of their faith as well as the stories associated with it. Each episode focuses on a different chapter within the religious text, drawing the viewer’s attention to the main figure within that respective chapter. The first episode of this podcast pulls upon Dr. Anthony Sweat, a prolific Mormon author, and teacher. Alongside the hosts, Sweat delves into the intricacies of the Doctrine and Covenants and how its history can alter our understanding of the entire religious text. The trio of educators also use this episode to give more context to this chapter and how it can help modern Mormons extend the value of each teaching in their everyday lives.
The Follow Him podcast also uncovers the mysteries surrounding Christmas and whether Jesus’ birth relates to his burial in a tomb. This episode is separated into two parts and also relies on Dr. Jeffery Chadwick to help listeners fully understand the significance of these events. Chadwick uses his time on this podcast to observe these events from an entirely unique approach, analyzing whether a collection of alluring archaeological findings can give us more information about the life of Jesus Christ. The hosts also describe Christ’s impact on ancient housing traditions in the Levant and how these archaic methods relate to the modern citizens of this vast region. Chadwick is also an acclaimed American Archaeologist, giving him key insight into Jersuelam’s foundation as well as the lifestyles of contemporary citizens.
Dr. Barbra Gardener also appears on this podcast, showcasing her expertise in educational leadership and religious foundation to help listeners understand God’s expectations. Dr. Gardener appears in two episodes, both of which discuss the Book of Malachi and its recurring themes of love, justice, and redemption. Together with Smith and Bytheway, this co-host unravels a wealth of complex teachings and presents them in a much more succinct fashion. As such, listeners are free to interpret these teachings at their own pace, extending their learning of the Book of Mormon and its value within the modern world.
Reach of the Follow Him Podcast
The Follow Him podcast has managed to infiltrate a wealth of bustling audiences, helping it to become the 26th most popular religious podcast on Spotify. On competitor platforms such as Apple Podcasts, the show ranks as the 9th most popular show within this particular niche.
Smith and Bytheway also use an assortment of active social media platforms to extend the reach of this incredibly dynamic podcast. With regard to YouTube, the hosts share video call footage of their interviews and use it to educate their 64.6K subscribers. The pair also use YouTube Shorts as a way of describing the various books in a more digestible format.
The creators also use Instagram to share key quotations throughout the religious text as a way to further inspire and motivate Mormons in their daily study practices. Follow Him also uses this platform to create Reels to build more engagement with its 45.3K followers.
The Format of the Podcast
This podcast follows a very strict format, educating its audience on the various chapters of the Book of Mormon in a chronological way. Each chapter is separated into two parts, giving guests the chance to explore an abundance of fascinating topics in as much detail as they please. These episodes also last for around an hour, offering a more lengthy approach to the stories found in Mormonism. The Follow Him podcast is also accompanied by a wealth of show notes which have been translated into a variety of languages such as English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Thus, it seems that the hosts are looking to push their podcast outside the confines of America and toward a plethora of dedicated Mormons from around the world.
Together with these interviews, Smith and Bytheway also produce a collection of mini-episodes that allow the pair to answer a range of crucial questions from the Come, Follow Me study guide. This is a specific platform created by The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints to help Mormons extend their learning and provide them with a selection of media resources for schools and families. These mini-episodes also help the hosts to present their worldly knowledge of the faith and establish themselves as primary sources within this organized religion.
Reception and Impact
Data recorded from the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints in 2021 informs us that there are over 16 million registered Mormons across the world. Out of this population, more than 54,000 individuals regard themselves as Full-Time Teaching Missionaries whereas over 36,000 see themselves as Church-Service Missionaries. As such dedicated followers of this faith, it is no surprise that the Follow Him podcast has seen such a grand success.
With such a large audience base to discover, the hosts of the Follow Him podcast are able to utilize their years of experience as both followers and educators as a way to interact with others like them. This podcast also highlights the popularity of religious topics and how they can be used as a study resource for Missionaries who would like to exceed their understanding in a more unique and expressive way.
The hosts of the Follow Him podcast have effectively built a unique platform for other avid Mormons, allowing them to form stronger bonds with their God and with each other. By pulling upon other experts in this field, the podcast manages to exert a strong sense of competition against others in this niche. The Follow Him podcast can be found on a number of streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and PlayerFM.