“We knew that people were feeling anxious, depressed and their lives had been turned upside down in 2020,” longtime resident Jeff Cavins says. “We wanted to provide hope and a foundation on which people could trust.”
Therein is the motivation behind The Bible in a Year podcast with Fr. Mike Schmitz, a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Duluth, speaker and author, and featuring Cavins, biblical scholar and creator of the Great Adventure Bible Timeline.
“We put the word out in December  that we were going to do the podcast, and social media went viral,” Cavins says.
The podcast was number one in religion and spirituality on Apple Podcasts from December 22, 2020 to at least May 26, 2021, and was in the top spot in all categories from January 2–18 and top five from January 2–March 2. “These two guys from Minnesota surged past [comedian] Joe Rogan, [political commentator] Ben Shapiro and all the typical top 10 podcasts. This is what makes it so surprising,” Cavins says.
Why is the podcast so popular? “Many people want to read through the Bible but lack two things,” Cavins says. “… They approach the Bible like it is a book, so they start in Genesis and try to go to the Book of Revelation. They usually give up in March, if they started in January, because they run into Leviticus, and they have lost the narrative thread. [Secondly], people don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to reading. We thought it would be a good idea to provide the audio version of the Bible, and read it through chronologically using The Great Adventure Bible Study method. The method divides the Bible into 12 periods of history and then follows the 14 narrative books as the foundation ...”
As the podcast moves to each new period, “… We stop and explain the major characters, events and difficult places where people typically get lost,” Cavins says. “I act as a trail guide for the listener.”
The Bible in a Year is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast platforms.