Here is something different, podcast hosts giving advice but admitting they do not know it all.
That is the case with “Figuring Our Four.”
The hosts are the Rev. Jimmy McIlrath and his wife, Shannon. He is the pastor of The Ridge United Methodist Church in Columbus. She is a nurse working for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia.
The two have been married for 19 years and have two daughters, 17-year-old Savannah who attends Columbus High School, and 14-year-old Abby, who attends Blackmon Road Middle School.
The pastor, who was an associate pastor at St. Luke before starting his church in 2010, calls the podcast “a new kind of ministry,” one that has no connection to The Ridge.
“The podcast is all about helping families go further,” Shannon said. “On each episode, we share four ideas about a certain topic, things that we have learned together as we raise our family.”
“We do not have everything figured out. We are still learning,” Jimmy said.
Topics are varied. For example, there is an episode on discipline, one on giving the sex talk to children and another on how to fight in marriage.
“We thought this would be a neat way to share our faith and some of the things we have discovered,” Jimmy said.
Anecdotes from their childhood, as well as what they have experienced as a married couple and parents, are used to illustrate their points.
For example, in the episode on discipline, advice given to parents includes dealing with your own anger before disciplining a child and that humiliation does not work. There is a story telling about a unique solution to solving a problem with a daughter who refused to sit still at the dinner table.
“Discipline is love. Several pieces of scripture support this,” said Shannon.
While most stories involve their daughters, Shannon remarked, “We do nothing to intentionally embarrass the children.”
Of course, the Bible plays a significant role in each episode.
“The Bible is a great guide book,” Jimmy said. “We want to show how God’s word is applicable in life.”
The husband and wife both subscribe to various podcasts and that inspired them to do their own.
“Podcasts are growing in popularity and are a great way to reach people for Christ,” he said.
The episodes are recorded in their home.
There is an outline but no script to follow.
“We can offer different perspectives on a topic,” Shannon said.
And that can lead to one of them saying to the other, “I can’t believe you said that.”
The laughter heard often on the free-flowing podcast tells listeners the two are enjoying what they are doing.
“It is not like work. It has been a really neat experience because it has let us set aside time for ourselves. The podcast has really brought us closer together. It is quality time and we enjoy it. I think people listening can tell that we do,” Shannon said.
If interested in the podcast, visit online at https://figuringourfour.podbean.com.
The podcast may also be found using the podcast app on an iPhone. Shannon said it is on the iHeartRadio app and Stitcher.
The podcast has gotten more than 750 downloads.
“We want to keep growing,” said Shannon. “We hope people will give us a try and review us.”
A customer review on iTunes called the podcast “honest and uplifting.” Another said it is a “must listen for families.”