In April this year, Hope 103.2 launched its new podcast series UNDISTRACTED. Hosted by Laura Bennett, the podcast’s aim was to provide a place for people to step outside of the noise and clutter of our world to consider their God-given passions and purpose – inviting listeners to un-distract their lives and build them with more intention.
Excitingly, the first season of UNDISTRACTED charted at number 29 in Australia’s Religion and Spirituality category on Apple Podcasts, after drawing on the wisdom of psychologists, Christian leaders, creatives and authors alike who helped its mission to inspire audiences to live undistracted lives.
Interestingly, a theme of mental health and wellbeing emerged, alongside a need to prioritise rest and healthy relationships.
Licensed counsellor Debra Fileta told us that as difficult as admitting you’re struggling can be, “I honestly think it’s more dangerous for us to think that we’re OK, than it is for us to think that we’re not OK”.
“Because when we recognise that we’re not OK, we’re at a place to receive healing. We’re at a place to grow, and change, and transform and get to the next level of healing,” Debra said.
Pastor Louie Giglio added to that, saying in leadership it can be hard to strike a balance between admitting to mental distress, while also helping people not accept it as an inevitable part of life.
“The thing that I’m always working on is balancing the difference between destigmatising mental illness – which the church definitely needs to do – [and making] make sure we don’t normalise anxiety,” Louie said.
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Season one guests include:
- US pastor and author Louie Giglio
- Dating and marriage counsellor Debra Fileta
- Activist and evangelist Christine Caine
- Neuroscientist Dr Caroline Leaf
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry author and pastor John Mark Comer
- Stylist and TV personality Jules Sebastian
- New York Times bestselling author Greg McKeown
- Hillsong Channel’s Ben Field
- Authors Shannon Vandewarker and Denise Daniels
UNDISTRACTED also touched on cancel culture, as activist and evangelist Christine Caine suggested there may be an upside to the destructive practice, as we get a deeper appreciation for forgiveness and mercy.
These are “things that ultimately only God can give us,” Christine said.
“And sometimes it takes what’s happening now for people to go, ‘Oh my gosh, this is what mercy means’.”
In episode four, podcast listeners learnt how “pursuing purpose” can be debilitating, as TV Host and author Jules Sebastian explained why “purpose was a scary word”, and how she felt pressured to “find that one thing that I was born for”.
While, Hillsong’s head of film and television Ben Field spoke to the storytellers at heart, saying “if we tell stories well, we can shape the narrative of history”.
Together, all of UNDISTRACTED’s guests have brought its podcast listeners back to what NY Times Bestseller Greg McKeown called our “highest point of contribution”, as host Laura Bennett hopes you continue to find your own highest point of contribution.
“Thank you for making season one such a success,” Laura said.
Subscribe to UNDISTRACTED wherever you get your podcasts, and tune in to season two, kicking off July 1, with singer and songwriter Pat Barrett.