DALLAS (BP) – On any of Tara-Leigh Cobble’s Bible Recap podcasts, she’s mere minutes away from pointing out the joy found in holy Scripture.
“Where the joy is” is how she ends each brief exposition of the daily chronological reading plan in her podcast that ranks second on Apple and Spotify religion and Christianity charts. The ranking makes The Bible Recap the top podcast among Protestants tapped by the charts, second only to The Bible in a Year from Ascension Catholic Faith Formation.
“My main goal is to help people get over the obstacles that keep them from reading, understanding and loving Scripture,” Cobble said. “Often, people who are doing The Bible Recap grew up in church and would say they love God, but have never read through the Bible. Or if they have, they didn’t necessarily understand what they were reading. And it’s hard to love a book we don’t understand.”
Cobble, founder of the D-Group (Discipleship Group) international home-based discipleship ministry, outranks such Christian favorites as Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler’s The Briefing, Unashamed with Phil and Jace Robertson, pastor Steven Furtick of the multisite Elevation Church in North Carolina and Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Senior Pastor Tony Evans of Dallas, among others.
Cobble is also a Lifeway Christian Resources featured author.
The latest Bible Recap reading is Leviticus 11-13, where Cobble points to joy in five minutes, despite “no bacon” in the dietary laws that set the Israelites apart from others.
“If being set apart means being set apart with Him,” Cobble ends the episode, “then I want to get my consecration on, because He’s where the joy is.”
Cobble estimates listeners can benefit from The Bible Recap, available on several platforms and apps, in just 20 minutes a day, giving 12 minutes to reading the day’s Scripture and no more than eight minutes to the commentary.
“The Bible Recap follows a chronological reading plan, which takes you through the story of Scripture as it happened, not as it’s laid out in our Bibles,” she told said. “Then I encourage readers to listen to the short podcast afterward, where I explain the importance of the passage, address the aspects that seem confusing or frustrating and reference the cultural and historical implications. … As a result, most people come away with a richer understanding of Scripture and a deeper love for God.”
She encourages auditory learners to listen to the daily Scripture on audio.
Cobble, who describes herself as living in “a concrete box” in Dallas with “no spouse, pets, or children – or anything else that might die if I forget to feed it,” launched D-Group with a few college students in 2009. D-Group has since grown worldwide to more than 250 groups meeting in homes and other small settings
The speaker and author also hosts The God Shot daily radio show.
“Each aspect of the ministry God has given me to steward is focused on directing people toward biblical literacy. It’s hard to love a God we don’t know, and it’s hard to know a God we don’t spend time with,” she said. “Apart from regular time in God’s Word, any relationship we have with Him will pale in comparison to the intimacy and joy that will come from spending time with Him daily and getting to know His character.”
She sees benefits and challenges in being single.
“As with marriage, singleness has its own unique benefits and disadvantages,” she said. “For me, being single meant that I was able to spend 100 hours per week over the course of 15 months building The Bible Recap. If I had a husband at the time, I doubt that would’ve been possible or wise. I was able to use all my discretionary time to focus on that project.
“One of the drawbacks is that some people tend to mistrust unmarried people – either thinking we’re unwise or selfish or some other negative trait – so they may be dismissive of anything a single person aims to contribute.”
A personal challenge for Cobble has been living without a husband, whom she perceives would be supportive, would pray for her ministry, encourage her when someone is disparaging and help her find solutions when she’s lacking.
“To some extent, I have that in my friends,” she said, “but I do hope that someday God will see fit to bring that to me in a more permanent way.”