“It’s Monday, June 5, 2023. I’m Albert Mohler, and this is The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.”
For thirteen years, listeners have heard that familiar introduction to a podcast that has become an irreplaceable part of their daily routines. As we celebrate Dr. Mohler’s thirtieth anniversary as President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, it is fitting to recognize the incredible work that he does to ensure his dedicated listeners wake up to a new episode of The Briefing each weekday morning.The Briefing starts with newspapers—lots of newspapers. Dr. Mohler reads them, underlines and highlights them, rips them, and folds them until they are suitable for use during a recording session. If you ever find yourself in an airplane and hear someone veraciously tearing newspaper, just look around. There is a chance that Albert Mohler is nearby preparing for a future edition of The Briefing.
But his research goes far beyond what is included in the print editions of the major papers. He scours the internet for news stories. Every afternoon, his team prints the news stories he has sent to an email account that is solely dedicated to Briefing research. The timestamps of these emails often reveal that he has been awake researching while the rest of us—well, most of us—are asleep. He also has near-countless subscriptions to other magazines and academic journals, and his team spends the afternoon sifting through material, doing their best to help him keep up with every sphere of news possible.
At the end of the recording, much work is still left undone. The audio engineer must edit the program, transcribe it, and upload it to the website. The producer must draft headlines and send them to Dr. Mohler for approval. Once Dr. Mohler returns the final headlines, the producer can put together the daily email, format the post on AlbertMohler.com, and ensure the podcast distributes across all platforms properly at 5am.
People often ask how Dr. Mohler produces The Briefing so consistently. Besides the time and energy mentioned above, one answer comes to mind: Mrs. Mohler. She is just as committed to the program and makes every sacrifice necessary for it to happen. Only the Lord knows how many meals The Briefing has ruined or changed in some way. But every Briefing producer knows that of all of Dr. Mohler’s listeners, Mary Mohler is his most faithful. The better question, then, is, why do Dr. and Mrs. Mohler sacrifice so much for The Briefing? Anyone who has traveled with the president has had the honor of learning why first hand. Without fail, listeners always approach him and say something like, “You have no idea how much I appreciate The Briefing. I listen every day.” We have heard pastors thank Dr. Mohler for how The Briefing helps them think through complicated counseling situations. We have watched as parents, often with their children in tow, tell Dr. Mohler that they listen in the car on the way to school every day, and they thank him for the discipleship opportunities that the program gives them with their children. We hear from high school students whose teacher has assigned the class to listen to The Briefing as part of their Christian curriculum. The list could go on and on.
The answer, then, is that the sacrifice does not compare to the impact the Lord has allowed The Briefing to have in the lives of faithful believers. Each month, hundreds of thousands of listeners from all over the world tune in to hear Dr. Mohler analyze the most pressing issues of the day with biblical wisdom, Christian conviction, and gospel clarity. The reach is simply staggering.
But perhaps the sweetest aspect of it for Dr. Mohler is when listeners become students at Southern Seminary and Boyce College. Each of our Preview Day events are full of prospective students who mention that they first heard of the institution through The Briefing. You should see their faces when the tour turns the corner into the recording studio and they have the opportunity to sit at the desk and behind the microphone. Dr. Mohler’s labor to record The Briefing is really another part of his incredible, faithful service to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
As two men who have collectively produced every episode of The Briefing over the last five years, we testify to the time and energy Dr. Mohler dedicates to make The Briefing possible. More importantly, we testify to the character of the man behind the microphone. His love for the Lord, for God’s Word, and for the Church are clear, both when the microphone is on and when it is off.
During our time of service in the President’s Office, he and Mrs. Mohler have celebrated our engagements, weddings, baby showers, and graduations. We have laughed together to the point of tears when he had a little trouble pronouncing “Beyoncé” or “Belarus.” We have also been around during some difficult times when he needed to cancel episode recordings because a family member had passed away or a health situation unexpectedly occurred. Through every season, it has been, and continues to be, our great joy to serve the mission of Southern Seminary as we assist Dr. Mohler in getting The Briefing out into the world.
As this season of The Briefing concludes, we give thanks to the Lord for what he has done through this podcast. We pray for God’s blessing on season fourteen and beyond. We pray that every edition would be to His glory and for the faithfulness of Christ’s Church in an increasingly secular age. We pray for the Mohlers as they continue the task, and we look forward to even more fruit that the Lord will bear through Dr. Mohler’s daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview. The Lord knows we need it