Mike Anderson, Tim Keller, Mike discussed on TuneInPOC
This episode is brought to you in part by the influencers podcast. Our hurting world needs your influence. Get inspired with stories from faith based leaders impacting real issues, like the crisis in Ukraine, abortion, mental health, and more. Listen today, at the influencers podcast, dot org. This is CT media. Here I got a fun story for you. This is Jesse Bryant. Longtime creative director for Mars hill. Will you please tell Mike the first time you met Tim? So we're in one of the hotels that some big conference, right? And I think it was a desiring God conference because I was going. I remember I was having drinks with Barnabas piper and actually John piper was there in the bar but not drinking. This is Mike Anderson. This would have been sometime around 2008 and he would have been about 23. And he'd just taken over at the helm of the resurgence. Mars hill's resourcing ministry, which at the time was a barely used blog and website. And take the escalator downstairs and I'm like, oh my gosh, it's Tim Keller, right? And like for me, this is like superhero or like seeing your football, you know, one of your favorite football players. And I introduced myself. I reach out and he's a huge guy. I had no idea how big he was. You know, I go to shake his hand, ham, Mike Anderson, director of the resurgence. He takes that big hand like this, and he hits me square in the chest, like hard. And he says, son, the resurgence will not be directed. There you go. That's all you need to know about Tim Keller. He didn't play around. I'll tell you what, man. Tim killer was nothing but a nice dude. I don't know, I always really liked him. Yeah. Same with piper, piper was super cool too. There's more to this than just a funny anecdote, because it wouldn't be long before the resurgence would be a lot more than a punchline. Mike had been brought on board with a very clear mandate for where he was supposed to take it. I get hired and Mark takes me to a baseball game, the very first day. And he basically said like, hey, our media team's good, the rest of my leadership team is junior varsity and we're getting ready to become varsity and I need you to come in and figure out how to build our distribution because we're going to be taking this national. We're taking this worldwide was basically the idea and he's like, I need you to take what you know how to do with these new social networks and I need you to figure out how to build the distribution for us to get this message out to the world. And I was stoked about that. Mike Anderson's work and building the resurgence is one of the final elements of the Mars hill story that needs to be put in place. The resurgence was originally launched in 2006. The same year that they opened their first video venue multi site campus in shoreline. And about a year before the governance transition, the concentrated authority in a small executive team. What they saw in Mike was a young, true believer, with an entrepreneurial gift. The kind of leader that Mars hill seemed to find regularly. He was fully committed to the vision of the church, and willing to bleed for it. Which he did. Jesse and the media team may have had shredder's lair, with skateboard ramps and $100,000 cameras. Mike Anderson did not. The budget policy for me was eat what you kill. And so I had to bring in the money. So what I was doing is I was calling up publishers. I was calling up conferences. I was sleeping on the floor of different people's hotel rooms so that I could travel the country and go get make resurgence a thing. And so I would go do whatever it took to earn enough money to go to this event or that event. And I would bring a little camera with me and I'd try to record whoever I could get in front of. That's how the resurgence became what it became was me traveling around and doing whatever I could to get clips or to get access to blog posts, all that sort of thing. And then again, I built a volunteer team that grew like crazy and we built a machine to turn that into blog posts and podcasts and all that sort of thing. Mike built the resurgence with volunteers that he trained from the church, think about that. One salary built the largest Christian blog on the Internet with interns, here's how good that internship program is. If you figured out and we're not going to talk about who they were, who those interns were in that group, most of them have incredible careers because of the stuff they learned there. That reticence to name names is something we'll get into more in a later episode. But I've confirmed it. And as for this story, the launch of the resurgence, I remember those days. I remember first meeting Mike Anderson when I was writing for the gospel coalition. And attending conferences and events around that time. Mike would be around wearing this huge black backpack because unbeknownst to me literally everything he was traveling with was packed inside. I remember someone asking around for a room for him one time that he could crash in. And I kind of thought it was a joke, but it turns out he wasn't. It was the scrappy way this website was put together. And the sweat that he poured into that work paid off over time. Eventually, the resurgence became the kind of place that Christian writers of all sorts wanted to publish their stuff, and it was a wildly diverse mix. Scholars like Timothy George, DA Carson and Michael Horton, along with megachurch pastors like perre noble, Craig gross, musicians, like Jackie hill Perry, all kinds of X 29 pastors. The aforementioned Tim Keller and full disclosure I published an article there as well. So we were going out with the resurgence. We were inviting people to write, but we decided what they were going to write about. We were trying to shift the whole perspective on how all this stuff worked. And they were happy to do it because we had a vision and they didn't. So brand implies value. So if you can take someone with a strong brand and you can stand next to them, it's called selling by association. So every time Mike could get, I don't know, Gruden or whoever to write a blog post, they thought they were winning because they were getting distribution. We were stacking the deck. It was like, look at all these all stars. And we're bringing in people from different tribes because we weren't a part of any of them. So it wasn't like we care about the Baptists were doing or the whatevers we're doing. We were part of a denomination, so it was like, great, let's just go get all the best people from all these other places and get them on the platform. And then the more that Mike did that, the traffic just started going faster and faster. The success of the resurgence eventually allowed it to expand well beyond the blog. It was a publishing imprint, and a training center, featuring classes taught by well respected conservative evangelical scholars. That coincided with several other factors to define what I'd call the third act in the life of the church. Act one was the church living on a shoestring. Unsure how they pay rent, unsure of who they were or what they were ultimately going to be about. It was the formative period where Mars hill found an identity in a sense of trajectory. Act two started maybe 2001 or 2002. During that period, the church became an established Seattle based mega church, and driskell became a leader of the young restless reform movement, seen as a protege of pastors like John piper and CJ Mahaney. Even if that didn't reflect reality. The stage was getting set for the third act around this time, with the launch of the resurgence, the governance changes of 2007, and the launch of video venue multi sites in 2006. These strategies, along with the growing awareness of Driscoll.