Tim Mackie is the co-founder of the BibleProject, a nonprofit animation studio helping people experience the Bible as a unified story that leads to Jesus. He is the former pastor of Blackhawk Church in Madison, Wisconsin, and Door of Hope Church in Portland, Oregon. Mackie also served as a part-time professor at Western Seminary. His early research interests focused on the manuscript history of the Bible and the biblical canon. Mackie holds a bachelor’s degree from Multnomah University, a theology degree from Western Seminary and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Since Tim Mackie was in his 20s he has been on a mission to understand the Bible — its history, culture and language — and to help others understand the Bible. This passion led him to earn a theology degree and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies, to serve as a pastor for several years, and eventually to start the BibleProject with co-founder Jon Collins.
In Today’s Conversation podcast hosted by NAE President Walter Kim, you’ll hear Tim share:
- Why he and Jon decided to start the BibleProject;
- How Tim was drawn to Jesus through an outreach to skateboarders;
- What approach the BibleProject takes to navigate different interpretations of Scripture; and
- How creativity threads through Scripture and connects to our calling as Christians.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Walter: I’m speculating here, but I want you to draw this out. Pre-pandemic, post-pandemic, what you’re doing at the BibleProject seems like it would have been equally applicable before and after because of the medium that you have chosen to work in and through. But is that the case? Have you noticed any shift in the ways that people have engaged with your material during the pandemic?
Tim: You’re totally right. Your intuition is correct there. It wasn’t something we planned necessarily, but it just so happened the main medium and platform that we are using is both YouTube and just online delivery. We are able to give away all this content for free with no ads or no paywall or subscription payments, because from the beginning — and again this was Jon’s idea — of starting kind of a micro-Patreon model which is, “If you find the videos helpful, donate a few bucks and help us make some more.” When the number of people begins to grow, it creates a pretty stable base to be able to build an animation studio. So that is what happened over time.
What we found was in pandemic era where people are at home more and looking for more content to either learn on their own or to learn with friends/family, we’ve seen a large amount of momentum and growth in our audience and growth in the number of people who are learning about BibleProject. It’s felt like a very providential experience that we couldn’t have planned. So yes, we have noticed all of those things and are feeling really humbled that we get to be in this role where we feel like our work is more meaningful than ever, because we’re actually serving a lot more people than we were a year ago.
Share the Love
If you enjoyed the program, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That will help get the word out and raise the visibility of the show.
- Watch BibleProject’s flagship series on the books of the Bible from Genesis to Acts.
- Visit the BibleProject website for additional resources such as Bible studies, blogs and podcasts.
- Order copies of the NAE Bible Reading Guide to help members of your church be in the Word every day.
Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Christian Community Credit Union.