From the beginning, The Resistance has felt like a bit of an oddball in the Rabbit Room Podcast Network. But to be honest, that was always part of the vision.
The Rabbit Room is a beautiful community whose mission is focused on the cultivation and encouragement of artists. I’m hardly the only one whose life has been richly blessed by the resources and friendships that have come out of this community, and I also believe the Rabbit Room’s most impactful years are yet to come.
However, I’ve always felt a bit like an outsider even as I’ve been graciously welcomed in.
In a previous life, I worked in vocational ministry as a church planter and teaching pastor in the greater Indianapolis area. I still want to pastor, encourage, and shepherd others, but my desire to do so within traditional structures has waned over time. I’ve learned that I want whatever project I’m working on to put up as few “barriers to entry” as possible.
If you’ve darkened the door of a church at any point in your life, then you might know what I mean. “Christian” as a descriptor can often build up unnecessary or unintended walls. The linking of something or someone with the term “faith-based” can be a selling point for some (literally) and a deterrent for others.
Back to The Resistance and my own calling. When we first launched the podcast back in 2019, I had a single goal: to host meaningful conversations with creative people who could help encourage or challenge the listener to move toward the person they were created to be. It felt very similar to my call as a pastor.
Because we wanted to build a broad range of listeners, we set an intentional goal of largely avoiding guests who might cause someone to put a label on us in any way. Yes, we are Christians running a podcast. Yes, we are Christians hosting a podcast. Yes, we are Christians promoting a podcast. No, we do not see it as an explicitly “Christian” podcast, at least not in the way the larger marketplace would define it.
I’ve spoken openly about Jesus with some guests and the absence of God with others, but at the core of it all, our guests have gifted us with vulnerable perspectives in order that their shared stories might impact someone else.Matt Conner
We’ve welcomed some incredible guests from a huge range of creative avenues. Jericho Brown won the Pulitzer for poetry in 2020 and spoke about carrying a painful torch with his calling. Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton is an electronic music legend who was honest about his battle to remain optimistic as an artist. Lynn Renee Maxcy spoke about feeling like a fake even as she’s writing for an Emmy-winning smash TV show, The Handmaid’s Tale. Knives Outcomposer Nathan Johnson told us why he’s always willing to try new things and how that keeps him creatively healthy.
I’ve been profoundly challenged and spiritually changed by these conversations and others in my stint as a host. I’ve spoken openly about Jesus with some guests and the absence of God with others, but at the core of it all, our guests have gifted us with vulnerable perspectives in order that their shared stories might impact someone else.
Our hope is to serve as a portal that faces out into the world, even as we remain in orbit around the same greater purpose. The Rabbit Room’s mission statement uses the term “Christ-centered” for this very reason.
To that end, we’re continuing in the same direction this summer with a lot of exciting new conversations that I hope will help and hearten listeners. Recent episodes featured Tony Award-winning songwriter Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening), Oscar-nominated composer Emile Mosseri (Minari) and acclaimed author Natashia Deón (Grace). Coming up, we’ll sit down with TV screenwriter/producer Tony Tost (Longmire, Damnation, The Terror), actor/director Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother, Hunters), and recording artist Lissie, just to name a few.
The Resistance might seem like an odd fit to some people, but our drive is the same as it is for everything else in the Rabbit Room—to shine the light, and to look carefully at what that light reveals. We hope that you, as a listener, are better for coming along with us on the exploration.
Matt Conner is a former pastor and church planter turned writer and editor. He’s the founder of Analogue Media and lives in Indianapolis.