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Why the Mars Hill Podcast Kept You Waiting


“Rise and Fall” producer Mike Cosper takes listeners backstage to answer questions about production delays, his personal experience, and more.

Last week, CT’s director of podcasts Mike Cosper posted the much-anticipated final episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. CT editor Stefani McDade sat down with him to talk about the stress and joy of unexpected interviews, how exvangelicals and other groups responded to the series, and what listeners can expect from bonus episodes and future projects.

How do you feel about the overall reception of the podcast and its wide audience?

If you had asked me, “Who’s gonna listen to the podcast?” I would have said, “I think pastors and church leaders, Gen X men, aged 35 to 50, who were part of this phenomenon.” And then, you know, some broader interests beyond that. The fact that it’s had millions of downloads is not something we would have imagined at all from the beginning. I mean, we were back in the top 10 in Apple podcasts yesterday, you know?

You had some significant delays in production. Tell us about that.

With this influx of unexpected interviews and conversations, we decided to just roll with moving forward. By the end of July, we were like, “This is going to be a problem.” It took this storyline that was kind of a straight line and just kept expanding it and opening it up—“Let’s follow this thread, let’s follow this thread.” And then, you know, there were a couple of stories that just came at the last minute, stories that we really wanted to have. We thought, “This is worth pressing pause. This is important.”

What do you think made all these people change their minds and decide to talk to you at the last second, especially with the final episode?

There were just a few things that happened in a handful of episodes that built …

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