Time and time these days, I find myself explaining what it is our ministry does. I’m not complaining—in fact, I’m delighted that people are interested! And it’s natural to wonder exactly what the heck Beneath the Tangles is: What are you guys? What does anime have to do with Christianity? Why do you do this?
We answer the first question from above in our About page, and we’ve talked about connecting Christianity and anime a number of times, but today I want to get to that last question, to express to you why we do what we do.
Maybe the most guttural reason, the one that’s most obvious and “fun,” is that we want to imitate our creator, and through this website we do that by using our own creativity to express our thoughts about God and anime. In our own unique way, we desire to be creators like God is “the” creator. Our staff does that through a variety of means, but most obviously by writing. We can’t animate, but we can at least write about our obsession, and in doing so, we also make something new while partially fulfilling our own longing to be more like God, who breathed us into existence and developed the beauty and wonder all around.
We’re also creating something less tangible—community. Several years ago, I walked away from Beneath the Tangles, suffering a case of ministry burnout. I returned a little more than a year later, and in my absence, our leadership had birthed our social media platforms. As time passed, I realized more and more how wise that decision was, because with the decline of blogging, it’s been through other social media accounts, like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, that we’ve most been able to develop community, to talk to people through comments and more personally by messaging.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve reached even deeper in community building by way of Discord. I had long envisioned a chatroom environment for our site, and launched a couple failed attempts at it. Little did I know that Discord—again, something started by our trio of leaders who grew the ministry in my absence—would be an answer. Last year, we started a weekly small group / bible study on the server, which has helped us develop even more meaningful relationships.
But why community anyway? It’s a rare objective to be the center of an anime blog’s focus. Shouldn’t we emulate others and really make it more about about, well, us?
You probably know the answer, which is that this ministry simply isn’t about us. It was created to emulate God, not just by creativity but in our goal to love you. It exists so that we can serve you. We do that in lots of ways, not least of which is by generating content that we hope engages you with a deeper understanding of faith while we geek out about anime.
And ultimately, the goal is to minister to you for the glory of God. When we serve you, we serve him. That’s what it’s all about. That’s why we do what we do. And I hope we can continue to do it for many years to come.
God bless! ~ Twwk
Featured illustration by 華小路 (reprinted w/permission)
6 thoughts on “A Christian Anime Ministry: Why We Do What We Do”
This is beautifully written. From your fellow sister of Abrahamic faiths, it’s important to show embrace the passions that we have and connect them to God. Keep up the great work!
I love seeing this comment so much! Love right back to you, dear sister.
And you, too! I love how engaging you are with the otaku community!!
Again, I say thank you for what you are doing for so many reasons. It’s a wonderfully targeted ministry. The numbers of anime and manga lovers are swelling every year. And I want them to know it’s ok to be a person of faith, that it doesn’t mean being joyless and unimaginative! Quite to the contrary!
And I love that you have set up such a broad, inclusive tent for the diversity of viewpoints on both otaku culture and faith. You are breaking stereotypes on both sides and I’m (literally) here for it.
Thank you for your encouraging words! I appreciate your support and prayer—it’s really an adventure and our honor to be doing this ministry!
I’m glad I saw this and actually clicked on it rather than skimming it in my email 😀
Thank you for what y’all do (the staff). I’m glad that I got to join the Discord server of BTT almost a year ago (time flies!) and that it’s encouraged me to continue to support this ministry! To be honest, I haven’t been reading the most recent articles because of other things, but I hope that I’ll be motivated to do so again. Thanks again for helping start this ministry! <3