WHY ARE WE HERE?
In college I struggled with what it meant to live a life following Jesus. I didn't want to sell everything and move to a 3rd world nation in order to be a "real" Christian. One day, when I was returning a movie to Family Video, a 20-something kid walked up to me and asked me to buy some cologne. I declined because, well, who buys cologne from strangers outside a video store?
I remember God speaking to me and telling me to buy that cologne, pray for that man, and exchange numbers. So I did. 2-years later my phone rang. It was not the cologne guy looking to restock me, but it was from his phone. On the other end, a depressed man, who was about to kill himself, had in his final hours found that phone and decided to look at the contacts for help. He saw the name "Pastor Maxx" and called it. God used me to save that man's life. Only, I wasn't a pastor like the contact stated...I was just a guy struggling with following Jesus, on my way to return a movie.
I hung up that phone and I never questioned my walk again.
One of the most-powerful tools everyone has at their disposal is storytelling. Stories gather people, captivate them, even inspire them. A great story sinks in to people and In Jesus' life on earth we see the power in using stories to communicate.
In our culture, people believe that the marriage between faith and action is declining. But we want people to be reassured that there is a community of people building bold and intentional lives and their stories aren't on the decline, their stories are on the rise.
We're driven by perfecting storytelling and our desire is to serve as a vehicle for people's stories to stir unrest towards apathetic living.
We believe in the values of:
Faith; the confidence of what we do not see.
Pursuit of something that pushes us to keep growing.
Excellence; a higher standard, morally, professionally, and creatively.
We believe that authenticity is a cornerstone to great stories, because of that, we tell authentic (as in, it really happened.) stories of faith, pursuit, and excellence for people who revel in difference making.
We believe it is crucial to grow people in their ability to share their stories because stories have the potential to shape culture. Stories can remind us of the goodness in people, inspire us to take risks, and challenge us to think differently.
WHY NOT DIGITAL?
While digital media keeps us connected to our friends and helps us share news in the most immediate way, we believe that true excellence can be watered down by immediacy. Could we reach more people and get more stories out, faster, if we only focused on digital? Maybe, but we prioritize experience over immediacy and quality over quantity. Exceptional print walks the line between information and art and that's what we've set out to accomplish. Digital media will always provide some intangible advantages, but we want to create something that’s malleable. We wanted to give you these stories, not just for you to read, but to write on, circle things, tear out pages, hang up a picture from the 2-3 spread, read while lying on your back outside. And to keep it, when you’re all the way through it, to revisit like an old journal.
WHO IS THE/RISE?
THE/RISE is created by a small team of lifelong storytellers and story lovers. But in the broader context, anyone who shares our vision and passion for faith, pursuit, and excellence are equally vital to THE/RISE. The stories we share come from all corners of the world. A majority of our content is guest submitted but occasionally we personally pursue untold stories that we believe need to be shared.