We have updated our Privacy Policy to provide you a better online experience.

Sharing Faith with Fans

Minnesota pastors and podcast producers, Matt and Katie Seipel-Anderson, are reaching outside the church to fans of ‘geek culture’ via their chaplaincy ministry.
The tagline, “Hello! Welcome to the Nerdy Folks Podcast, a conversation about the nerdy things we love and the things that matter most,” opens each podcast produced by U.S. missionary associate with Chaplaincy Ministries Matt Seipel-Anderson. With over 180 episodes, Seipel-Anderson’s ministry to those enthralled with “geek culture,” as he calls it, is making waves with a niche, yet largely unchurched, population.

Seipel-Anderson and his wife, Katie, met while attending college in their home state of Minnesota. Although he had a call on his life to ministry, he felt led to pursue a degree in history and philosophy, which resulted in a deepening burden for the lost.

Following their graduation, the couple, both credentialed, served at an area church for 10 years before moving to the southern part of the state to assist at their current church, The Edge Church, in Winona, Minnesota, pioneered by Matt’s former youth pastor.

Seipel-Anderson states that he has always loved ministry and had a desire to reach outside of the church. “I felt God stirring my heart to reach out to the community that had already been built around the things I enjoyed,” he recalls. “Ministering to those who enjoy the things that I do seemed kind of like the Great Commission 101.”

As a first step, the Minnesota School of Ministry graduate decided to start a podcast which he called The Nerdy Folks podcast

“The purpose of the podcast,” he states, “is to connect the ‘geek world’ to themes around faith and apologetics. It’s evangelistic in nature.”

The primary audience for the podcast is those who are relatively unchurched. The goal for the Seipel-Andersons is for listeners to get something from the podcast about Jesus and start to develop an interest in what Christianity is all about.

“We use Scripture but it’s not a sermon or Bible study format,” he states. “We want to expand more into Christian training but right now we are focused on crossing the barrier from the church world to this community.”

He states that the writings of an inspiring Canadian missionary were a huge, early influence for the podcast. He was inspired by the elements of tribal culture to communicate the gospel and felt that he could do the same thing with elements of “pop” and “geek” culture.

Aside from providing an outlet for interests in movies, shows, and games, Seipel-Anderson states that this community also provides a sense of identity and belonging for people.

One of the ways such a communal culture is built is through fan conventions, of which Matt attends a few a year.

The podcast, he explains, is designed to help people get to know the couple but the live events are where relationships are built. He states that there is an organic opportunity for conversations while at the conventions, which often open doors for him to share Jesus.

The Edge Church’s lead pastor, Chuck Peterson, says of the Seipel-Anderson’s ministry, “I can’t think of a more fitting response to Jesus’ directive to ‘compel them to come’.”

“There are conventions all over, especially in larger cities,” Seipel-Anderson states. “Some are more general around nerdy entertainment, but some are more specific to things like board games, Japanese Anime, video games, and so on.”

The largest of the conventions is held annually in San Diego and attracts over 150,000 attendees. Even closer to home for the Seipel-Andersons is the Twin Cities Convention, which they attended in 2023. While at the convention, along with 30,000 other “nerds”, it was clear that opportunity was huge, and this particular mission field seemed untilled.

“There is very little Christian witness at a lot of these events, but the common interests make it easy to start conversations and connect to people.”

Bringing faith into everyday conversations is the crux of the Seipel-Anderson’s ministry. By incorporating faith into casual encounters, the couple believe that it shows people that Christianity isn’t a separate box in their life, it is who they are.

“This makes sharing the gospel so much easier,” Katie states. “It’s the nature of chaplaincy: ministry through presence.”

She goes on to say that bringing people to the church through events is great, but going into the world and being Christ in the middle of secular world events, meeting people where they’re at, is equally as important.

Matt and Katie both plan to continue growing their ministry to this unique group and are excited that their 11-year old son now desires to be as involved as he can.

“Ministry is truly a team effort,” Katie says, “and we appreciate the people who have helped and encouraged us along the way. We’d also love to connect with anyone who wants to learn more about what we do via our website.”

Ashley B. Grant

Ashley B. Grant has a master's degree in Human Services Marriage and Family Counseling from Liberty University and is a credentialed Christian counselor through the American Association of Christian Counselors. Grant also holds certifications in crisis pregnancy counseling and advanced life coaching. Ashley is a fourth generation Assemblies of God preacher’s kid and has one daughter and three sons.