Desiring God began inauspiciously in 1994 when John Piper, then the 48-year-old pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, handed off the church’s tape ministry to his assistant, Jon Bloom.
Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Piper had studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Seminary, and the University of Munich before teaching six years at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1980, he became pastor at Bethlehem Baptist, in the shadow of the newly constructed Metrodome stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
An aging couple operated the tape ministry for Piper’s first fourteen years as pastor. In the Spring of 1994, they retired, and Piper decided the mantle for the tape ministry should fall to Bloom.
What started with tapes and John’s books (in 1986, Piper had published Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, which he followed with The Pleasures of God in 1991 and Let the Nations Be Glad in 1993), and a single annual event (Piper hosted his first pastors conference in 1988), eventually, in God’s good timing, blossomed into an international Web ministry of more than 10,000 English resources, with translated resources available in a growing number of languages.
Today the ministry of Desiring God is focused online, with the production of a thousand new resources each year, including articles, messages, books, a daily podcast called Ask Pastor John, and a video Bible-teaching initiative called Look at the Book.