In case you haven’t already encountered it, I want to highlight one of the most exciting developments in Wesleyan-related publishing going on today. It’s called Seedbed, and it is a print and online publishing organization that has been developed by Asbury Theological Seminary.
Seedbed is a multi-purpose publisher that offers ministry resources and spiritual formation tools through a variety of venues: online articles, sponsored blogs, print books, and an innovative “Seven Minute Seminary” series that offers teaching vignettes by seminary professors. The breadth of what J.D. Walt (the “chief sower”) and his staff are doing is really impressive. Seedbed offers its resources in new and old forms of media, but it is clearly a web-driven enterprise and in that sense represents something new for the Wesleyan world.
You’ve got to realize what a remarkable thing the development of Seedbed represents. In the Wesleyan/Methodist world, publishing enterprises are not growing. They’re contracting. So the fact that Methodist folk can look forward to a completely new source of print and digital media—and one that has adopted a self-consciously Wesleyan ethos—is highly encouraging.
In my view, I think Seedbed is at the cutting edge of providing Wesleyan resources for today’s church. In a time when other traditional publishing venues seem to be contracting dramatically, it is nice to see an organization like Seedbed bucking the trend. It is growing and growing in the right way: by publishing print, online, and digital media with a distinctly Wesleyan accent. The church is hungry for resources of real spiritual substance, and I think Seedbed is going to be the main avenue for those kinds of resources to reach individuals and congregations.
So I’d encourage you to check out what the folks over there are doing. The Seedbed website is rapidly developing. I’ve only been following it for a few months, but during that time it has expanded in terms of resources and scope. The ‘look and feel’ is generally pleasing and the site is easy to navigate.
And yes, I’ll admit that there is a little bit of self-interest in all of this for me. I’ve recently come to an agreement with Seedbed to write a book on the means of grace in the practice of Christian discipleship. I’ll start work on the manuscript this summer with an anticipated release date of sometime in 2014. This is a book that will be geared specifically for congregational use. And in it, I hope to make one very important part of the Wesleyan tradition accessible for contemporary readers.
I’ll post plenty of updates on the book in the coming months. Until then, check out Seedbed and let them know what you think.