Last month the Moody Publishers team participated in a celebration for a historic occasion: the 125th anniversary of Moody Bible Institute! We are privileged to carry on D.L. Moody’s legacy of reaching the world for Christ, and Greg Thornton, our VP of Publishing, delivered the following address to announce some exciting news about how we plan to do this in the coming months and years.
The talented team at Moody Publishers has been planning and praying about the role we should be playing in equipping readers with the truth of God’s Word. Rapid changes are taking place in how readers are acquiring and reading their books.
The wave right now is eBooks, and I’m happy to say that the vast majority of Moody’s title base is available to English readers around the globe, from a wide variety of online retailers. We have two enhanced eBooks (with embedded video content), and a wonderful app for Apple devices built around The 5 Love Languages. We’re putting together digital books sets, led by the now 29 volume MacArthur NT Commentary. These are only our active titles. We have more than 10,000 titles published since 1894. We’d love to do much more in making these materials accessible. We do wonder what will be next in the area of technology and innovation.
It’s invigorating to watch this convergence of technology. Apps and other forms of social media allow us to better know, love and serve various audiences and to equip them with the truth of God’s Word with audio, written, and even video forms of biblically based, Moody-branded (trustworthy) messages, from credible authors and speakers that are increasingly building their own host of friends and followers through Facebook and Twitter. Moody Radio and Moody Publishers are partnering together well with “bright spots” of synergy like the Saturday morning program “Building Relationships,” hosted by Gary Chapman and Chris and Andrea Fabry. We know that we can do more together, and see an exponential increase in the number of changed lives.
To that end, we’re envisioning a Global Media Center on campus, housing radio, publishing, and portions of the undergraduate communications program of education.
Just getting the radio and publishing teams together, sharing information of audience needs and biblically based messages and messengers to meet those needs would be cool enough. You throw in the opportunities we have for greater synergy with Moody Distance Learning, and the undergraduate communications major led by Brian Kammerzelt, with the opportunity to not only train students to use media effectively but to learn from them (7 billion in the world today; median age is 28; the millennial generation is now the largest generation in the US, surpassing the baby boomers), and it really gets exciting! Paul Santhouse, director of acquisitions for MP, taught an undergrad publishing program this spring, and three book contracts resulted, including a fast-track project by a graduating senior. We are stirring passion for the power of media.
The building will be called “Global” for a reason. We’re dreaming about using the facility and partnering with other organizations to develop self-sustaining publishing teams on every continent, using inexpensive layout and editing software and print on demand/digital printing, and to build upon successful partnerships with organizations like Compassion, Trans World Radio and HCJB, and to do the same with radio training. The verse that stirs these passions in us is from Habakkuk 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
We’re excited about this vision of reaching the world for Christ through creative uses of media! What do you predict will be next in the ever-evolving world of technology? Do you have a vision or ministry opportunity you’re working toward through new media?