WHAT IS SEEDBED?
Founded on January 6, 2012, Seedbed is a twenty-first century movement and media platform whose mission is to gather, connect, and resource the people of God to sow for a great awakening.
HOW DO YOU RESOURCE THE CHURCH?
We publish Bible studies, books, small-group studies, training courses, videos, podcasts,
conferences, and articles every day. We do print, digital, electronic, online, offline, web-based applications, social media, and good old-fashioned word of mouth messaging. We are out to develop a new class of disciple-making resources in every way we possibly can. And yes, in the spring of 2016, we released our first record! We aspire to develop resources in languages other than English as the need presents itself and the financial and human resources become available.
WHAT IS THIS “NEW CLASS OF DISCIPLEMAKING RESOURCES” YOU SPEAK OF?
Thanks, we are glad you asked. We find much of the discipleship materials across the church to be helpful, as far as they go. They just don’t go far enough. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to save us from sin and death. This core doctrine of the church is actually only the first half of the gospel. So what’s the second half of the gospel? Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead and lives to deliver us from the power of sin and death and join us into the mission of his kingdom. We need discipleship resources that help actualize the shifting of the center of gravity from the pull of sin to the holy love of God in Jesus Christ. The challenge for the church of our time is moving people from making decisions to trust Christ to actually following Jesus in close discipleship communities with others in order to join God’s mission in the world to bring forth his kingdom.
SO WHAT IS THE “SECOND HALF OF THE GOSPEL?”
To review: justification by grace through faith = the first half of the gospel. It happens as the Holy Spirit empowers us to confess and repent from our sin and receive the grace of God in Jesus Christ who saves us from sin and eternal death. The second half of the gospel is sanctification by grace through faith. Sanctification is the life-long process by which the Holy Spirit reorients our affections, realigns our dispositions, and transforms our lives for the sake of others. To be sure, Seedbed is all about justification, but for us that’s only the beginning. The core emphasis of our resourcing is banding people together into the brand of discipleship that not only transforms lives, but changes the world. We call it the second half of the gospel. Another thing you might hear us say is, “The best of the gospel is the rest of the gospel.” See the video below for more on that.
NOW, WHAT ABOUT THIS “GREAT AWAKENING” WE ARE SOWING FOR?
A great awakening is a divinely ordered, viral movement of the Holy Spirit bringing many people into saving faith in Jesus Christ and joining them together in discipling communities, leading to dynamic redemptive transformation in all sectors of society. Our forebears would have described it as the spread of scriptural holiness across the land. The great Holy Spirit awakenings in history not only changed peoples’ lives and families, they led to the establishment of schools and hospitals and countless organizations who labored to abolish slavery, promote life, legislate just laws, and otherwise reform nations by inspiring all manner of public good.
WHAT IS THE NEW ROOM MOVEMENT?
More than we can say in this space, so please read the full story on pp. 48–49. But first, let’s be clear: the New Room Movement is not a new denomination. It is not a renewal movement within any denomination. It is not an ecclesial (church-based) organization. It is not affiliated with any denomination, though it is associated with many.
In short, the New Room Movement began as a small group of people who wanted to dig the well deeper into the best wisdom of the church across the ages for the sake of discipleship and mission. The next move, by popular request, was a series of collectives built around discerning wisdom for particular areas of mission and ministry. By demand, the next expression of the New Room was an annual conference, now in its third year. Today, we sense that the Holy Spirit is forming something of a network among us, banding us together to pray for a great awakening, and forming relationships to help us become the kinds of disciples we aspire to make.
HOW DO YOU GATHER PEOPLE?
In Seedbed’s third year, we hosted the first annual New Room Conference. About two hundred fifty women and men gathered from across the United States in Franklin, Tennessee, for two days of extraordinary worship, fellowship, and discipleship training. Planning immediately began for the fall 2015 conference which reached capacity, gathering seven hundred fifty friends. The third annual New Room Conference will be held on September 21–23, 2016 in Franklin, Tennessee, Seedbed’s global headquarters. We held two regional gatherings in the spring of 2016 in Houston and Atlanta. We plan to hold more in 2017.
HOW DO YOU CONNECT PEOPLE?
We want to see connections develop in both macro and micro dimensions. We believe they happen best in the hands of the people. As a result, we see our task as that of creating opportunities and developing ways and means for connections to emerge. This is what the New Room Movement is all about. We create collectives designed to gather and connect people around particular affinities and areas of mission and ministry. We host the annual New Room Conference and regional gatherings throughout the rest of the year.
WHAT ARE COLLECTIVES AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
Collectives are carefully curated collections of influential practitioners and thought leaders
from particular areas of mission and ministry. Collectives bring these leaders together with larger communities of practitioners serving in the field for the purpose of conversation, ideation, and community building. We think of it as wisdom from the field for the field.
Current collectives include Youth Ministry, Preaching, Soul Care, Faith and Work, Church
Leader, Church Planter, Anglican, and Worship Design. While content will vary from collective to collective, you can expect to find weekly articles, video resources, podcasts, and more.
Anyone can join any collective they like by registering at seedbed.com. If you would like
to explore the possibility of joining the team of contributors, visit our website. If you have
interest in seeing a new collective formed, contact Jeremy Steele, who gives leadership to the project. Email him at jeremy.steele[at]seedbed.com.
WHY DO WE REFERENCE JOHN WESLEY?
To be clear, this isn’t about John Wesley, nor is our mission to make people Wesleyans or
Methodists. When we look back on our history, we search for exemplars who not only saw
the vision of the gospel, but who lived into it in history-making ways. Wesley considered
himself and his people nothing more than scriptural Christians. That’s why we like him. We learn from the Wesleys ( John and his brother, Charles) to be better followers of Jesus. Here are several reasons why:
John Wesley, one of the towering intellects of his time, publicly and privately aspired to be a man of one book: the Bible.
The Wesley brothers demonstrate for us a practiced theology rooted in a sovereignty shaped by the Fatherhood of God, rich with the mind of Christ and contagious with the supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit.
The Wesley brothers lead us through a structured approach to community-based gospel conversion, reflecting the dynamics of crisis and process coupled with patterns and benchmarks in the long perseverance of character transformation.
The Wesley brothers show us a more excellent way of discipleship; one which subverts a shame-oriented moralism on the one hand and a prosperity-based motivation on the other. They disciple at the level of our dispositions, affections, and ambitions.
The Wesley Brothers impart theological truth and missional vision through the incarnational fabric of their sermons, songs, prayers, journals, and letters. These every day vessels provide a far more native habitat for theology than does that of the more manageable and yet imposed systematic constructs.
Finally, John Wesley was famous for synthesizing biblical and theological truth and wisdom from the depths of the whole church across the centuries. Far from a narrow-minded sectarian mentality, Wesley famously borrowed from a vast range of traditions and methods