Plans, Purposes & Pursuits
In a recent post, you announced plans to publish a magazine. Your subscribers on this site are at an all-time high. Why the change?
The internet is a great platform for what you might call "publishing." You write your blog post or record your podcast, click publish, and the material is instantly available worldwide. Sounds great, but it carries this ephemeral quality to it. It's kind of like muzak in the grocery store. Makes for a pleasant experience, but the moment you leave you don't remember a thing about what you had just heard. Given the immense effort that writing and speaking takes, we thought it was time to invest it into a medium that was more weighty and durable. The Revenge of Analog tipped the scale for us. A printed magazine was the obvious choice.
So what kind of magazine are you going to produce?
We're still in the initial planning stages, but I can tell you that we are not looking to publish a mass-market magazine like Charisma, Christianity Today, or even Relevant. Think Cereal, Offscreen, and Hole & Corner. These are biannual magazines that are being published by just a few people but they have garnered some rather large subscriber bases. And their editions are considered collectable. We intend to follow their lead with Breath.
When might we expect to see your first issue?
We're in the planning stages at the moment. Expect to see our first edition near the end of 2017.
What kind of articles are you going to put in the magazine?
Right now I have a whiteboard filled with ideas. Without going into any details, let me say that I don't think there is a magazine being published today that is anything like it. Well, I can say this, expect to see the kind of writing and preaching that you've seen on this site along with some original photography. Think of Paul's and John's letters. These men preached the Word through written communication. We aim to do that, but in an entirely different format.
And that brings up one reason for the magazine. People tend to invest in and keep printed materials. Now, take my teachings on Jonah. I don't think there are too many preachers who preach that is the sign that Jesus in Matthew says he is. We plan to include Jonah in our first few editions. Readers can keep and refer to that teaching for years to come with a printed magazine, not so much with a website.
What is going to become of Smythe.TV?
You have probably noticed some changes already. For instance, earlier this year we incorporated as a non-profit ministry and have since decided to ditch those plans to concentrate on the magazine. So, right now we are taking "ministries" off the site and off of iTunes. We are going to turn this url into my own, personal site. You will probably see little writing from this point on because of the work required for Breath, but I do plan to upload some photography.
Let me also say that some of the material here might make it into the magazine. It'll be in a different form, but we'll be sure to cover some of the same ground eventually. So if any reader wants to keep any of the articles here, he should go ahead and print them out. We will likely empty Smythe.TV of content for use in Breath and its website real soon.
What about the podcasts? Do you plan to keep on doing those?
We haven't yet decided what to do about the podcasts. But Breath will have three prongs to it—the magazine, the website, and live events. We're not yet sure how podcasts fit into the equation. But one way they might fit is with the live events. If you look up Cereal you'll see that they hold events from time to time in different cities, and they've had some pretty good turnouts. We plan to follow that model in some form or fashion.
What should readers do to keep up with this project?
They should sign up for the newsletters at breathmagazine.com. We haven't built out the site yet, but that is in the works. We will be sharing news and behind-the-scenes photographs up until the time of publication.