Meet the New Director of Marketing and Sales, Ben Penner

Greetings! My name is Ben Penner and I am thrilled to join MennoMedia as the new Director of Marketing and Sales. Together we will strive to be the first place you look for the most authoritative and engaging books, curriculum, and congregational resources from an Anabaptist perspective.

I just wanted to take a moment to share a few biographical details and thoughts on the future of publishing including how you can help MennoMedia become the destination for all things Mennonite and Anabaptist.

I grew up Mennonite Brethren in Hillsboro, Kansas on a wheat farm. After my graduation from Tabor College I made the somewhat unconventional pilgrimage to Southern California where I attended Fuller Theological Seminary and almost as unexpectedly started a career in publishing. I say unexpectedly because I didn’t go to a Seminary to learn how to publish books, but that’s what happened. I ended up working as an assistant of sorts with Dr. Eddie Gibbs on a book about the future of the church called ChurchNext. I was hooked. I learned that my interests in church, culture, globalization and the future were just the catalyst I needed to help others express their ideas about how best to respond to the challenge of the modern world to people of faith.


Fast forward ten plus years and I’m still looking for new ways to engage the best thinking about culture with convictions that I believe can show people of every background the way forward, leading me to MennoMedia.

A few weeks ago I attended a conference in New York City devoted to the future of publishing. One of the highlights was the phenomenal energy that I saw exhibited by the many startup media companies in attendance, showing off their ideas. I was impressed by their attention to the specific needs of the people they served, and to the very specific ways people read books today, whether they be in paper format or through eReaders such as the Kindle or iPad. Everyone I talked to was unanimous in their enthusiasm and excitement about the future of the written word. I believe that this is a model that we can follow at MennoMedia.

In the near future we’ll be experimenting with new ways to deliver the best content from an Anabaptist perspective to you. One concept I’ve learned about recently is Lean Publishing, which basically means experimenting with product delivery and design at a very early stage, sharing it with the world from the very start, and learning from what you tell us. In other words, we want to hear from you.

To reach me to talk about how we can best serve you and your congregation or community, please send me an email at [email protected] or give me a call at 507-995-7756.

What would you like to see from an Anabaptist media publisher?