Rainer reports on LifeWay’s health, focus

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Rainer gives report on LifeWay at 2011 SBC in Phoenix

PHOENIX, — Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, shared with messengers at the SBC annual meeting today that “LifeWay Christian Resources is doing well by doing good.”

Bringing attention to the unwavering focus of LifeWay to provide strong biblical resources for churches, he said, “It is by God’s grace working through incredible men and women at LifeWay that we have come through these past few years.”

Despite being “in the midst of the worst economic depression since the Great Depression, LifeWay has been able to be financially stable and good stewards of that which God has entrusted to us,” Rainer said.

Rainer used his convention report to highlight “examples of the incredible biblical faithfulness and creativity of the LifeWay family,” including:

—The success of the Holman Christian Standard Bible. “The HCSB translation continues to gain recognition and readership and ultimately is changing lives as believers discover its faithfulness to the original language with a clear emphasis on readability,” Rainer said. “Today, the HCSB is on the bestseller list of Bible translations as more and more Christians throughout the world have adopted it as their preferred translation of Scripture.”

—The HCSB Study Bible, released in 2010, which contains more than 15,000 study notes produced by more than 100 scholars. “We were humbled and honored this year as the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association named the HCSB Study Bible as the Bible of the Year,” Rainer noted.

—The release of MyStudyBible.com, one of the world’s premier Bible study tools.

—Read the Bible for Life, a LifeWay initiative in partnership with George Guthrie and Union University designed to address biblical literacy. “We are excited that individuals and families will reengage the Word of God and build their lives upon it,” Rainer said. “We are also thrilled that many churches have adopted Read the Bible for Life as a primary emphasis in their congregations.”

—Life Essentials Study Bible, which Rainer said will “include hundreds of QR codes that can be activated by your smartphone [to] link you to in-depth digital presentations and videos as you read your print Bible.”

—Women’s Evangelical Commentary, written for women wanting deeper biblical study.

—The Bible Place, a project within LifeWay Christian Stores designed to build upon the commitment to offering the Word of God to store customers. Rainer said the Bibles sold through The Bible Place “include the HCSB, but they also include other translations. In fact, the number of Bibles LifeWay Christian Stores sells each year has almost doubled since 2005.”

Rainer added that LifeWay has sold more than 10 million Bibles in the last five years. “More than the sale of these Bibles, we are blessed to know that millions of lives have been transformed by their time in the Word of God.”

—Bibles for military personnel. “Over the past five years, more than 300,000 Bibles from LifeWay Christian Stores have been distributed to military personnel on duty,” Rainer reported. “The testimonies we have heard from the men and women of our military are incredible, heartwarming and even miraculous. As these soldiers fight for our freedom, they are discovering the ultimate freedom in Jesus Christ through His Word.”

—Spanish Bibles and affordable Bibles. Rainer said that LifeWay is “committed to getting the Bible to all peoples around the globe” through Spanish translations as well as affordable New Testaments and Bibles as low as 50 cents.

—Secret Church simulcast in partnership with David Platt and Disciple Making International, designed to “simulcast a deep biblical and doctrinal teaching time,” Rainer said. In the first simulcast of Secret Church on Good Friday, more than 50,000 people participated in the six-hour event.

—Vacation Bible School, which continues to serve as one of the most prominent evangelism opportunities for churches in the SBC.

—LifeSpan. “The heart of LifeWay Christian Resources has been to provide Bible study for groups around the world,” Rainer said, describing LifeSpan as “a highly intentional series of curriculum and study…where lives are transformed from birth to heaven.”

Rainer closed his report by reemphasizing LifeWay’s commitment as an entity of the SBC to “provide the resources to teach God’s Word for transformed lives and a transformed world.”

by Russ Rankin

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