For LifeWay Christian Resources, 2015 was a year of innovative ministry products and services for churches and their members, punctuated by ongoing developments in the sale of its 15-acre campus in downtown Nashville.
In November, LifeWay completed the sale of the property where it has been located for more than 100 years and announced it was close to deciding on a new piece of property, hopefully in downtown Nashville.
Also during 2015:
Rainer outlines LifeWay future, reorganization – LifeWay Christian Resources President Thom S. Rainer outlined for LifeWay’s trustees a vision for the entity’s future that includes an organizational restructuring, leadership changes and relocation.
Beth Moore celebrates 20 years with LifeWay – This year LifeWay Christian Resources celebrated 20 years of ministry partnership with author and Bible study teacher Beth Moore. “Today we are honoring Beth Moore, but more important than that, we are giving glory to God for His work through this ministry,” LifeWay President Thom S. Rainer said at a special chapel celebration Feb. 11.
Gospel Project goes chronological – After three years and more than three quarters of a million weekly users, The Gospel Project changed its approach. Starting this past fall, LifeWay Christian Resources’ newest Bible study curriculum for all ages began going through the Bible chronologically.
Customizable Bible studies available for churches – Where can a church begin looking for the right Bible study materials? For some, it may be within the church itself. With help from a new web-based tool offered by LifeWay Christian Resources, a congregation can now have easier access to customizable content that accompanies a sermon series or undergirds a special church-wide campaign.
Lecrae’s ‘Unashamed’ to be published by B&H – Grammy Award winning hip-hop artist Lecrae has signed a book deal with B&H Publishing Group of LifeWay Christian Resources.
Releasing in May 2016, the book will be titled “Unashamed” and will discuss details of his difficult past, including childhood abuse, struggles with drugs and alcoholism, bouts of depression and a suicide attempt.
LifeWay Stores campaign provided Bibles in China – A campaign by LifeWay Christian Stores and Tyndale House Publishers allowed individuals and churches to purchase Bibles for people in the world’s most populous country.
2016 VBS to ‘submerge’ kids in God’s Word – Next summer, kids will have the opportunity to dive past the surface and go deeper into God’s Word with “Submerged,” the 2016 Vacation Bible School theme from LifeWay Christian Resources.
LifeWay Research, Billy Graham Center to release study – LifeWay Research and the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College in Illinois have partnered to “facilitate the advancement of biblically faithful evangelism.” Ed Stetzer, executive director of Nashville-based LifeWay Research, will serve as senior fellow for the evangelism center.
B&H claims 20 awards from Christian Retailing – B&H at LifeWay Christian Resources claimed 20 awards from Christian Retailing Magazine’s 2015 Best. Winning products included Thom Rainer’s Autopsy of a Deceased Church, The Study Bible for Women, The Big Picture Interactive Bible for children and Beth Moore’s Portraits of Devotion.
‘War Room’ prayer resources available from LifeWay – LifeWay Christian Resources partnered with filmmakers Stephen and Alex Kendrick to provide churches with resources to accompany their latest film, “War Room,” which spotlights prayer’s power and purpose. The movie, released in theaters Aug. 28, tells the story of a prayer warrior grandmother who mentors a young mom (Priscilla Shirer) facing a troubled relationship with her husband.
In 2015, LifeWay Research surveyed tens of thousands of Americans including pastors, church members and non-members on issues ranging from activities that influence discipleship to cultural and world affairs. Results were reported in national and international news outlets, both Christian and secular. Following are six of the most-read studies.
Survey: Evangelicals ready for immigration reform – When it comes to immigration reform, American evangelicals appear to have high expectations, a LifeWay Research study shows.
Islamic threat, religious liberty studied – Americans view Islam as a threat to their own nation’s religious liberty almost as strongly as they consider it a danger to religious freedom internationally, a new study shows.
Gay marriage gap widens for evangelicals & culture – Americans who have gay or lesbian friends are twice as likely to say gay marriage should be legal as those who have none.
Pastoral stress & ministry focus of LifeWay Research study – Though pastors are stressed about money and overwhelming ministry demands, only 1 percent abandon the pulpit each year, LifeWay Research finds.
LifeWay research study spotlights divorce among churchgoers – Before a divorce, churchgoers in troubled marriages look a lot like their happily married counterparts at church – participating, serving and leading at similar rates, a new study shows.
Abortion, women’s views of church focus of study – Many women with unplanned pregnancies go silently from the church pew to the abortion clinic, convinced the church would gossip rather than help, a study by LifeWay Research shows.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Marty King is director of communications for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.)