The estimated 46,000 autonomous churches cooperating together with the Southern Baptist Convention derive great benefit from LifeWay Christian Resources. Started in 1891 as the Sunday School Board, LifeWay is one of the world’s largest providers of Christian resources and services, which includes Bibles and Bible studies, church literature, books, music, church supplies, and training resources. LifeWay also operates more than 186 LifeWay Christian Stores across the nation and operates one of the largest Christian conference centers in the country. LifeWay’s vision statement is: “As God works through us, we will help individuals and churches by providing biblical solutions for life.”
Unlike other Southern Baptist entities which are supported by the Cooperative Program, LifeWay receives no funding from the SBC’s mission funding program. It is supported entirely by the sales of its resources and services. In fact, LifeWay reinvests all income above its operating expenses back into the organization and to support mission work and other ministries around the world.
LifeWay possesses a long tradition of being a good employer at its home base in Nashville, Tennessee. It has consistently been named “one of the best employers in Tennessee” by Business Tennessee Magazine and The Tennessean newspaper.
LifeWay’s products and services include resources to assist churches and individuals in evangelizing unbelievers and discipling believers. These resources include: the Bible (in various modern translations including the Holman Christian Standard Bible); small group Bible study resources; books written by Christian authors; family and leadership magazines; worship music; and leader training.
LifeWay’s church resources division (CRD) offers products in 20 languages including two basic evangelism and discipleship resources, Share Jesus without Fear and The Call to Follow Christ, in 50 languages. CRD has employees who work specifically with African American and Hispanic churches. The division sponsors several events designed primarily for African American churches, including BETA for pastors and education leaders, a conference called I’m the Man at Ridgecrest Conference Center, the National Black Church Leadership and Family Conference, and the National Black Sunday School Conference. CRD also produces an urban Sunday School curriculum called YOU.
LifeWay products can be purchased at any of the LifeWay Christian Stores at more than 186 locations in 28 states. In addition to store visits, LifeWay’s online presence at LifeWay.com offers the convenience of online shopping.
B&H Publishing Group serves as LifeWay’s Bible and book publisher. B&H is a global leader in Christian publishing and produces dozens of nonfiction books, the HCSB translation of the Bible, and academic lines serving seminaries, colleges and universities. B&H has a global reach, serving Africa, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Australia, and Spanish-speaking countries in Europe and Central and South America. B&H is the largest commercial publisher of Spanish Bibles in the world. B&H also engages in aggressive digital strategies and produces e-books, digital publications, and mobile apps for smartphones and tablets as additional outlets of LifeWay’s high-quality Christian materials.
LifeWay’s Conference Center at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, offers summer camps, retreat settings, collegiate conferences, and a multitude of specialized conference offerings ranging from youth conferences and marriage retreats to writers’ conferences and Christian motorcycle rallies. Another service offered by the entity has been its services to Christian schools and the home-schooling movement. In addition to products marketed for these ministries, LifeWay Christian Resources offers consulting, research services and discounts for setting up background checks for personnel involved in these ministries.
LifeWay also offers leadership training events for a wide variety of church ministries. Most notable of these leadership training events are the Vacation Bible School previews usually premiered in Nashville long before the summer VBS season.. Other events for leadership training include sessions like “The Black Church” and “The Transformational Church.” LifeWay further serves churches and denominational entities through consulting services for vision casting, fundraising and architectural planning.
LifeWay Research studies trends of interest to Southern Baptists, other evangelicals and even secular communities. Of particular interest have been those cultural and societal trends that impact modern church practices, witness and beliefs. The results of this research are often published and posted in Baptist Press but have gained reputation among mainstream media outlets as being a trusted voice on issues of church and culture. LifeWay Research is also establishing a process to do cultural and religious research in Brazil with exploration of projects in South Africa, Philippines, and Australia.
LifeWay is constantly alert to opportunities that present ways to help spiritually transform all peoples from all cultures and backgrounds by offering biblical solutions for life. All of the ministry divisions within LifeWay actively promote and encourage ethnic churches and church leaders to utilize LifeWay products, services and other resources to help their churches and members know Jesus Christ and seek His Kingdom.
To accomplish its mission, LifeWay works in partnership with other SBC entities, state conventions, associations and churches. LifeWay maintains a long tradition of cooperating with the SBC’s two mission boards and encourages its employees to participate in mission trips. The spirit of these initiatives demonstrates the long history of cooperation in Southern Baptist life, a principle that drives LifeWay to continue in its vision of producing “biblical solutions for life.”
For more information call 1-615-251-2000,
or visit www.lifeway.com.
Download in PDF format