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13 Portuguese-language titles from LifeWay aid discipleship in Brazil

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–What is the most effective way to impact Brazilians with scriptural truths from such noted authors as Henry Blackaby, Beth Moore and Gary Smalley?

LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention is finding success through a partnership begun four years ago with the Brazilian company Bom Pastor. Through a licensing agreement with a division named LifeWay Brazil, 13 titles from LifeWay Church Resources and Broadman & Holman Publishers have been translated into Portuguese.

More than $100,000 per year in sales has been recorded in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America.

The most popular book has been Blackaby’s “Experiencing God,” which has sold more then 80,000 copies. Other popular titles include Moore’s “Breaking Free” and Smalley’s “Making Love Last Forever.”

“This type of material is what the churches down there said they needed the most. They needed discipleship training and leadership training for their churches and leaders and the lay leaders,” said Jim Cook, vice president of international sales at LifeWay.

“There are more born-again Christians in Brazil than in all the rest of Latin America put together,” Cook said. “There are 40 million Christians in Brazil, and there’s not that much [material] available in Portuguese.”

The partnership with LifeWay Brazil is administered by LifeWay International, the LifeWay department responsible for overseas training events and negotiating printing contracts with overseas partners. The division also is responsible for sales of Spanish-language materials inside the United States.

In 2004 LifeWay International conducted 579 workshops to train more than 42,000 pastors and leaders from 4,337 churches in 31 different countries. Currently, LifeWay materials are available in 40 languages and are distributed under 2,000 licensing contracts worldwide.

“It’s just an extension of the ministry that LifeWay does here in the U.S.,” Cook said. “We are trying to duplicate it as well as we can around the world.”

LifeWay Brazil is one of two partnerships in the world where LifeWay has allowed another company to use the LifeWay name. The other is LifeWay Canada, which distributes English products in Canada.

According to the LifeWay Brazil partnership, LifeWay and Bom Pastor are to evenly divide the net profits from LifeWay Brazil. For the first three and a half years of the partnership, however, LifeWay has invested all of the profits back into LifeWay Brazil. Proceeds from sales in Brazil will never be used to grow LifeWay’s operation in the United States, Cook said.