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Rainer: Challenges can yield growth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–President Thom S. Rainer exhorted LifeWay Christian Resources trustees Feb. 11 to view the challenges of the day as opportunities to see the hand of God and join in His work.

Stating that LifeWay is “able to do some things that others cannot do,” Rainer told trustees about the impact of a phone call the previous week informing him of the tornado devastation at Union University.

“We heard about the tragedy; we heard of the miracle that lives were spared,” Rainer said. “I believe that LifeWay has been given a unique opportunity for a unique time,” he continued. “We have resources for a unique time. It is time for LifeWay to step up and walk alongside our brothers and sisters at Union.”

Rainer asked trustees to “do something tangible” and approve a decision made by the trustee executive committee to provide $350,000 for Union’s recovery. LifeWay would make $250,000 available immediately for budget needs, while the remaining $100,000 would be earmarked for students to replace textbooks and supplies.

“Union has a long history with LifeWay,” Rainer said, noting that for years Union has hosted LifeWay-sponsored Centrifuge youth camps. Union’s campus also has a LifeWay Christian Store.

“Throughout the LifeWay family we have alumni, employees with children and friends at Union and employees who have close connections with Union University,” Rainer added. “Many students lost everything. It is my hope and prayer that others will now walk alongside us as we walk alongside Union.”

Following unanimous affirmation by the board, Rainer spoke to Union President David Dockery via speakerphone during the trustee meeting to inform him of the decision. (For more information, see related wrap-up article on the LifeWay trustee meeting.)

“This is what LifeWay is truly about,” Rainer said following the conversation with Dockery. “Yes, we are a business, but we are first a ministry.”

Turning to several major challenges faced by LifeWay in his remarks to the trustees, Rainer pointed out that challenges must be faced with confidence, because “those who trust in Christ know He will see us through.”

“LifeWay is not immune from the business climate in which we find ourselves,” Rainer said, describing challenges of the economy, a competitive business environment, the reach for innovation and the stewardship of ministry investments. “Yes, we have our challenges, but our people at LifeWay are truly up to the challenges.”

Rainer said in all things LifeWay will keep the perspective that challenges are “opportunities to see that God is saying He is with us.”
Russ Rankin is manager of editorial services for LifeWay Christian Resources.

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