News Articles

SBC DIGEST: Thom Rainer launches Revitalize Network; ‘Biblia del Pescador’ equipping ‘fishers of men’

Thom Rainer launches Church Revitalization Network

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (BP) — Thom S. Rainer, who has announced his pending retirement as president of LifeWay Christian Resources, has launched a nonprofit organization, Revitalize Network, to provide networking, consultation and resources for leaders of churches needing revitalization.

“Some people may have given up on specific local churches, but we are convinced God still has a plan for them,” said Rainer, who will be the network’s executive director.

“We pray that Revitalize Network will be a place of hope, unity and joy,” he added. “We pray the churches that work together in the network will be known by what they are for more than what they are against.”

Rainer’s eldest son, Sam Rainer, will serve as the network’s president, with Amy Jordan as executive vice president and Mike Glenn, senior pastor of Brentwood (Tenn.) Baptist Church, as chairman of the board. Others serving on the board are Brad Waggoner, LifeWay executive vice president, and Chuck Lawless, vice president for spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Sam Rainer noted, “God has placed every church in a specific address for a specific reason. The goal of Revitalize Network is not only to help revitalize individual churches but also the communities around them on a national scale.”

Joining Rainer in the venture are presenting partners Brentwood Baptist Church, LifeWay Christian Resources, the North American Mission Board and California Baptist University. Details on these partnerships will be released later in 2018.

Rainer has led LifeWay, an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, the past 13 years, serving as founding dean of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry from 1994-2005.

He has authored or coauthored more than two dozen books, including “Becoming a Welcoming Church,” “I Will: Nine Traits of an Outwardly Focused Christian,” “Autopsy of a Deceased Church” and “I Am a Church Member.”

Rainer said he plans to continue producing daily content for his blog, ThomRainer.com, which reaches more than 10 million views each year, while both of his podcasts, Rainer on Leadership and Revitalize and Replant, will continue. Rainer also intends to expand Church Answers, a ministry he launched in 2015 that now encompasses a pair of certification ministries and a host of digital church resources.

More information about the network can be found at revitalizenetwork.org.


‘Biblia del Pescador’ equips ‘fishers of men’

NASHVILLE (BP) — With more than 500,000 copies sold, “The Biblia del Pescador” represents “hundreds of thousands of fishers of men equipped to lead lives at the feet of Christ,” said Luis Díaz-Pabón, general editor of the Spanish-language study Bible.

“Believers who had never led a life at the feet of Christ are evangelizing in their daily experience,” Díaz-Pabón said.

Biblia del Pescador (translated, Fisher of Men Bible) is unique in its focus on evangelism, discipleship and ministry. The Bible, published by B&H Español, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, was honored for its sales milestone by the Spanish Evangelical Publishers Association in August.

Released in 2013, its first print run was among the largest for Bibles in B&H history. The Bible contains a broad index, which allows the reader to easily locate the right Bible verse for almost any situation. The index leads to the first verse in a string of verses of a particular topic.

The study Bible also is available in Portuguese and English versions.

“Its design is simple and easy to use … children, young people, the elderly, university professors and pastors use it,” said Díaz-Pabón, whose evangelistic campaigns and ministry to people’s social and spiritual needs have spanned more than four decades in Latin America, the United States, Europe and Asia.

“Counseling ministries have it next to the telephone to answer the questions posed,” Díaz-Pabón also noted. “In prisons, thousands of inmates take it as their reference manual to God.”

Ariel Irizarry, B&H brand manager of Biblia del Pescador, said Diaz-Pabón is “currently involved in the work of evangelization and discipleship with the Biblia del Pescador in prisons and in the development and design of Fisher of Men resources/support materials for evangelism and discipleship. Work is being done on the publication of Biblia del Pescador’ in the New International Version and in the RVR60 large print edition, which will be released in February 2019.”

International evangelist Luis Palau has described the Biblia del Pescador as having “the potential to help [Christians] witness in a precious way,” while Spanish theologian Samuel Pagán said, “I’m not sure there is a Bible style like this in another language, because this Bible is geared for evangelization. I thank God for this product.”

For more information, visit bibliadelpescador.com.