Ministry Today magazine cover

Thom Rainer

Created on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 / Pastoring
Tags: Thom Rainer, productive, pastor, ministry, demanding, race, spiritually disciplined, pray, physically disciplined, appointments, sermon preparation, priorities, accomplishment, sleep
The work of pastoral ministry is a joy, but it's also demanding. Every pastor is on call 24/7. Expectations of members are high and sometimes unreasonable. Pastors are thus expected to "run the race" constantly. ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 / Vision
Tags: Thom Rainer, LifeWay, church, autopsy, death, caution, pessimism, optimism, reality, leaders, prayer movements, church planting, revitalization, theology, practical ministry
I know. I have been a spokesman for gloom and doom of the local church. I've even written a book about church autopsies—not necessarily a topic of hope and joy. There have, however, been reasons ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 09 June 2014 / Church Growth
Tags: Kristy Rutter, Ed Stetzer, LifeWay, Thom Rainer, churches, multi-site, merger, strategy, success, The Chapel, Chicago, Kingdom, church plants
I have had the privilege of working with the Chapel, a multisite church in the Chicago land area for the last 4 years. I started with them in 2009 to spearhead this "experiment" to see if we could launch ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 06 June 2014 / Relationships
Tags: Thom Rainer, LifeWay Christian Resources, pastors, church members, human, family member, criticize, bad days, sermons, home runs, sensitive, salary, church numbers, true friend, preaching, good people, ...
In a recent article, I noted nine things church members would like to say to their pastors. In this article, I represent the pastors. Please hear me clearly. Most pastors love church members dearly. They ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 30 May 2014 / Communication
Tags: Thom Rainer, pastors, church members, LifeWay Christian Resources, care, visit, teach, Bible, Word, preaching, change
I am among the most blessed men in the world. God has graciously saved me and sustained me. I have an incredible family. The place and ministry where I serve vocationally is a gift from God. And then, ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 / Equipment
Tags: Thom Rainer, worship center, seating, churches, pews, chairs, stackable, mobile, theater seats, capacity, flexibility
One of the larger expenses of many churches, and often an area of contention, is the type of seating in the worship center. I have been amazed to hear stories of intense church arguments over seating in ... [ +++ ]
Created on Thursday, 08 May 2014 / Worship
Tags: Thom Rainer, church, services, changes, objective research, National Congregations Study, Duke University, choirs, dress, casual, screens, preaching, longer, multi, attendees, diverse, conflict, ...
... If you, however, attended a church worship service in 2000 and then returned to that same church in 2010, there is a high likelihood you would see dramatic changes had taken place in only 10 years. What, ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 / Administration
Tags: Thom Rainer, church names, trends, Bible study, denomination, affiliation, Baptist, Christ, Assembly, Community, unchurched, Internet, relationships
The call came from an eager young man starting a new church in Florida. He already had 50 people meeting in homes in Bible studies. They had secured a leased space to launch the church in just a few months. ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 / Personal Character
Tags: Thom Rainer, LifeWay, criticism, leadership, unrealistic expectations, ministry, blessed, calling, Jonah, love, unconditionally, eyes, resurrected Lord, gospel, focus
By my warped standards, it was not a good day. After nearly nine years serving as president and CEO of LifeWay, I have learned that criticisms are a part of the life and leadership I have. But the critics ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 / Personal Character
Tags: Thom Rainer, Christian, narcissism, Jesus Christ, leaders, inconsiderate, selfish, excessive attention, entitlement, brilliant, charismatic, behavior, prayer, eyes opened, humility, trust, adviser, ...
Narcissism should not be said in the same breath as Christian. The former is love of self; the latter is love of God in Jesus Christ. But the sad reality is that narcissism can and often does creep into ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 / Worship
Tags: Thom Rainer, Lifeway Research, Millennials, Texas, data, worship style, blended styles, war, paradigm, rich content, theological truths
... had the opportunity to speak on the subject on many occasions. We reminded this audience in Dallas of the birthdates of this generation, 1980 to 2000, and then proceeded to share our research. We had commissioned ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 / Personal Character
Tags: Thom Rainer, weight loss, obesity, bad health habits, ice cream, gluttony, health, BMI, physical exam, diabetes, energy, treadmill, three miles, pedometer
In a previous post, I confessed my obesity and my desire for God to change my bad health habits. I felt my Christian witness was compromised by my gluttony. I also promised that my blog would not become ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 28 March 2014 / Relationships
Tags: Thom Rainer, supportive, spouse, marriage, ministry, church staff, pastors, Harvard Business Review, emotional support, career demands, practical help, career advice, relocation
I am tempted to say that my ministry would be incomplete without my wife, Nellie Jo. It is more accurate, however, to say I likely wouldn’t have a ministry without her. She not only has been supportive; ... [ +++ ]
Created on Thursday, 20 March 2014 / Personal Character
Tags: Thom Rainer, do-overs, pastors, failures, regrets, struggles, failures, response, anger, obsession, critics, admit mistake, neglect, family member, church need, initiative, buy-in, megachurch
We are certainly to move forward from past failures and regrets. Paul told us to “forget what is behind and reach forward to what is ahead” (Phil. 3:13). But we can learn from the wisdom of others, even ... [ +++ ]
Created on Thursday, 13 March 2014 / Education
Tags: Pastor, training, 21st century, theology, biblical truths, missions, disciplines, American culture, shift, international mission field, language, non-Christian culture, cultural Christians, Thom ...
Any pastor or other church staff member should be prepared in biblical truths. Theology is a key discipline as well. Indeed, none of the classical disciplines should be forsaken, nor any of the practical ... [ +++ ]
Created on Thursday, 06 February 2014 / Administration
Tags: Thom Rainer, sabbatical, Lifeway Resources, time off, rest, deeper study, churches, requirement, emotional highs and lows, vocations, longer tenures
The word sabbatical has different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. It has one meaning in the academic community, another meaning in its biblical usage, and still another in many ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 31 January 2014 / Ethics
Tags: Thom Rainer, pastor, tragic, affair, church member, sexual encounter, wife, devotion, patterns, vulnerabilities, neglect, accountability, guidelines, counseling, prayer time, Bible reading
The conversation is always sad, always tragic. The pastor who left his church after a two-year affair with another church member; the student pastor who has been out of vocational ministry since he had ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 27 January 2014 / Adversity
Tags: Thom Rainer, denominations, churches, arguments, worship, music style, services, churches die, attire, salaries, megachurches, working hours, why people, pastor's wife
For many years I served as a consultant to churches and denominations, a role I relinquished when I became president of LifeWay more than eight years ago. Part of our consultative process was interviewing ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 24 January 2014 / Culture
Tags: Thom Rainer, pastors, hurting, challenging, immoral, community, Pew Research, clergy, moral failures, widespread coverage, Christian faith, nation, marginalize, tenure, entitlement mentality, social ...
A day does not pass that I do not hear from a hurting pastor. Serving in that role has to be one of the most challenging vocations today. Sure, there are some bad and immoral pastors. But the vast majority ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 / Relationships
Tags: Thom Rainer, joy, pastors, babysit, wife, church, sermon, critic, committee, salary, kids, normal life, preparation
I just received a letter from a delightful lady. She was a member of a church where I was ordained in the ministry. What I remember most about her was the way she offered encouragement to the pastors of ... [ +++ ]
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