By Aaron Wilson
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—In Luke 10, a religious leader asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Churches are about to get specific help understanding their neighbors and how to reach them at seminars with Lifeway President and CEO Thom S. Rainer.
Rainer will visit Lifeway Christian Stores in five cities to present a one-hour seminar called “The New Normal for Reaching Your Community: Five Things You Must Know and Do.” Joining him will be Jonathan Howe, director of strategic initiatives. Brad Waggoner, Lifeway executive vice president and chief operating officer, will also be present at all but one of the events.
Rainer, author of the new book “Becoming a Welcoming Church” from B&H Publishing, will show participants how to reach neighbors in their community more effectively with the gospel.
“The primary purpose of this event is to encourage pastors to move their churches to an outward focus,” Rainer said. “Church membership is not country club membership. We want church members to see themselves as missionaries to their community.”
Each attendee will receive a local report from the Percept Group to help church leaders better understand their community for ministry planning. The six-page demographic study—an $85 value—reveals key faith indicators for the community, such as religious identification, leadership preferences and involvement with faith.
“Reaching your community starts with knowing your community,” Rainer said. “That’s why we are providing churches with a demographic and psychographic survey of their ZIP code. The more you know about who lives in your community, the more effective your church can be at reaching them with the gospel.”
Participants will also receive a selection of Lifeway resources.
The seminar with Q&A will be presented at these dates and times.
- Jackson, Tenn., Lifeway Store (at Union University) – Monday, April 9, 7-8 p.m.
- Southaven, Miss., Lifeway Store – Tuesday, April 10, 8-9 a.m.
- Little Rock, Ark., Lifeway Store – Tuesday, April 10, 7-8 p.m.
- Little Rock, Ark., Lifeway Store – Wednesday, April 11, 8-9 a.m.
- Franklin, Tenn., Lifeway Store – Tuesday, April 17, 8-9 a.m.
- Columbus, Ga., Lifeway Store – Tuesday, May 1, 8-9 a.m.
Attendees can reserve a spot at one of the events by visiting ThomRainer.com/NewNormal. Registration is $20.
Aaron Wilson is a writer for Lifeway Christian Resources.