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LifeWay Christian Resources has 'a very good year' Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 24 September 2009 09:07 AM America/New_York

Unexpected success of 'The Love Dare' contributed to a successful 2009 and 'marriages healed'


Despite a tough economy, LifeWay Christian Resources (LCR) "had a very good year," according to LifeWay's top executive.

ThomRainerDuring a plenary session in September at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center in Ridgecrest, N.C., LCR President Thom Rainer told the trustee board that "tremendous expense control" was the key reason, Baptist Press (BP) reported.

Additionally, the unexpected success from The Love Dare (B&H Publishing Group, LifeWay's publishing arm)—a focal point of the surprise hit movie Fireproof—also contributed to a successful 2009. The Love Dare recently became the all-time best-seller for B&H Publishing Group, surpassing the late golfer Payne Stewart's biography, BP reported.

"The business side of this success excites me, but the ministry side does even more," Rainer said. "It is phenomenal to see marriages healed, strengthened and renewed through The Love Dare. The Lord is using it in a mighty way."

B&H Publishing Group Vice President Brad Waggoner said besides spending 52 weeks at the No. 2 spot on The New York Times Paperback Advice best-seller list, The Love Dare has resulted in countless saved marriages.

Waggoner also highlighted the continued popularity of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, while spotlighting the release this fall of the Holman Christian Standard Bible Study Bible.

LifeWay Christian Stores Vice President Mark Scott told trustees that the 152-store chain had responded strategically to the recession. First, the stores emphasized Christian resources that addressed people's felt needs. Second, the chain responded to tighter consumer and church spending with strong offers that created value for customers. Third, the stores were offering strong and frequent promotional events, Scott said.

"LifeWay Christian Stores continue to support our partners in ministry through the Minister's Discount," Scott said. "By God's grace and the hard work of our team members, we've seen wonderful ministry results in 2009.

"These results were accomplished during a very difficult period in the American economy, so we know the Lord has sustained us through what's become known as the Great Recession," he added.

Despite the gloomy economy, Chief Financial Officer Jerry Rhyne said LCR's financial health was good, citing a strong balance sheet, no debt and a strong and diverse customer base.
"LifeWay is a ministry funded by a business model, but that model needs to be adjusted from time to time," Rhyne said.

For example, LifeWay has budgeted no salary increases for 2010 and was holding the line on prices for most literature to help struggling churches, he added.