Please indulge me for one more blog post about my decision to retire from LifeWay. In my previous post, I shared the reasons why I am retiring, why God is leading me to leave an organization I love deeply. In this post, I will share some of my plans for life post-LifeWay.
I understand the plans of man are not always the plans of God. Everything I write here could change in the blink of an eye. I also want to make clear my total loyalty to LifeWay. I will not get in the way of the next CEO, but I will be the biggest cheerleader for this company I love so much.
While I do look forward to a lot more flexibility to spend time with my family, I will continue to do the work of ministry. I cannot imagine a life otherwise. Here are my plans for now:
- Revitalize Network. In anticipation of my retirement, I applied with the IRS to start a non-profit 501c3 where churches will work joyously together for greater health and revitalization. I am incredibly excited about this future; and I think God has great plans for it. Revitalize Network has now been approved, and it is ready to launch next month.
- ThomRainer.com. I will continue this blog and related ministries on the blog. The total number of views and emails opened is over 10 million each year. We touch every nation in the world. I thank God for the influence He has given this daily blog. And I particularly love the post every Sunday (“Pray for”) where we pray for a specific church.
- Our podcasts: Rainer on Leadership and Revitalize and Replant. I have been blown away by the influence and growth of these two podcasts. I look forward to investing even more time to this ministry in the days ahead.
- Church Answers. We started Church Answers as a place where church leaders could ask questions 24/7 and get answers quickly, usually within an hour or two. It has experienced phenomenal growth. Church Answers has two certification ministries that we will continue to improve and grow: Church Consultation University and Interim Pastor University. We will continue to add to the ministries of Church Answers as God leads and as we hear from the churches.
- Books. I have written 28 books, most related to local churches. God willing, I do not plan to slow down the pace.
- Speaking/Conferences. I will continue to do a number of speaking engagements digitally and a few in person each year.
- I am a church member. I am not referring to the book by the same name. I am referring to my commitment to be a good and faithful church member. I will spend the majority of my time locally at The Church at Spring Hill where my son Jess is pastor. But I also want to spend more time at West Bradenton Baptist Church in Florida where my son Sam is pastor. That church will likely be my preferred winter location. I am not forgetting my other son, Art, and his family either.
I do not presume upon the will and plans of God. For now, this direction is where I see Him taking me in my “retirement” years.
I am a blessed man.
I am a grateful man.
Posted on August 29, 2018
With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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This is great news! I have been feeling like we need a similar non-profit here in Connecticut!
One of our key leaders is on Long Island, Melissa, so we are close.
Count me in for the Revitalize Network. Your wisdom has seen me through some very tough days upon return to ministry. God is using you to build up the local church through the frontline servants who look to you for wisdom. God bless you as the next chapter unfolds!
Glad to have you, Dan.
Thank you for submitting to the Will of God as servant leader. You have been a great influence in our ministry. I look forward to many more years of fruitful fellowship.
Thanks so much, Sterling.
Selfishly, I regretted to hear about your retirement. But after reading this post, not much will change from the perspective of you continuing to pour into Pastors and Churches. Thank you for this. You and Nelson S. both are having a huge impact upon my life and ministry through your respective resources and coaching. Thanks Thom! Press on.
Love serving leaders like you, Barry.
Leadership is influence, and certainly, you have influenced many and this is just who you are and will always be! You are an inspiration too many and your impact on my life and ministry is immeasurable.
Love you and pray for God’s continued touch on your life, family and continued ministries.
Thanks so much, Greg.
I’m so looking forward to ALL you will be doing for the LORD! I love the “pray for ____ church, as well as your blog, podcasts, books, etc., etc., etc.
Praying for you as you move upward and onward!
Thank you so much, Jackie.
Who hasn’t benefitted in Church ministry by Thom Rainer.
May the Lord continue multiplying His gracious blessings upon and through you.
Thank you, Gary.
God bless you, brother, as you continue to follow Jesus into a future filled with hope!
Kind words, Jim. Thank you.
I love your willingness to admit a plan of snowbirding to Florida 🙂
And I hope you have a blessed retirement. I look forward to seeing how the Revitalize network sets up.
Yep. Florida is definitely in the plans.
Thanks Thom! I love churchanswers.com and our staff is about to go through the Reaching Millennial course next week. Thank you for all your work and may God continue to establish the work of your hands for His glory!
Thank you, Lee.
Looking forward to you making a trip to Oregon once you have time! Thanks for all you are doing and thanks be to God for all He will do through you once you have some ‘free’ time! If you consider all the doors God opened while you’ve been workin a full time job -one can only imagine what God has in store for you w free time on your hands! I regret I never had the opportunity to serve as a Trustee at Lifeway while you were PRES.
Thank you brother Thom. You have encouraged and helped so many Pastors and Churches move forward in Ministry.
God bless you and all your family………
Thank you so much, LeRoy.
I love your posts so I am so thankful that you will continue sharing them. My husband is a DOM in Chicagoland. We frequently use them with our pastors, wives and churches.
I am honored, Debbie.
Thank you Thom for your guidance. As an aside, I’ve used many bible translations but have recently plunged into the CSB and cannot say enough about how a single bible translation speaks to my heart. Thom, thank you for taking the helm of lifeway. Your company has guided me in Sunday school and with CSB, the word of God speaks.
Thank you, Prentiss.