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.