LifeWay Christian Resources CEO Ben Mandrell unveiled to trustees a new organizational structure and mission statement to align the organization for future ministry and growth.
LifeWay experienced a successful transition in closing its brick-and-mortar retail chain in 2019 and saw significant growth in its direct sales channels, Mandrell reported to trustees during their biannual board meeting, Feb. 3-4 in Nashville.
“We knew it would take us some time to recover from the store closures, but we are rebounding faster than we expected,” Mandrell said. “It’s early, of course, but we are pleased with where we are after the first quarter.”
Sales through LifeWay.com are showing increases of more than 25 percent over last year, Mandrell noted. “Since LifeWay.com is our most popular channel, we want our online store to be intuitive, smart and streamlined. We have a team of talented employees working diligently to enhance that experience.”
In addition to its e-commerce site, LifeWay continues to engage customers through its Customer Service Center, a network of church partners, and partnerships with independent Christian bookstores and other retailers, Mandrell said. Through its Authorized Dealer Program, LifeWay is now showcasing products in 459 locations across 46 states. “We’re finding new shelf space to allow customers to touch and feel our products before they buy them.”
In addition to independent bookstores, LifeWay is also partnering with local churches that wish to carry an assortment of LifeWay resources, Mandrell reported. “Together, we’ve extended our ministry reach into more than 90 new markets — regions where LifeWay never had a brick-and-mortar storefront.”
Mandrell reminded trustees, “LifeWay is far more than a chain of brick-and-mortar stores. In the past year, LifeWay served more than 75,000 churches around the globe through our resources, events and services.”
Refocusing the mission
Reflecting on the past year, Mandrell said he is reminded how the Lord has provided and sustained LifeWay through a difficult season.
“But challenges always present opportunities,” he said. “We’ve had the opportunity to reimagine the future of LifeWay and refocus our mission.”
Mandrell then revealed LifeWay’s new mission statement — “We exist to honor God and serve churches by designing trustworthy experiences that fuel ministry.”
He reminded trustees of LifeWay’s creation story, how the founding president James M. Frost cast a vision for an organization that would fuel the ministry of local churches by creating doctrinally sound, easy to use materials.
“Frost saw enormous potential in designing tools that make church ministry more effective,” Mandrell said. “It’s my desire to continue that vision and commitment as we come alongside local churches in order to support the Great Commission.”
Mandrell explained that the mission statement is intended “to help us recalibrate our culture and set a compass for our future.” He also said LifeWay is engaged in a rebranding process and plans to unveil a new logo and brand promise in the coming months.
“As LifeWay engages a changing marketplace, we are imagining new ways to get products to our customers,” Mandrell said, “and we are positioning ourselves to serve churches scattered across the globe.”
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Source: Baptist Press