NASHVILLE, Tenn. - During Feb. 9 - 10 meeting in Nashville, Tenn., LifeWay's ministry President James T. Draper Jr. announced the need of reinforcing the strategy to depend on the power from above, not from the world, Baptist Press reported. He specifically emphasized following God’s plan for LifeWay.
At the meeting, Ted Warren, executive vice president and chief operating officer, spoke of the financial situation of LifeWay. In 2003, LifeWay reported revenues of $414.3 million, down 0.7 percent from the previous year. Warren projected 2004 year-end revenues to be $440.3 million, 6 percent ahead of last year but 1.8 percent below budget.
Looking at the doubling of the corporation’s asset since 1994, Warren said, "That's a pretty good run. God has gone exceedingly above and beyond all we could ask for."
Each functions of LifeWay reported their overall performance over the previous year.
Gene Mims, vice president of the church resources division, reported a 10 percent growth in women's events in 2003, with 22,000 women attending a single Beth Moore "Living Proof Live" event in Atlanta, and a 5.3 percent growth in LifeWay-sponsored student events, with more than 80,000 students attending and 8,000 registering spiritual decisions. She also reported about the growth of the FAITH/Sunday School evangelism strategy.
Mark Scott, vice president of the LifeWay Christian Stores division, reported that the first quarter of 2004 showed a "solid start in an unsteady industry." For the first quarter of 2004, there was sales growth in books, gifts, Bibles, and music.
Ken Stephens, vice president of Broadman & Holman, updated new releases for 2004 and announced their best-sellers in 2003.
Mike Arrington, vice president of the corporate affairs division, reported spiritual and operational successes in 2003. Hundreds of people received Christ and the renovation of the Royal Gorge Apartments at Ridgecrest was completed.
Tim Vineyard, vice president of LifeWay's technology division, reported a strong first quarter for 2004 with new electronic services and products to help LifeWay customers. Significant growth occurred between 2003 and 2004 for unique user visits to lifeway.com and page views, he said.
Jim Carter, vice president of the finance and business services division, reported that 95 people participated in seven LifeWay-sponsored evangelistic mission trips in 2003. He also reported about significant savings they could make through the Southern Baptist Purchasing Alliance (SBPA) as SBC forms relationships with other large companies such as Microsoft, Dell, and Toshiba.
Luis Aranguren, director of LifeWay's international department, said in 2003 LifeWay sponsored 621 leadership workshops that trained 47,206 pastors and leaders from 4,284 churches in 31 countries.
"During the last five years we have invested 5,487 hours to conduct 1,798 workshops to train 150,987 pastors and leaders from 18,466 churches in 52 different countries," he said.