By Aaron Earls
In an effort to provide pastors and church leaders with relevant insights, practical ministry advice, and timely research, Facts & Trends and LifeWay Pastors will become part of a redesigned and updated website for LifeWay Research in 2021.
“Our goal is to offer more insights for pastors about the cultural context in which we’re called to serve,” said Trevin Wax, senior vice president of Theology and Communications. “We believe a centralized effort to emphasize the research side of what we offer to churches and leaders will lead to a stronger connection between LifeWay and pastors.”
The newly designed site will be operational in January and will continue to host new research releases from LifeWay Research and will incorporate many of the ministry insights and analysis from Facts & Trends and LifeWay Pastors. The editors from those platforms will work on the new site, as will many of the contributing writers. The entire archives of Facts & Trends and LifeWay Pastors, as well as all of the studies from LifeWay Research will be available on the new LifeWayResearch.com.
“We believe we will serve church leaders more effectively by having all of our energy directed into one central site,” said Wax. “Since its founding in 2006, LifeWay Research has become a renowned and respected source for information on the current state of church and culture. We look forward to digging into the data and helping church leaders better understand their context for ministry.”
Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, said bringing on Facts & Trends and LifeWay Pastors to the website allows LifeWay Research to expand on the studies and information “to provide more insights on ministry today and to help leaders process the impact of this knowledge on their daily decisions and directions.” In an effort to better accomplish this, McConnell said, “LifeWay Research is focusing our energies on studies that have pastors and church leaders in mind.”
For Facts & Trends, the new site will further cement a close relationship with LifeWay Research, according to Facts & Trends senior editor Carol Pipes. “Facts & Trends has always had an affinity for research,” she said. “Our editorial team already works closely with the LifeWay Research team to ideate articles. With their help, we’re always looking at what’s happening in culture and church practice today, what’s changing, and what’s on the horizon. This partnership with LifeWayResearch.com is a natural progression of our work.”
An award-winning publication, Facts & Trends “finds its origins in the desire to inform pastors and church leaders about the trends that affect the church while offering biblical solutions for ministry in the local church,” said Pipes. “Since January 1957, a number of editors and contributors have given the readers of Facts & Trends countless articles about everything from church budgets, baptisms, and small group ministry to demographic changes, cultural trends, and the future of the church in North America.”
Pipes said that the Facts & Trends team remains “committed to serving Christian leaders and fueling their mission of making disciples” as part of the new LifeWayResearch.com.
McConnell said the “combination of research findings with helpful insights articles helps leaders learn, process and plan in one place. Leaders can start from anywhere and dive more deeply into either the research or the implications.”
With the new site, Wax said readers can expect “more in-depth reporting on research projects, insightful commentary from pastors and church leaders who equip Christians for ministry, and a fresh look and feel for 2021.”
The new LifeWayResearch.com is designed with pastors and church leaders in mind, said Wax. “Many of our LifeWay Research studies are released, commented on, and then get archived,” he said. “Our hope is that by bringing out some of the lesser-discussed details of these research projects, we will be able to help pastors and church leaders understand the culture and find statistics to ‘feed their sermons’ so to speak. We want to provide information and insights that leaders can use to help their congregation understand the mission field we’re called to reach.”
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.