Tyndale House Publishers has partnered with Thom Rainer, the former president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, on a publishing initiative aimed at equipping local churches with books, accompanying video curriculum, participant guides, and other ancillary books to “empower church leaders and inspire church members,” the publisher said in the announcement.
The three-book, multi-year agreement was signed in conjunction with Rainer’s Church Answers website an online community for church leaders. Under the agreement, Tyndale and Church Answers will work together to help modern congregations flourish under the shared conviction “that the local church is God’s stage for individual and societal transformation,” according to the press release. The books will cover topics “vital to a church’s life and health,” Tyndale says, with the first expected to be published in October 2022; release dates beyond 2022 are not yet finalized.
In addition to the three-book agreement, Tyndale will publish 10 books in the new Church Answers Resource series edited by Rainer. Slated for publication in 2022, the books will provide churches with “practical tools that will help them grow committed disciples and further the reach of the local church,” Tyndale tells PW. Authors will include Dr. Chuck Lawless, Dr. William F. Cook, Kevin Mills, Jacki C. King, Matt McCraw, Justin Gatlin, and Sam Rainer.
News of the partnership comes one year after Rainer initially announced a publishing agreement with Tyndale and was faced with a lawsuit from LifeWay, which cited breach of contract over its non-compete agreement. Rainer retired from LifeWay in 2018 but stayed on as a chief advisory officer, according to the Baptist Standard. The lawsuit was settled out of court in October 2020, according to the Tennessean, and Rainer’s non-compete clause expired on October 31 of this year, PW has confirmed.
During the lawsuit proceedings, Tyndale had no comment since it was not named in the lawsuit, but with the agreement, the publisher is “ecstatic” to enter the long-term publishing partnership with Rainer and Church Answers, said Ron Beers, senior v-p and publisher. In a statement, Beers described Rainer as a gifted leader who is “successful and respected among tens of thousands of churches not only because he is a thoughtful and talented writer, but also because he knows perhaps better than anyone the needs and pulse of the church—its leaders and congregants.”
Noting a “perfect” alignment between Church Answers and Tyndale, Rainer added in a statement: “From a personal perspective, I am so grateful for the confidence Tyndale has placed in me to write books for local churches for the next several years. I am incredibly enthusiastic about the two organizations working together for local churches for the glory of God.”
Bryan Norman at the Alive Literary Agency brokered the agreement between Tyndale and Rainer.