About ThomRainer.com

Thom S. Rainer

Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.  Prior to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twelve years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism.  He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In addition to speaking in hundreds of venues over the past 20 years, Rainer led Rainer Group, a church and denominational consulting firm, from 1990 to 2005. The firm provided church health insights to over 500 churches and other organizations over that period.

Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons: Sam, Art and Jess, who are married to Erin, Sarah and Rachel respectively.  The Rainers have six grandchildren: Canon, Maggie, Nathaniel, Will (with the Lord), Harper, and Bren.

He is the author of twenty-two books, including Breakout ChurchesSimple LifeSimple ChurchRaising Dad, The Millennials, and Essential Church.  His latest book, I Am a Church Member, hit #1 on the CBA best-seller list and Autopsy of a Deceased Church is scheduled to be released in 2014 by B&H Publishing Group.


lawless-headshotDr. Chuck Lawless Jr.

Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary, in addition to serving as Global Theological Education Consultant for the International Mission Board. He previously served as a Vice-President for Global Theological Advance for the IMB. Prior to that, he was dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY, where he also served as Vice President for Academic Programming and the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies.

Dr. Lawless served as pastor of two Ohio churches prior to joining the Southern Seminary faculty in 1996.  He received a B.S. degree from Cumberland College (now the University of the Cumberlands) and M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary. He and his wife Pam reside in Wake Forest, NC.

He is the author of eight works, including Membership Matters, Spiritual Warfare, Discipled Warriors, Putting on the Armor, Serving in Your Church Prayer Ministry, and Mentor.  He has contributed articles to denominational periodicals, written Sunday School curriculum for LifeWay, and led conferences on spiritual warfare, healthy church growth, leadership, evangelism and discipleship, and prayer.


Sam_Rainer_HeadshotSam S. Rainer III

Sam Rainer serves as president of Rainer Research. His desire is to provide answers for better church health. He also serves as senior pastor at Stevens Street Baptist Church in Cookeville, TN. Sam is the co-author of the book, Essential Church. He is a theological review editor at CrossBooks and an editorial advisor/contributor at Church Executive magazine. He has also served as a consulting editor at Outreach magazine. He has written over 100 articles on church health for numerous publications, and he is a frequent conference speaker. Before submitting to the call of ministry, Sam worked in a procurement consulting role for Fortune 1000 companies.

Sam holds a B.S. in Finance and Marketing from the University of South Carolina and an M.A. in Missiology from Southern Seminary. He is currently completing his dissertation on established church leadership as he works toward a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies at Dallas Baptist University.


ThomRainer.com Support Team:

  • Jonathan Howe
  • Amy Jordan
  • Amy Thompson

Top Twelve Posts at ThomRainer.com

If you are new to ThomRainer.com, the posts here typically relate to leadership and the local church. This list of top posts is a good starting point to discover the issues addressed on the site.

  1. Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 11 Things I Learned
  2. The Main Reason People Leave a Church
  3. How Loud Should Our Church Music Be?
  4. Ten Warning Signs of an Inwardly Obsessed Church
  5. Ten Things Church Members Desire in a Pastor
  6. Ten Things Pastors Wish They Knew Before They Became Pastors
  7. Five Things You Should Know about Pastors’ Salaries
  8. Five Warning Signs of Declining Church Health
  9. Eight Things to Help You Understand Introverts
  10. Seven Common Comments Non-Christians Make about Christians
  11. I Am a Church Member
  12. The Introverted Leader

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