Wednesday, July 26, 2006 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Thom Rainer

Thom Rainer

Bio: Thom S. Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.

Site: Lifeway

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?

: "I find great joy in leading others to be passionate about sharing the good news of Christ. If my influence as a writer, speaker, and president of LifeWay Christian Resources has that impact, then I believe God has truly used me as a leader."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?

: "People who seem obsessed with insignificant issues, and fail to grasp the big picture. Also, people who want to debate about everything and anything. And people with grumpy dispositions."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?

: "My three sons: Sam, Art, and Jess. I have learned so much about being a leader in my struggles and joys as a father. Now that they are all grown, I am still influenced and motivated by them."

4. What books have changed your life?

: "The Bible, of course, but even before I became a Christian I read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The witness of Scripture and the witness of my high school football coach were instrumental in my becoming a Christian. J. I. Packer’s Knowing God shaped my view of Scripture. All of the works of Francis Schaeffer impacted me greatly. The Christian fiction work In His Steps by Charles Sheldon helped me to match my behavior with my beliefs. I was motivated to become a greater man of prayer after reading Calvin’s Institutes. And I loved the leadership/business book Good to Great by Jim Collins."

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?

: "My single greatest challenge is to be a greater spiritual leader. I must model more passionately what it means to be a disciple of Christ. On a lesser note, I tend to be thin-skinned when I am criticized. And in my position criticisms are common."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?

: "My first goal is to be a better and more devoted follower of Christ. Second, I want to be a better leader and husband for my wife, Nellie Jo. Third, I humbly seek God’s face that LifeWay Christian Resources, the organization that I lead, will become the best and leading provider of Christian resources in the world."

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

: "I am 51 years old. God willing, I will still be leading LifeWay and writing books in ten years."

Thom, Thank you, your books have made a difference in me!