Due to COVID-19 Lifeway Has Announced Budget Cutbacks and Staff Reductions

The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Lifeway hard. Lifeway which is the publishing arm of the Southern Baptists had a decline in revenue of 24%. This is a brief post about the economic situation at Lifeway due to the ongoing pandemic. 

“Nothing kills your company’s culture like layoffs.”

Herb Kelleher

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

James 3:17-18 NIV

The COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting many states and local governments who are facing budget challenges. So have many businesses that are being affected by the pandemic. As all these budget decisions are being made I saw another one that is a reflection of the times we are living in today. 


Lifeway is Making Cuts and Will Allegedly Engage in Layoffs 

Lifeway is the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in mid-March Lifeways revenue is down 24% Some of that is being attributed to churches not ordering Vacation Bible School material for churches this summer.  In their $281 million dollar budget it is expected that $25 to $30  million will be cut due to lost revenue. Lifeway is expected to achieve these cuts throw staff reduction, hiring freeze and salary cuts. When Lifeway announces that they are manning staff reductions I am led to believe that is due to layoffs and not due to attrition. If you would like to read more you can do so in, “Southern Baptist publishing arm, LifeWay, announces cuts due to COVID-19.” 


Brief Analysis of the Situation With Lifeway

For me as I analyze and write about these problems this is one of the first indicators of financial challenges inside the Southern Baptists due to the COVID-19 situation. Lifeway has closed all their stores nationwide in 2019. Part of that is due to the changing economy brought about by the internet. Part of that is due to the rise of the nones and the dones in my view who will not spend money on spiritual resources. The Evangelical Christian book store is in the process of going extinct and I am wondering if the COVID-19 pandemic will help finish it off in many ways. Lifeway has long experienced financial hardship and I expect to see a long, painful attrition that will happen over the course of time. While it sells material online I must ask the question will the organization be around by 2030? That is a question to ask and time will tell. But as the economy struggles due to this pandemic many people will cut back and discretionary income will be hardest hit.