My journey into church consulting began almost twenty years ago as a teenager. My father would hand me stacks of congregational surveys and ask me to crunch numbers. The pay was minimal, but at least the job came with free rent. What my father, Thom Rainer, founded in 1989 has changed over the years. When the company began, it was called Church Growth Visions. During his time at Southern Seminary, the company became Rainer Group. When he went to LifeWay Christian Resources, he handed Read more [...]
    We made it! This week we released episode 100 on the Est.Church Podcast. I’ve had a ton of fun co-hosting with Micah and Josh the last couple of years, and I’m looking forward to the next 100 episodes. In this episode we share some of the highs and lows in each of our ministries. Thanks for listening! Subscribe: iTunes ● Google Play Follow us on Twitter: @estchurch, @jowiki, @micahfries, and @samrainer.   Read more [...]
  All churches have leadership challenges, regardless of size. Small churches are not easier to lead than large churches. Large churches are not easier to grow than small churches. But they are different. When pastors move from one size church to another, they have to adapt. One common pastoral transition is to move from a church of fifty congregants to a church of one hundred fifty. I won’t get into whether a pastor should make this move or not. Let’s assume the move is God’s will. Read more [...]



I’m preaching a series on how the gospel impacts all areas of our lives. This sermon covers the topic of materialism. The key to happiness is found in dependence on God. You can’t ask Jesus for anything until you give Him your everything. If your security is in your stuff, then your worship is not in God.

    Few pastors preach all 52 Sundays in a year. Should you use outside preachers when you are out of the pulpit? How much should you pay and how often should you use them? We talk about guest preachers in this episode. Subscribe: iTunes ● Google Play Follow us on Twitter: @estchurch, @jowiki, @micahfries, and @samrainer.   Read more [...]