After several months of negotions, LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention and North Carolina-based InQuest Ministries reached an agreement to form a publishing alliance for student ministry resources earlier this month.
"We never dreamed we would be able to partner with LifeWay, but youth ministry is our passion and together we can reach more students for Christ," said Jeff Pratt, InQuest Chief Operating Officer, to LifeWay representatives at the July 1st agreement signing.
Pratt said InQuest and LifeWay realize that no single group "has all the answers, so we have the opportunity to begin learning from each other. This is an alliance of two organizations coming together for a Kingdom project."
Jimmy Hester, Lifeway's senior director of student ministry publishing commented, "This is a time of thanksgiving as we enter into this agreement together. We're joining in an alliance with InQuest to bring before the Lord our offerings -- the resources we produce to support local church youth ministries."
In the past, LifeWay has produced only a couple of youth Bible study curriculum lines, but because of the diversity of today's church practices, Hester said that isn't sufficient anymore. "[The alliance will create] another set of curriculum we can offer that will provide churches with other options."
Scott Lee, LifeWay's creative director in the ventures unit, is creative marketing consultant for the alliance. He said this is an opportunity for LifeWay to "turn the corner into a new image."
"We're expanding our ministry to better meet the needs of today's changing culture," Lee explained.
In the Fall of 2004, LifeWay and InQuest will release several co-branded studies, toward a goal of releasing three studies each year.
Lifeway, an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, is a non-profit Christian publisher that also sells books, CDs, and church furniture, signs, and supplies through more than 115 Lifeway Christian Stores in 21 states and its catalog. In addition, LifeWay operates two of the country's largest Christian conference facilities -- LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina and LifeWay Glorieta Conference Centers in New Mexico.
Inquest, a company focused on youth ministries, is based in Raleigh, N.C. and provides resources for student ministers. With input from student ministers and pastors around the globe, InQuest provides discipleship material, student camps, student conferences, and Student Minister Roundable events.