Lifeway still plans to end online music resource but apologizes for short notice.
Update (July 24): Lifeway has decided to postpone the discontinuation of lifewayworship.com, the online Baptist church music resource that was once conceived as a digital hymnal without a back cover. The Southern Baptist Convention publisher announced it was shutting the site down last week, but backtracked after an outcry from a lot of surprised worship leaders.
“We are delaying the implementation of this decision until we have time to listen, allow for dialogue, and find out how we can best support churches’ digital worship music needs,” Ben Mandrell, Lifeway CEO, said in a statement. “We are actively considering alternatives to ensure minimal disruption and keep this essential catalog alive.”
Mandrell apologized the publisher “didn’t put the turn signal on soon enough.”
When Lifeway made its initial announcement, it was unclear whether the arrangements and materials available on lifewayworship.com would be fully preserved somewhere. Lifeway Worship director Brian Brown emphasized that music ministers needed to download what they wanted before September 30, raising questions about the fate of the vast catalog of musical resources maintained on the site. Brown told CT he had hoped to migrate all the content to Lifeway’s main website so it would continue to be available, but as he prepared to make the announcement, his team realized that wouldn’t be possible in the next few months.
“Each product has to be recreated individually, and it’s tens of thousands of products,” Brown said. “It’s not something that we are going to be able to accomplish by September 30.”
Lifeway still plans to shutter the online resource, but it will remain online …