"After a few years of pastoral ministry, I realized I didn’t fit the mold of a typical church planter, much less an urban one. Rural ministry, on the other hand, suits me just fine. What do I love so much about ministry in a small place?" - TGC
"To say rural pastors and rural congregations are forgotten is probably less true than to say rural churches and pastors (and really, small churches and their pastors everywhere) are often underrepresented and underutilized in denominational leadership and overlooked by Christian publishers and conference organizers. It’s not a matter of forgetting; it’s a matter of caring more about what we know and what we don’t know about rural ministry." - C. Today
“Being the only staff focuses conflict on just the pastor. Bivocational pastors have to deal with time and conflict management in ways that large church pastors often do not. Holding two or even three jobs has its own challenges.” - BPNews
"When figure heads of evangelicalism call young leaders to give their lives in strategic areas like cities, and when large denominations have church planting initiatives that focus their resources and efforts on cities, it’s no wonder why there has been a vacuum of leadership, resources, and ministry-aid for rural areas." - Christianity Today
By Daryl Neipp
In his book Satisfied, Jeff Manion describes a fictional interaction to which we can all relate. It’s a warm evening. A dad calls to his son, who is playing in the backyard, “Would you like some ice cream?” The son bounds into the house, where he finds a large scoop of ice cream in his bowl, and life is good (especially if it is mint chocolate chip).
However, what if there are two boys? The dad calls them both in from playing. What if they find their ice cream but the scoop distribution is not exactly equitable? It wouldn’t be long until the dad heard, “That’s NOT fair!” from one of the boys.
We can conclude that the issue would have nothing to do with what one boy received; rather, it would have everything to do with what the other received. This is how comparisons work: we look at what someone else has, then become discontent with what we have. While this little story is something we can all smile about, the problem of comparison is not something we simply outgrow. Well into adulthood we carry this tendency to always search for the greener grass, which can be particularly harmful within ministry contexts.
"Two-thirds of churches have an attendance under 125. The smaller church is the norm, not the exception. And though the news has not been that promising for smaller churches in recent years, I do see some very promising signs for the years ahead. Why do I make such an apparently contrarian statement? Here are five reasons." - Thom Rainer