I just ditched my entire sermon for tomorrow. Charlottesville demands it. Two hours from where I sit, Nazis, KKK clansmen, anarchists, socialist militants, and southern secessionists have clashed all day in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia. As I watch in horror and sorrow, and pray earnestly for clergy colleagues in the mix, I can’t help but wonder – “What if it was my town?”
Here is a new infographic with some stats about small town ministry and rural life in the United States. What are some ways you see rural ministry as unique? What sets apart small-town churches and pastors from their urban and suburban counterparts? Over the next month, look for a series of infographics for use on social media and in presentations. I’ll be making links to these pieces available for free downloading and encourage you to distribute them in your ministry networks. One of the best ways we can get people discussing rural ministry issues is to use the power of social media. Enjoy!
In rural ministry, which for many can seem like a wilderness experience, there are unique temptations that persist no matter how many times you’ve battled them. Jesus was tempted in three ways at the outset of his ministry. There are three major temptations that rural ministers and churches face…
If small town churches were their own denominational network, they would be THREE TIMES the size of the largest denomination in the land. Maybe if you’re in the wilderness, its because that’s where God has called you.
Earlier this week, Baptist News Global (BNG) broke a story about small-town Pastor John Crowder, who vigorously advocates cell phone use in worship.
In rural settings, homelessness is a real problem – if you can identify the rural homeless that is. Moreover, funding for state and federal dollars is often attached to the number of homeless people identified in a federally initiated annual reporting period.
When winter weather hits, how should your church respond, particularly if you are in a small town? The tips that follow would also serve urban churches well, but these are especially critical in small rural counties.
I would like to encourage small town churches, and female pastors in particular (Virginia Baptist and otherwise), that you are significant stakeholders in the Kingdom. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
How can your church partner with other churches to do outreach and evangelism more effectively? I, for one, think a block party trailer is a great idea, and look forward to working with folks in our association to get this idea off the ground.
Smaller churches present unique challenges. Come to the Smaller Churches Seminar at Columbia Theological Seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning, and get training tailored to you!