Misreading ministry in a rural context

Monday, January 28th, 2019

My official title for a research paper I am planning for Ambrose Research Conference 2019 – March 27 at Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

In one sense this is really about rethinking rural ministry. Here is my description I have submitted:

  • The rural has been misread over the years. A core element of Donald Trump’s victory as President of the USA in 2016 – this demographic has been characterized as simple minded, out of touch with current reality, and anathema to progress.
  • Recent books have begun to explore rural church essentials. These essentials are not what you think!
  • In a world of increasing isolation, the rural church tends to breed community. This is DNA, not introduced incentives or strategic planning initiatives. A broader definition of North American Church Growth includes the rural, sparsely populated areas of the continent – not characterized by highly attended service times but rather as closely-knit invitational discipleship communes.
  • Those approaching ministry in a rural setting need to consider this: rural ministry is not a problem area of the global church, neither is rural ministry to be considered as the ultimate and only approach to ministry, nor is this an excuse for laziness. The flourishing rural church will be strategic, purposeful, visionary – uniquely positioned and unhindered by a consumeristic approach.