Rural Ministry is Not Second Rate

Here are a couple of excerpts from a great post by Jared Wilson. Read the whole thing, please:

"Still, I’d love for more young guys to nail Starbucks and the corner pub and shopping malls and public transportation to the cross and go plant and pastor where you’re more likely to hear a cow moo than a car honk. Country folk are real folk. And they need the gospel too. A lot of evangelical churches in outlying areas are praying desperately that crop after crop of young pastors and aspiring church planters will grow up and show up."

"As professionalization captured the evangelical pastorate, churches in small town America began drying up. It’s where old pastors go to retire. It’s where the untalented go to do second rate ministry. Even the one or two conferences recently about ministry in small town settings were led by megachurch pastors and were predicated on how to build a big church in a small town."

Quoting Tim Keller: "Young pastors should not turn up their noses at such places, where they may learn the full spectrum of ministry tasks and skills as they will not in a large church. Nor should they go to small communities looking at them merely as stepping stones in a career. Why not? Your early ministry experience will only prepare you for ‘bigger things,’ if you don’t aspire for anything bigger than investment in the lives of the people around you. Wherever you serve, put your roots down, become a member of the community and do your ministry with all your heart and might. If God opens the door to go somewhere else, fine and good. But don’t go to such places looking at them only as training grounds for ‘real ministry.’"