Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Go Big or Go Home: Reimagining Rural Church Planting

If millions of Americans still lived in rural areas, surely God cared about them too.

When I thought and prayed about my future, the idea of church planting always came up. I knew of towns close to where I grew up that seemed desperate for a new church plant. But where were the models of inspiring rural and small town church planters?

It was during the three years I commuted from my rural town to a large urban seminary nearly two hours away that the absence of any significant or sustained efforts to plant churches in rural areas really hit me. None of the church planting models I saw during my seminary years—whether at school or on television, the internet, or in popular Christian literature—seemed to care much at all for the rural and small town folks who peopled my childhood memories and made up the vast majority of my friends and relatives.

Church planting was exciting, but it seemed the domain of urban and suburban hipsters.

But as the years went on and I transitioned from seminary to a Ph.D. program in Religious Studies, I couldn’t shake the feeling that, as important as urban and suburban church planting were, there had to be more to the picture. Read More

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