Rural pastors, by choice or by what opportunities were available, you are serving in small out of the way places. Rural pastor, you are not serving in big cities and big churches and the fame that seems to come to some who are serving in these places. Yet you are following in Jesus' footsteps. Look at Mark 1: 35-39.
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons.
Jesus had been busy healing people and casting out demons. The crowds were amazed. They were excited. They wanted more of this from this miracle worker. The disciples saw the crowds and thought that Jesus should be out there continuing to satisfy the crowds. Instead, Jesus chose to continue to go on to other towns to preach to these other townfolk.
Rural pastor, you ended up in your rural community by choice or by the situations you found yourself in. Maybe you are longing for a bigger audience. Maybe you look longingly at your friends who graduated from Bible College and Seminary with you who are now leading large congregations in the city. Take a cue from Jesus. Preach to your community and reach out to them.
Many small rural communities have only one or two churches. The people in these small communities need to hear the gospel just as much as anyone in the city. There is a difference though. When a person in the city wants to hear about Jesus, that person has a choice of tens, or even hundreds, of churches to attend. There hundreds and thousands of believers spread throughout their city. When a person in the isolated rural communities wants to hear about Jesus, in many cases they have the option of one or two churches to go to. They have the possibility of encountering a few believers who might help them find Jesus.
Rural churches are important to those who have limited opportunity to encounter someone who will point them to Jesus. Rural pastor, recognize your role as being in the unique place of providing the gospel to people who have few options in their search for Jesus once that search begins.
Rural pastor, you are following in the footsteps of Jesus when you serve in the quiet places of our nation. See your role as vital to your congregation and to your community. You are bringing the gospel to people who need Jesus, and doing it in places where anyone searching has limited opportunities to find answers about Jesus!
10/16/2022 12:32:13 pm
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10/30/2022 08:23:26 pm
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