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It was what one might think of when they imagine a funeral in the rural south. The family was devastated. For most of them, this was the first time in years that they had been in a church building. That church building was somewhat typical for houses of worship in the area. It was well-kept, well-lit, and had a center aisle extending from the double door entrance to the stage where the pastor stood. The pastor was nervous. It was his first funeral since taking the job.
That pastor was me.
Way - Ministry - Everything - City - City
It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. When I was studying pastoral ministry everything centered around the city. The city, we were told, is where you have to go if you really want to change the culture. Rural settings, it was sometimes implied, is where pastors who aren’t quite ready for prime time go to learn the trade a little more. So when I was finishing up my degree and mailing out resumes, I didn’t send any to rural churches. But none of the big city churches ever called back. A few rural churches down south did. I would eventually become the pastor of one of them.
It wasn’t my plan to be the pastor of a church with a name that I couldn’t pronounce in a town with more cows than people, but I’m glad that it worked out that way. Here’s why.
Churches - Sense - Community
Rural churches often have a built-in sense of community.
A while back I was driving to speak at another church in a larger town when my truck started smoking and shut down in the middle of an intersection. I don’t know how to fix automobiles, but I do know how to pray. And use a phone. God, in his grace, allowed my truck to start back up just long...
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