Rural Ministries

Regional Youth Partnerships

Leading youth ministry in rural and small-town congregations (or just about anywhere for that matter) is a challenge. We are challenged by numbers, time, money, help, leadership and most likely any number of other issues. However, the Lord of the Church has given us this great opportunity for ministry whether we have a lot of… Read more »

The Christian Family — An Engine for Exponential Growth

The Christian family is the engine of exponential growth for the kingdom of Christ. For this engine to be running smoothly and at full throttle, families need the church to provide them with knowledge, skills, attitudes and support. Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), the largest Lutheran church in the world, understands this biblical principle…. Read more »

The Mission Field of Older Adults

The rural and small-town churches in America are poised to become the spiritual renewal center for older adult ministries. How’s that for a challenging goal and opportunity for each of us in the years ahead? Jeremiah 29:11 says it so well: “For I know the plans I have for you … plans for welfare and… Read more »

Working Partnerships: Dual / Multi Parishes

Today in our rural churches, we hear more people talking about partnerships. The motivation that often drives that discussion is numbers: smaller church attendance, fewer financial resources to pay a pastor or church worker and fewer pastors and church workers to call. These are all valid reasons to talk about partnership ministries, but the conversation… Read more »

Midweek Ministry

So, you want to start a midweek program for children in order to “train up a child.” Good for you! These endeavors can prove to be excellent ways to reach out to a group that is all too often difficult to reach and underserved with regard to faith training. However, there are a couple of… Read more »

Servant Leadership in Rural Areas

“And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together.” Acts 16:13 Much can be said of the servant leadership role of the pastor in a rural and small-town congregation…. Read more »

Videos from Small Town & Rural Ministry Convocation

These videos are a collection of the speakers and their messages at a Small Town/Rural Ministry Convocation held at the Indiana District – LCMS office in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The convocation was held on May 6, 2017.

Thoughts from a Seminary Student on a Rural Immersion

During an unseasonably warm week in November, I and a group of four other students from the Concordia Fort Wayne seminary, along with beloved professor, Dr. Timothy Quill, had the opportunity to visit Western Missouri for several days to get a taste of rural life. Having been raised in various cities around the country, we students… Read more »

Challenges in Rural Ministry

In my 25 years of ministry, I have had the privilege of serving the church in a rural and small-town setting, from towns with populations of 175 to communities of 18,000. Rural ministry has been a joy and sometimes a challenge. However, it has always been a blessing as God works in the lives of… Read more »

Small Town Ministry: A Precious Joy

Like Indiana native John Cougar Mellencamp, “I was born in a small town” (Amenia, N.D.); I was raised in a small town (Red Lake Falls, Minn.); and now I live and serve a church in a small town (DeMotte). In my small-town stays, I still experience the joy of being surrounded by many who have… Read more »