In his book Transforming Church in Rural America, Shannon O’Dell shares his heart and passion for small-town America’s thousands of churches, and the pastors who lead them. Shannon shares a powerful vision of relevance, possibility, and excellence for small churches across the country, and it’s a great read if you find yourself pastoring a small church in a tiny community.
In the book, Shannon lists what he thinks are the Four Most Difficult Decisions for a Rural Pastor:
- To Pastor in Rural America… with low incomes, low resources, and low expectations.
- 2. To reach the lost and unchurched. Most people say they want to reach the lost… until they do and then the church starts changing.
- 3. To equip the church with accurate and healthy structure… change bylaws, constitutions, and church policy as necessary.
- 4. To remove “Holy Cows” to be more effective… such as pews, property, and people.
I’ve served in my share of small, rural churches. I think Shannon is right on. Many small churches are stuck. Many are stuck in a structure that is literally a hundred years old. Many small churches say they want to reach the lost, but when people start coming to Christ and the status quo of the church changes, all of a sudden they’re not quite as excited about it.
If you’re the pastor of a rural church, what do you think is the HARDEST part of the job?If you're the pastor of a rural church, what do you think is the HARDEST part of the job?Click To Tweet