“Focus not on what's breaking down, but on what's breaking through.”
“If you want to never know what you'll be doing from day to day, be a rural minister.”
- Rev. Don Hunzeker
“It all hinges on the school.”
“The best ministry happens in combines, cafes, and bars.”
- Rev. Steven Peeler
“Wind is good for the crops. It makes the stalks strong. Adversity is good for people. It makes their foundations strong.”
“Rural pastors are called by a congregation, but they serve a community.”
What I'm learning is that rural ministry is inextricably linked to the life of the community in which it happens. Never before have I heard a ministry of presence be so highly emphasized as I have here. It's so important for pastors to be seen at the places where the people regularly go. To simply be seen provides such a strong foundation for good ministry.
After the workshop I was going crazy from sitting down all day. Betty convinced Gary to take me to his gym to work out. I was so happy to finally get some exercise. I did free weights while Gary watched Bonanza on the treadmill. Then, after a dinner of upside-down pizza, Betty and Gary taught Mary and I to play a game called “3 to 13”. We played cards, told stories, and drank wine all night long – a wonderful evening. Betty kicked our butts in cards, but I still managed to tie Gary for a very respectable second place.
Keep asking God to lead me, as I search inside of me. Try to see where I should be to carry out my ministry. Should I keep my feet on streets with shooting sprees, lack of trees, not to mention corrupt policies? Or am I called to a different street where those I meet are judged by hospitality and attendance at wrestling meets?
Am I called to be a rural minister?
Ministry's the same on any street. No matter who you meet they're searching or identity and meaning. What identity will I empower? Which mission will I preach? What challenge will I face and aim to beat? What street calls my feet? What street calls you?