Clergy Numbers Dropping

Here is a brief article on the shortage of pastors in rural areas among mainline denominations. The shortages are staggering. Village Missions would like to supply pastors to rural churches in danger of closing but often denominations own the church building and are unwilling to relinquish control to the local congregation. Village Missions does not […]
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Two Choices in Any Ministry

The theme verse of our staff conferences this summer was 2 Corinthians 1:12 . This verse reads in the NASB , “For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, […]
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Septic Tanks and Leadership in the Rural Church

Carole and I arrived on our first field in Finchford , Iowa on a beautiful afternoon in July. About thirty people gathered that day to greet us and help us unload our belongings. We would grow to deeply love and care for those people and others in the church and community. As the folks helped […]
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Lifestyle Evangelism and the Rural Church

Recently, I attended the Christian Management Association meeting in Texas. While there, I participated in an all-day training session for directors and C.E.O’s. We began the meeting by introducing ourselves and telling a little about our organization. I introduced myself, a few more directors introduced themselves, and then a young man named Mark, introduced himself, […]
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Every Town Needs a Church

I sometimes joke with people that I grew up in a small town on Long Island. Our town was small by Long Island standards with about 50,000 people. Not quite what most people would consider a small town! My love for small towns began with visits to my grandparents’ small town of Arlington, Vermont. Norman […]
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David, Bathsheba, and Me

Recently, in my daily Bible reading, I read the account of David’s adultery with Bathsheba. Every pastor especially and every Christian should read this account often as a reminder of the danger of sexual sin and the consequences of yielding to its temptation. I would like to share in this article some observations on this […]
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Pine Beetles, Islam, and Village Missions

After a few years in Red Feather, we began to notice that several of the Ponderosa and Lodgepole Pines were dying. We learned that there was an infestation of the Mountain Pine Beetle. By the time the needles of a tree turn brown, it is too late to save the tree. For several seasons, the […]
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A Shepherd is Not a Wimp

A real shepherd Rural pastors today face an identity crisis. Feeling that God has called them to be shepherds, almost everything they read and hear tells them the concept of pastor as shepherd is old-fashioned at best and harmful at worst. What’s a shepherd to do when his calling is called into question?For example, I […]
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