If you cannot view “Something Better: A Journey to Rural Ministry,” you can read the article below.
If Daniel Reagan’s high school dream had come true, he’d be playing in the NFL.
He loved the recognition and comradery, and he even received a scholarship to play college football in Kansas.
But Daniel thanks God his plan didn’t work out.
“I can honestly say, if I’d had everything I’d planned for my life, I’d be miserable,” said Daniel. “What the Lord had for us is so much better than anything we could have thought.”
Daniel and Cynthia met in high school in California, were married during college in Kansas, and then returned to California where Daniel accepted what he thought was a teaching position. He was surprised to learn after arriving that he would also be the chapel director and student leadership director.
One responsibility included contacting youth leaders from the area to come and speak at student chapel. While this seemed like a fairly straightforward task, it placed him on a path to full-time rural ministry.
Daniel discovered that many of the youth pastors available to come speak could not clearly articulate the gospel message.
“I had this burden. These people were not hearing the gospel. I needed to do something about it.”
So, Daniel took the burden upon himself to do most of the speaking at the chapels. And then something unexpected happened.
For the first time, Daniel felt like he was doing what the Lord wanted him to do.
Daniel later took a youth pastor position in Bakersfield where he continued to grow and mature in ministry leadership. During this time, he and Cynthia met Village Missions District Representatives Joe and Jenny Murrell, and they quickly became friends…and the Reagans learned about rural ministry.
Soon Daniel began to feel the call to Village Missions.
“I thought – there are people that aren’t hearing the truth because they don’t have a pastor. Some are living their entire lives without hearing the gospel. I need to do something. I need to be a part of that.”
Daniel’s life plan had never included full-time rural ministry, but that’s exactly where God had always been leading.
“My calling to ministry in the rural church was something the Lord had done a long time ago, and I’d never realized it.”
In fact, Daniel said he might have missed the call altogether had it not been for Cynthia.
“She would always, by her influence, steer me to what the Lord was calling us to, without really saying much. She’s got the Holy Spirit as much as I do. So, I listen and trust how the spirit is leading her.”
Just over a year ago, Dan and Cynthia arrived at their first field in Dunsmuir, California, a church of 25 people that had not had a pastor in several years.
Although the doors of the church remained open, the people needed a shepherd who would help them bring the Gospel to the needy people of Dunsmuir. This was exactly God’s call for Daniel.
In partnering with Village Missions, the church changed its name to Cascade Community Church, and clarified its vision as a church body. As the church began to serve the community, the church family has doubled, people have given their lives to the Lord, and the church has hosted two baptism ceremonies.
While the rural ministry happening in Dunsmuir is so thrilling to see, Daniel admitted they haven’t really done anything different than before. His family has simply modeled the love of Jesus Christ to the people around them.
“The great thing about Village Missions is you are in the community as a family – showing applicably what it looks like. My wife’s role is just as important as mine in how she raises our kids and interacts with people. Preaching on Sunday morning makes up a huge part of it, but the biggest transformation that’s taken place in our community I would attribute to the example that we set in the community Monday through Saturday walking with Christ.”
Do you have a passion to share the hope of Christ? Has God been quietly leading you toward full-time ministry? Village Missions gives you the opportunity to bring the gospel to communities that may never hear the gospel without the example of a Village Missionary.
To learn more about serving with Village Missions, visit villagemissions.org or call us at 800.617.9905.