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(Click on titles to open links.)



Planting Churches in Small Places

David Pinckney (RHMA Small-Town Pastors’ Conference speaker) and Paul Gordon share from their experiences as church planters in the small towns of New England.




Ministry in Rural Communities

Executive Director Ron Klassen discusses the unique spiritual needs and dynamics of ministry in rural communities




When Small Churches Face a Global Pandemic

RHMA Conference speaker (and small-town pastor) Stephen Witmer addresses the issue of small churches facing a global pandemic.





Smarter Rural Ministry

Marty Giese (a professor in RHMA’s TACT program and president of Oak Hills Christian College) reminds us that our cultural assumptions will affect our effectiveness.






Small Town, Big God

RHMA Conference speakers Don Carson, Collin Hansen, and Stephen Witmer join in a podcast conversation.








People Aren’t Projects

. . . and other lessons I learned as a rural pastor.



Why Current Church Trends Mean Very Little in Smaller Churches

Small church specialist (and RHMA conference speaker) Karl Vaters reminds us that “small church ministry isn’t about following trends, it’s about knowing people.” It’s a quick read and to the point. And a good reminder!




Aaron Morrow (M.A., Moody Bible Institute) has written a book on small-town ministry. He writes that “Small towns are in desperate need of missionaries. When I say missionaries. . . . I’m referring to regular people. Small towns desperately need normal, everyday people like farmers, factory workers, teachers, secretaries, and small business owners who think and act like missionaries to reach their friends, neighbors, co-workers, and extended families for Christ.”

Here are three excerpts from Morrow’s book:

Small Towns Need Missionaries

4 Considerations for Small Town Mission

4 Differences Between Small Towns and Big Cities




One on One with the Small Church Pastor who “Took Over” the SBC Pastors’ Conference to Highlight Smaller Churches!

An encouraging interview with the 2017 SBC Pastors’ Conference president Dave Miller.



Using Images in Application

RHMA missionary kid Dr. Steve Mathewson (his dad was our General Director, 1966-1984) gives preachers and teachers some helpful tips on application.



The Church’s Urban Focus Overlooks Working-Class Whites

Working-class white communities, rural areas, and small towns must be included in the American Christian mission . . .  areas that are affected by brokenness of the Fall, where the Devil is busy, where God’s people are, and where there is a need for salt and light.




7 Reasons to Consider a Small Church Internship

Small churches have unique characteristics, quirks, and blessings that can only be learned by having ministry experience in them. (Karl Vaters)



Small Church Paradigms

Dr. Glenn Daman is a pastor in the small town of Stevenson, Oregon, Director of the Western Seminary Institute for Small Church Health, and author of Shepherding the Small Church. He explains that every church has a paradigm, and understanding and leading the small church involves serving within the context of its paradigm and carefully changing those issues which conflict and hinder the ministry.





5 Simple Steps to Recruit Volunteers in a Small Church

Simple steps in dealing with a not-so-simple problem!




Three Reasons Rural Churches Matter More Than You May Think

Redefining “unreached people groups.”



“Small Church Pastors Should Quit”

Author (and small church specialist) Karl Vaters says, “I’ve always known that Mondays are hard for pastors. I now have direct evidence that they can be especially hard for small church pastors.”



Don’t Hate on Rural Ministry

“Since our world is becoming more urban, there is an undeniably strategic need for healthy gospel churches in cities. . . . Nevertheless, just because cities matter does not mean they matter more.” A city pastor and a small-town pastor discuss the importance of ministry in both.



In It for the Long Haul

Lee Eclov is pastor of Village Church of Lincolnshire, Illinois, and a seminar leader for RHMA Small-Town Pastors’ Conferences. He wrote “In It for the Long Haul” for Leadership Journal. Perhaps you can relate with Lee when he says, “I love being a pastor and I serve a gracious church, but this is a brutal business. I’ve been at it for 35 years, so I know what people mean when they say, ‘No hurt hurts quite like church hurt.'”



It’s Okay for Kids to Be Bored During Church

Melissa Edgington, a pastor’s wife, writes, “Not everything at church has to be a big show or a major production. Let’s stop living in fear of our kids having a single moment of boredom. Take them to church. Let them sit. See how the truths they hear work their way into tiny hearts. And watch God work through the preaching of His word.” Read more here . . .



Eight Reasons Why Some Fulltime Pastors and Staff Should Go Bivocational

Some pastors are bivocational by necessity while others are bivocational by choice. This article offers some advantages of being a bivocational pastor.




Why Villages Matter: How the Church Died in North Africa, but survived in Egypt

An article on the Church overseas with implications for us in rural America!








A pastor’s wife comes to value small-town ministry.




You Won’t Waste Your Life

An encouragement for those considering small-town ministry.



New Music Is Not Worth Fighting For – So What Is?




Trying to bring your church’s worship team into the 21st century? Small-church cheerleader (and RHMA seminar leader) Karl Vaters reminds us the church’s needs should take priority over the leadership’s wants. “Change may be necessary. But we need to get there by fighting the important battles, not the trivial ones.”



I’m a Rural Pastor! What Now?

Do not make any changes in the first year!

In the spirit of We’re-all-in-this-together, we encourage you to read (and share) this from Brian Wechsler, Executive Director of Village Missions, a ministry similar to ours.



So what do RHMA and CBS’s 60 Minutes have in common?

Probably not a whole lot – but there is a small-world connection! Shon Hopwood grew up in small-town Nebraska. His parents were very involved in an RHMA church plant. Shon followed a different path – a path that landed him in a federal prison about 15 miles from our home office here in Illinois.

Shon’s fascinating story, including turning his life over to the Lord, can be found in his 2012 memoir, “Law Man: My Story of Robbing Banks, Winning Supreme Court Cases, and Finding Redemption.”

The 60 Minutes’ interview updates the story to his new position as professor of law at Georgetown University.




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3 out of 4 graduates seeking a pastorate will find themselves in a small-town or country church ... Are you prepared?

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