by Staff Writer Makenzie McNeill
From April to October 2020, I uncovered many challenges that rural and remote communities experience across Canada.
From food insecurity to alcohol and substance abuse, the small towns that dot this massive country’s landscape often deal with their struggles alone, mostly forgotten by an ever-increasing urbanized society.
And in a world where cities continue to hold the cultural, educational, and influential sway over the nation, rural places keep falling further into obscurity.
What Is The Misunderstood Mission Field?
Sadly, many missions organizations and churches have adopted a similar mindset, as well. They bypass rural ministry in favor of urban or overseas work. One rural pastor observed that “the most well-known pastors, authors, movement leaders, and conference speakers almost invariably live and minister in urban or suburban areas…”
Supposedly, one book about urban ministry said that “in order to win people to Christ and plant churches, Paul didn’t go to a haystack in the countryside.”
So with that kind of negative sentiment present in both society and the Christian circle – that rural areas are irrelevant and obsolete – how can people’s minds and attitudes change towards the small, less known places?
Continuing the Conversation
I attempted to start that conversation with the series of blogs I have written since I joined Village Missions. I delved into the many misconceptions that linger around rural missions. And I also brought to light numerous societal challenges that plague rural communities in the U.S. & Canada.
But to advance the argument that rural Canada is indeed a mission field and deserves to be fully reached with the gospel as much as any place, I’d like to deepen my examination of Canada’s small places.
- What is the state of the church in rural areas?
- What is the potential of rural areas, now and in the future?
- What historical or cultural factors make rural Canada a unique mission field?
- …and maybe more!
So, join me as I continue to peel back the layers of the misunderstood mission field that is rural Canada.