Removed from the noise and busyness of urban centres, the rural lifestyle is a different – but exciting – way of life.
Although fiercely independent and hardworking, rural people need Christ as much as anyone else. The value that a committed pastor brings to a rural community is immense.
Rural areas are generally located outside towns and cities. They have low population densities and small settlements. Common occupations revolve around agriculture, forestry and mining.
As a rural pastor, you cannot wait for ministry opportunities to come to you. Instead, you must take the initiative to build relationships with people. In rural Canada, your “neighbour” could be 5 or 10 kilometers away. You must be willing to drive sometimes long distances to find the opportunities where they are.
Additionally, rural people take pride in their community, which is often very close-knit. To build their trust and prove that you aren’t just a stranger passing through, you get involved in the innerworkings of the community. You become a regular at the local café or serve on the volunteer fire department.
Your ministry has a dual focus. You preach and serve the congregation entrusted to you, and you spend the other half of your time out in the community.
Show You Care
With time, you will learn the culture of your rural community and find a place where you belong. Although a few years may pass before folks accept you as one of them, know that your work and efforts are not in vain. As you continue to love them and care for the community, the Lord will open doors and hearts to the gospel.
The key to rural ministry is patience. Without a strong endurance and love for rural places, a rural pastor can burnout. But if you commit to serving a forgotten place that can take years to see growth, you will have a front row seat to God moving in extraordinary ways.
Examples of Rural Opportunities
Although a rural community may be small, the opportunities for ministry are endless for a rural pastor!
- Serving with the volunteer fire department
- Going for a hike with neighbours
- Hunting or fishing with folks from the area
- Joining a community sports team
- Visiting the local café or favorite restaurant
Could God be calling you to rural ministry?
Use the form below to begin the process of becoming a Village Missionary pastor or intern!