Portrait of a Rural Community

dsc00829.jpgI have the feeling that there are some people who don’t quite know what I’m talking about when I mention rural churches. Well, hopefully these three pictures I took from a hill overlooking town can be worth 3,000 words. In this community, the only business in town is the Citgo station you see in one of the pictures. No, you can’t really see the Church from these pictures…too many tree limbs even after the ice storm.


United Methodism is a denomination of small churches, and I wonder if we can ever really transform the denomination without a deep understanding of this.


3 thoughts on “Portrait of a Rural Community

  1. Could you explain more what you think being a denomination of small churches means?

    Here in Indiana that is certainly true.

    Do you think we are caught somehow thinking in terms of bigness? Is that leading us astray?

  2. By that, I mean that our denomination is predominantly composed of small congregations.

    Big is not necessarily bad. I experienced my call to ministry in a congregation that averaged close to 800 in worship each Sunday. Sometimes, big is great! I just think we donate too much of our energy to trying to help little churches become bigger, rather than helping them to be missional at the size they’re at. Being missional may lead to growth, but it will lead to authentic faithful Christianity.

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