"I wish someone would have told me that I was entering cross-cultural ministry..."
This week on the podcast we have such a great conversation with Ron Klassen, Executive Director of Rural Home Missionary Association, an organization that exists to plant and strengthen churches in small-town America.
We spend a few minutes upfront talking about some great things we've seen from churches during COVID-19, but we spend most of the time simply hearing Ron's heart and experience serving in and supporting churches in rural contexts. He has so much to share and, whether you minister in a rural community or not, there are tons of great takeaways in this episode!
Here are some key takeaways from today's conversation:
In ministry, we often bring our own personal cultural background into our context. I love when Ron says, "I was trying to make a city church out of my little country church." Understanding your cultural context is so crucial...
The need in rural communities is so great. Rates for domestic violence, suicide, substance abuse, and more are often higher in rural communities than their city counterparts. As Ron says, "There's a lot of work to be done out in rural America."
We need to see our church as God sees our church. Whether you minister in a rural context or not, our God does not view your small church as "less than." There's a validation in the ministry of Jesus that ministry in small contexts matters.
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Dale is the Executive Director here at 95Network and the author of Stalled: Hope and Help for Pastors Who Thought They'd Be There By Now. He has been in ministry for 40 years and is dedicated to helping small and mid-size churches get healthy. Dale has served in nearly every role of church leadership (except Worship Pastor), and has had a wide variety of coaching and consulting experience. He and his wife Gina have been married almost 40 years and live in Greenville, SC.