Rural Ministry is often lonely. Not just lonely because you don’t have someone to work alongside of but lonely in figuring out what should happen next for your church. There are times that I have longingly dreamed of having a team to plan with and set vision with. Don’t misunderstand – I have a great Elders Board and they are willing to do planning and dreaming with me. The problem is that this is not their first priority. They have their own job and their own family.
So as the pastor, I have to find ways of taking initiative on what I do with my time and how I give leadership and direction to the church.
The easy thing is to do only what is required. I preach each Sunday and make sure there is a good service planned. I visit some people. And then what?
As the pastor, it is my duty to look ahead, to recognize areas in my church or in my community that things are not as good as they could be.
In the church – is there something lacking in meeting the needs of people in the church? Is there an aspect of discipleship that needs improving? Do I need to begin a men’s ministry? Right now I’m working on having the whole church focus on Prayer for three weeks in January. I’m asking all our Care Groups to study the same book on prayers from the Bible and will be preaching on a prayer from the Bible at the same time. I’m trying to give leadership on helping us to be more of a praying church.
In the community – is there a need that we as a church could realistically meet? Should we set up a Food Bank ministry? Should we provide a service in the community? One of the things we have done for the last couple of years is an Easter Eggstravaganza at our Community Hall. We put on a great breakfast, an Easter Service, and an Easter Egg Hunt. We do things to make it an exciting morning. It gives us opportunity to connect with many more people than if we had something at our church. Our church can only handle about 110 people. We had 250 at the last Easter event.
I hope that you are not just “coasting” along doing the bare minimum, but are asking God to give you a sense of what He is wanting you and your church to step into.
Take the initiative! God has called you to lead – so lead well.