I received a mailing about a special Pastors Appreciation Breakfast in nearby Calgary. It sounded interesting – and I thought there might be a few freebies – so I went. I had the most interesting feeling as I walked in. Have you ever felt like you were under-dressed for an occasion? That’s exactly what I felt. I had just enjoyed some meetings a couple of days earlier with a bunch of rural pastors and hadn’t even thought about it. Now, I was wearing similar clothes – jeans and a shirt – and I felt like I didn’t really belong. I saw one other guy wearing jeans and he was a fellow rural pastor! Everyone else was wearing dress pants and a nice shirt, some had a tie, and some even had a full suit on! I felt completely out of place – though I enjoyed the free books I got.
I immediately thought of the Rural Church Pastors Network Gatherings I had just had the privilege of helping lead. One of the topics we discussed was the differences between Rural and Urban churches. Paul Warnock, pastor at Hanna Alliance Church, had a comparison list to share with us. (click here for the list) It’s the first one on the list.
Many of the differences and comparisons between urban and rural churches are obvious for those who have served in both contexts. And these differences are as simple as how we dress, how we do church, and how we lead a board and make decisions.
We really are different. It is a different culture. If you grew up in the country you may not even notice, but if you come from the city, you do need to learn the culture. And that only happens as you take time and listen and watch.
So, yes, we are different, and that’s okay!
What are some differences you have noted between rural and urban?