Rural Church Planting

This article first appeared in GO WEST!

by Tom Lavigne
mark-farmer
In the mid 1990s my wife and I sensed God moving us from a secure associate pastor position in a growing church in Fort St. John, British Columbia, to the smaller neighbouring community of Taylor. We were privileged to be a part of a team that established what is now known as Peace Community Church.

Church planting in what’s known by some as rural areas comes with lots of blessings, but along with the blessings come some unique challenges. Overall the experiences were undoubtedly some of the best times of our lives. Connecting with neighbours during Gold Panning Days, throwing huge Christmas parties, caroling in -30 Celsius, and partnering with local government were among some of the creative—some might say naïve—ideas that came with a sense of faith that nothing was impossible with God.

We tried all kinds of outreach ideas celebrating our life in Christ and exploring ways of connecting people with God. And, you know, some of them even worked! We’ve established lifelong friendships, seen God work in miraculous ways and enjoyed seeing God develop something from the ground up.

In this interesting article, “Church Planting in the Small Community,” Steve Larson, Dennis Dickson, Chris Gray and Darren Widner explore some to the joys and trials of pioneering new churches. They share some of the practical concerns around buildings and explore various ways they endeavoured to share the Gospel in rural areas. Check it out and let me know what you think or share your own stories of rural life in ministry!

Declan Flanagan shares some great thoughts in “Faith in the countryside.” Here’s an interesting UK perspective on Church Planting: www.ruralministries.org.uk

The Canadian Baptists of Western Canada (CBWC) Church Planting ministry is excited about potential new churches in the rural areas of southern Manitoba and central Alberta. We sense God moving in these regions, wanting us to partner in establishing new works. For information about CBWC Church Planting contact myself or Cailey Morgan. Check out our blog for stories of what’s happening across the West!

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One thought on “Rural Church Planting

  1. As a church planter in a rural area I completely agree. There are hardships, but so many blessings as well. When I was young, the cities were largely forsaken by the churches but every rural community had numerous congregations. Now it is the other way around with church planters flocking to the cities and many leaders turning their heads on the smaller fields. I minister in cotton country and one thing I have noticed–no field gets left untouched. There are huge fields of cotton that go farther than the eye can see. And then there are little lots small enough to build a house on. No matter the size, the cotton gets planted so that every penny can be earned. Even so, the church should desire to reach every field. All are precious to God.
    Terry Reed
    Small Church Tools

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