In the spring of 1997 I was pastoring the Osawatomie Wesleyan Church in Osawatomie, Kansas, just 30 minutes outside the suburbs of Kansas City. One day I received a call from Pastor Dave Redmond. He was a friend and prayerfully contacted me to ask if I would be interested in coming on his staff to be the Assistant and Youth Pastor at the church he led. We set a time when I would come and interview with the church leadership and see the town. When the day came, I climbed in my little red Toyota Corolla and headed west. As I drove along I-70 I saw exit 313 to Manhattan, so I turned off and drove north a few miles on Highway 177 until I reached the city. It was a beautiful town, but I was just passing through on my way to Clay Center. I continued north out of Manhattan driving on Highway 24. As the miles passed I started to become concerned. All I could see were sprawling fields of crop land and pastures for cattle that sat underneath wide-open skies. I also saw old farm houses and new homes that dotted the landscape. In nearly 30 minutes I passed through only one tiny town that did not even have a stop light. As I drove on I remember saying to myself, “Where is this place? It’s out in the middle of nowhere.” Soon, in the distance I saw something that looked like a water tower. I thought, “Ah, the sign of a town!”. . .(Click on the thumbnail picture to read the full newsletter as it shares the vision for rural ministry and upcoming ministry activities this fall and winter.)
Do you attend, or are you a pastor or church leader of a rural or small church? If so, do you feel at times like your church is forgotten or overlooked because of its size or location? You’re not alone. The majority of churches in America are just your size. Click on the picture to begin learning about a new outreach to rural and small churches.
HOPE FOR TODAY
November is Thanksgiving month, it’s just a couple weeks away. When people talk about thankfulness it seems to be always dealt with in self-help, motivational or Christian bumper sticker ways. There is a depth to thankfulness that is rich and meaningful. Read Clint Decker’s November column to learn about “The Deep Meaning of Thankfulness.”(Click on the picture to read the full column).
Stories about clergy sexual abuse within the catholic church seem to be in the news continually, and it is alarming what the world is learning. Yet, what we’re reading about isn’t something unique just to them. It is a red flag warning that sexual immoral behavior is in every sphere of our society, making our sons and daughters sexual prey to lustful eyes all around them. Read Clint Decker’s October column called “How To Fight The Culture Of Sexual Abuse.” (Click on the picture to read the full column).