Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rural churches struggling to compete with 'megachurches' for young pastors, resources

Urban migration has had a major impact on small rural churches, which often struggle to find young pastors willing to locate to rural areas, Brian Kaylor reports for Word&Way. Dennis Bickers, southeast area resource minister for the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky, told Kaylor, “Many seminary graduates will not even consider taking a smaller church. So finding pastoral leadership is becoming increasingly challenging.” (Creative Commons photo by Tim Wilson)

Another problem is that "denominations sometimes focus more resources on bigger, urban congregations." Kaylor writes. Most of America's churches are small, with about 50 percent averaging less than 75 in attendance and 90 percent averaging less than 350. "Many of the smaller churches are found in more rural settings than the flashy megachurches that steal attention away from the typical congregations." Part of the problem is that rural churches tend to be more traditional, while societal trends have become geared more toward modern churches that offer such amenities as live bands playing contemporary music.

Melody Pryor, pastor of First Baptist Church of Stanton, Mo., said rural churches offer a more personal touch that larger churches are less likely to provide, Kaylor writes. For instance, many church members know each other on a personal level, there are more opportunities to participate in rural church groups such as the choir and rural churches are often more involved in community events. (Read more)

1 comment:

Laura A said...

Dennis Bickers is author of "Work of the Bivocational Pastor," published by Judson Press. See for more info.