Sunday, February 08, 2009

Small town pastors: the third post

Out of Ur notes that small-town churches are having more and more trouble attracting pastors. Low salaries are one reason for this; more relevant to SDA pastors would be the well-known resistance of these churches to change.

And it's true: small-town churches generally don't get excited about that nifty new program you read about in last month's Leadership magazine
  • Money is tight, after all.
  • Talent is limited.
  • And if the truth be known, you're probably just the latest in a long line of young pastors who showed up with a pocket-full of great ideas, stuck around for a few years, then got discouraged and left.
So no, you probably won't spend a lot of time developing new programs at a small-town church.

But that does mean you'll have more time for other things -- and this leads me to:

Advantage #3: You learn to preach a variety of sermons.
Many of my friends went from school to large, suburban churches where they served as associate and youth pastors. As such, they had vital, exciting ministries that blessed a lot of people . . .

But they didn't get to do much preaching. That was handled by their senior pastor.

In a small-town church, however, you're the one who does all the preaching.

And you preach a lot.

Especially if you have a multi-church district.

And when you're preaching two or three sermons a week, plus prayer meetings, plus leading a study group at the State Prison -- and yes, your elementary school's Week of Prayer is next week. And did I mention that Mrs. Smith died, and the memorial service is Wednesday?

Okay, you see what I'm getting at here: good preaching takes practice -- and the nice thing about small-town churches is that you get to practice your preaching.

And since you're not spending all that much time running programs, this gives you even more time to work on your sermons!

In short, pastoring a small-town church is a great way for you to improve your preaching.

And that's one change even a small-town church would support.

Monday: the last advantage

No comments: