All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons and daughters. 15 You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, “ Abba, Father. ” 16 The same Spirit agrees with our spirit, that we are God’s children. 17 But if we are children, we are also heirs. We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ, if we really suffer with him so that we can also be glorified with him.
Nearly all pastors sent to rural congregations were nurtured in larger urban congregations, and nearly always educated in urbanized seminaries. A wide culture gap between leaders and members often emerges among the church leaders in rural congregations. This book is designed to address and study the issues that arise when ordained and lay pastors are called or appointed to rural congregations.
This handbook will orient seminary students and pastors who are doing ministry in rural congregations. It focuses on the nature of congregational life in such a setting, showing ways to deal with the issues and challenges specific to rural culture. The authors tell how to best engage in evangelism and mission in the particular locations in which these congregations find themselves.
Rural Congregational Studies: A Guide for Good Shepherds outlines features of different rural settings that affect life and church life. Each chapter contains a section of "resources" (sidebars, ideas, programs, and so forth) that tie it to the chapter theme.