Grounded in social research, Rural Ministry evaluates the diminishing establishment of the church in rural America, which is linked to the fifty-year-old crisis in rural ministry. It names the primary issues for leaders of Protestant and Catholic churches to ponder: the graying of the population; the closing of schools, hospitals, and factories; and the corporate buyout of farms during the 1980s. In addition to retelling the history of this crisis, Shannon Jung and the other contributors to this volume offer a set of Christian principles that respond to social problems in rural life. The situation is so intense that the book offers examples from around the heartland of cooperative or collaborative parishes that blend denominational and theological differences across the Protestant and Catholic spectrum.
Key Benefits: Offers a vision of nationwide renewal in rural America; Advocates true ecumenical solutions to issues confronting the rural church in America; Sidebars feature examples and illustrations; Informs new rural ministers of the culture and issues about to confront them, allowing them to better handle the challenges and opportunities of the rural environment; Motivates congregations to activate ministries in new and provocative ways, insuring the spread of the gospel; Can help troubled churches survive.