As rural America continues to undergo massive economic and demographic shifts, rural churches are uniquely positioned to provide community leadership. Leading a rural congregation requires a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing these communities, as well as a strong theological and community-focused identity. Allen T. Stanton describes how in establishing this identity, rural leaders build a meaningful and vital ministry.
Reclaiming Rural explores the myths and realities of rural places, and how those common narratives impact the leadership of rural churches. Ultimately, rural congregations must practice a contextual understanding of vitality, which understands both the strengths and challenges of leading in a rural setting.
Arguing for a practice of evangelism imbued with this mission of vitality, Reclaiming Rural promotes the church as a leader in economic and community development, modeled upon a Wesleyan theology of grace. Acknowledging the many challenges facing rural churches, this book is an energetic and encouraging guide to overcoming social and economic obstacles to build a thriving congregation.