Five Things Small Town Church Planters Wish Their Denominational Leaders Knew

Planters in rural America feel misunderstood and ignored.
The last night of our 2 1/2 day conference was coming to an end. I was feeling pretty good that we had pulled off our first Multiply Vineyard Small Town USA church planting conference. Our two presenters did a fantastic job giving the nuts and bolts of planting and doing multisite in a rural context. It wasn’t just theory—they had done it in central Illinois and northern Wisconsin. It went well, but I wondered if it really had impacted the attendees. I would soon get my answer.
A couple in their early 40s came up to me with tears in their eyes. “Thank you so much for putting this together. This is the first church planting conference where we felt understood,” the husband said. They went on to tell me they were planters and pastors in Wisconsin.
Not long after that couple got into their van for the 10 1/2 hour drive back home, another couple from Missouri approached me. They too had tears in their eyes. “This is the first church planting training where we felt understood,” the husband said. “We went to other trainings where we were told we should take a team of 50 from our home church to plant in our town. Our home church only has 75 people and there aren’t 50 jobs in the town we’re moving to.”
Planters in rural America are often misunderstood at best and ignored at worst. Here are five things small town planters wish their denominational leaders understood.
1. We would love to come to your meetings, but Bi-Vos don’t get paid to attend.
While many pastors attend seminary thinking they will be fully funded pastors, the reality is many pastors are bi-vocational. It is difficult to get an accurate number on how many pastors are bi-vo as only recently have denominations …Continue reading…