Rural Church Pastor’s Network
A new swell is moving across the Prairie landscape- a tsunami of pastors not content to do ministry alone. There are no lone rangers here – folks. Rural ministry is gaining new popularity, as networks of pastor’s converge for training and development as well as, sharing common ministry philosophy. Originally started as a way for C&MA pastors to connect in clusters, the RCPN has gained strength and critical mass.
The RCPN is now gathering momentum from 19 different denominations across two provinces. Why such rapid growth? Well here are a few reasons rural pastors gather: community, leadership and desiring to be innovative.
First, rural pastors gather for community. Despite what many people think, rural pastor’s are not loners. Many of the pastors that shepherd and lead rural churches love the country setting, love people and love making disciples. They simply aren’t attracted to the noise and busyness of the urban core or suburban lifestyle.
Second, rural pastors gather for leadership. Each of the pastors that currently attend RCPN are leaders and want to be better at what they do. They are not pastoring because no one else will take them. They desire to lead and be as proficient as they can often serving a small group of people; many times serving bi-vocationally in their community.
Third, rural pastors gather to be innovative. These pastors are not settling for status quo. Many of these smaller communities that RCPN leaders pastor, are intense mission fields. Many pastors that are in these rural communities need to “think different” and be innovate missionaries. RCPN allows them to share ideas and to act as a catalyst for innovation.
I am excited to be on RCPN team, supportive rural initiatives and host regional clusters. Many thanks to the early pioneers like Paul Warnock, Wayne Neumiller, Tim Beadle and Andy Wiebe for pioneering, investing, leading and multiplying RCPN. May God stir up a new wave of leaders and an ocean of kingdom multiplication in rural settings all across Canada.