Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Books about the Small Church and Small Town

Clergy in rural ministry often have very little time for the luxury of reading, and thankfully for them here two are short and readable books. To many of us have a stack of half read tomes anyway. Both of these books offer helpful insight and encouragement for ministry in rural settings.

Two ‘small’ books worth reading by anyone living in a small town, and participating in a rural church, are a couple of books published by the Alban Institute published in 2000.

Dynamics of Small Town Ministry by Lawrence W Farris (2000, pages 89).

This book is divided into two parts (Discovering the Small Town and Ministering in the Small Town) which is subdivided into seven chapters with an average page length of 9 pages.

Farris suggests that getting to know the small town first will lead to a better understanding of the congregation. He quotes from Emilia E. Martinez-Brawley who wrote that “small-town culture is like a map deeply embedded in the cognitive structure of those who have lived in it.”

Chapter One concludes with this paragraph:

It has been said, “[K]nowing who you are is impossible without knowing where you are.” The small-town minister who takes the time needed to learn the landscape will come to know his people more quickly and deeply.

Farris at Alban

Farris at G-Books

Entering the World of the Small Church by Anthony G Pappas (2000, pages 142).

Pappas at Alban

Pappas at G-Books

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