The Forgotten Church: Why Rural Ministry Matters for Every Church in America

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Whether it’s because of the 2016 Presidential election or books like “Hillbilly Elegy,” Americans are beginning to understand the tremendous influence people in rural areas have in our nation. But rural America—not urban America—is also the new center of poverty. Thus, the rural church stands at the crossroads of strength and struggle. It carries the gospel, the very hope and power needed. Yet its ministry efforts are hamstrung because urban and suburban churches often don’t realize their need for rural churches, and the rural church itself rarely understands its unique assets and values. The Forgotten Church addresses these problems and: provides an overview of rural ministryexplores opportunities recent trends provideshowcases the remarkable benefits of suburban, urban, and rural churches working together This book is essential for any pastor—whether from the city or the sticks—because we are one body and we need each other.


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From the Back Cover

Is the church becoming polarized too?

We’d like to believe disunity is just a political problem, but division and discord infect our churches as well. The reality is that rural and urban churches typically know plenty of stereotypes about one another but have few actual relationships with one another.

As a result, there’s little interaction between the two groups. Rural churches end up isolated and lack the resources they need, while urban and suburban churches miss out on the wisdom of their rural brothers and sisters.

The Forgotten Church analyzes how we got here, how to move forward, and what we can learn from one another along the way. It will teach you the truth about rural culture and spiritual life, as well as the history, strengths, and challenges of today’s rural church. We cannot afford to live our separate church lives anymore. It’s time to embrace one another and work together as one body. If we cannot find a way to stand together, we will fail alone.

About the Author

GLENN C. DAMAN is the author of Leading the Small Church, Shepherding the Small Church, Developing Leaders for the Small Church, When Shepherds Weep and Shepherding the Small Church (ECPA Gold Medallion Finalist). He grew up on a farm in Northern Idaho and attended Big Sky Bible College, Western Seminary, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Since 1991 Glenn has served as the pastor of River Christian Church in Stevenson, Washington. He has also served small rural churches in Montana and Oregon. He has served as the director of Village Missions’ Center for Leadership Development and has been an adjunct professor for a number of Bible colleges and seminaries in the area of small church studies. He has also taught in Russia, the Philippines, Canada, and Mexico. Glenn enjoys photography, woodworking, camping with his family, and spending time on the family farm.

Whether it’s because of the 2016 Presidential election or books like “Hillbilly Elegy,” Americans are beginning to understand the tremendous influence people in rural areas have in our nation. But rural America—not urban America—is also the new center of poverty. Thus, the rural church stands at the crossroads of strength and struggle. It carries the gospel, the very hope and power needed. Yet its ministry efforts are hamstrung because urban and suburban churches often don’t realize their need for rural churches, and the rural church itself rarely understands its unique assets and values. The Forgotten Church addresses these problems and: provides an overview of rural ministryexplores opportunities recent trends provideshowcases the remarkable benefits of suburban, urban, and rural churches working together This book is essential for any pastor—whether from the city or the sticks—because we are one body and we need each other.

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