This page contains some of our favorite resources for ministry in small places (with some brief comments on each one). One of the best things about the recent resurgence of interest in small place ministry is the increasing availability of articles, books, websites, and videos intended to equip and encourage those in small towns and rural areas. Below, you’ll see some of the resources we think are particularly insightful and important. These have helped us the most.
Small Town Books
Small Town Articles
‘I Overlooked the Rural Poor – Then Trump Came Along,’ Tish Harrison Warren,(Christianity Today, August 2016)
A helpful, honest, and important article that started many people thinking about the vast heartland of America and the need for ministry in the small places.
‘The Smug Style in American Liberalism,’ by Emmett Rensin (Vox, April 21, 2016.)
An important article for helping to recognize the common disdain of the broader culture for the small places.
‘The Centrality of the Gospel,’ by Timothy Keller, available at gospelinlife.com
Keller shows that the gospel isn’t meant to be merely the content of our speech, but also the contour of our lives. The emphasis on gospel-shaped living and thinking is very helpful in beginning to develop a ‘theological vision’ for ministry in small places.
‘No Little People, No Little Places,’ by Francis Schaeffer
An important chapter in Schaeffer’s book No Little People that reminds us that ‘in God’s sight there are no little people and no little places.’
'Ghost Towns and Small Towns: Church Planting in a Boom and Bust World' by Charlie Cotherman
Cotherman calls church planters in small places to prioritize ‘relationships over hype, marketing, and quick fixes’ and promote ‘a hope founded on the long-term faithfulness of God.’
An insightful interview with writer and Acts 29 rural church planter John Hindley. Hindley planted a church in Manchester, England and then moved to rural Norfolk to plant another. In this interview, he explains why, and what he’s learned.
Renewed Interest: A Fresh Look at the Rural Church by Rob Foster
Drawing on original research (including personal interviews) and some of the current literature, Rob Foster helpfully examines the recent resurgence of interest in small-town and rural ministry.
Disciple-making in the Small Towns with Stephen Witmer
Stephen Witmer speaks at the Bethlahem College & Seminary chapel on "Discipleship-making in the Small Places.”
Don't Hate on Rural Ministry with Collin Hansen, Stephen Um and Jared Wilson
Here’s a really helpful Gospel Coalition conversation with Collin Hansen, Stephen Um, and Jared Wilson about urban and rural ministry. This is an excellent example of how those called to urban ministry and those called to rural ministry can support one another in gospel work.
What Theological Vision Is & Why It Matters for Small Place Ministry with Richard Lints
Richard Lints (Provost and Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Theology) shared on "What Theological Vision Is & Why It Matters for Small Place Ministry" during the Small Town Summit: New England meeting in the Kaiser Chapel (Hamilton Campus) on March 18, 2019.
How the Doctrine of God Sends Us to Small Places with Brad Roth
Brad Roth (a pastor in rural Kansas and author of the award-winning book God’s Country) shared on "How the Doctrine of God Sends Us to Small Places" during the Small Town Summit: New England meeting in the Kaiser Chapel (Hamilton Campus) on March 18, 2019.
What Gospel Shaped Small Town Ministry Looks Like in Practice with Donnie Griggs
Donnie Griggs (a pastor in small-town North Carolina and author of the popular book Small Town Jesus) shared on "What Gospel Shaped Small Town Ministry Looks Like in Practice" during the Small Town Summit: New England meeting in the Kaiser Chapel (Hamilton Campus) on March 18, 2019.
Panelists Ben Ruhl, Richard Lints, Stephen Witmer, Brad Roth, Donnie Griggs, & David Pinckney addressed participants' questions during the Small Town Summit: New England meeting in the Kaiser Chapel (Hamilton Campus) on March 18, 2019.