“That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.”
Why does the Nebraska District have an Engaging Rural and Small Communities Team (intERSeCT)?
Of the 350+ communities (cities and villages) in Nebraska, only 32 have a population of greater than 5,000 (2010 census).
Using these numbers, 90% of communities in Nebraska have a population under 5,000. This does not include rural areas outside of larger cities.
Rural and small town ministry is a major and important part of the Nebraska District. In an effort to give support and encouragement to rural and small town ministries in the Nebraska District, intERSeCT was formed.
The Intersect Team
This team is committed to encouraging and equipping leaders in a rural setting to be engaged as coworkers in the kingdom—to be a beacon of God’s light and love to each other and to those they intersect with “on Main Street.”
Rural ministry is not easy, and the team members have varying degrees of rural ministry experience which are combined to focus on ways to support and walk alongside rural congregations and church workers as they learn the ins and outs of rural ministry. The team continues to develop plans for walking alongside vacant rural congregations and pastors placed or called into rural settings in order to provide encouragement and to equip them to support each other and engage their communities with the message of the Gospel. Contact a team member or the District Office to learn more.
⋅ Rev. Brad Birtell
⋅ Rev. Shawn Kitzing
⋅ Rev. Matthew Mau
⋅ Rev. Mark Middendorf
⋅ Rev. Robert Schermbeck
⋅ Rev. Greg Stuckwisch
⋅ Rev. Greg Volzke
⋅ Rev. Aaron Witt
⋅ Rev. Rich Boring
Myths of Rural and Small Town Ministry
There are three common myths about Rural and Small Town Ministry:
Myth #1: Rural and small town ministry is easy.
Rural and small town ministry is NOT easy! Smaller numbers doesn’t mean less planning or work. Typical duties and roles of the rural and small town pastor are:
⋅ Preacher (every Sunday)
⋅ Worship planner/leader
⋅ Bible study teacher
⋅ Confirmation teacher
⋅ Senior pastor
⋅ Youth pastor
⋅ Visitation pastor
⋅ Family life pastor
⋅ Outreach pastor
Myth # 2: There’s no ‘real ministry’ to be done in rural and small towns.
Questions to be asked about “real ministry”:
Is everyone in the community a Christian and active in their faith life and congregation?
Does your congregation worship 100% of its membership?
Is there anyone in your congregation or community that needs to be encouraged or comforted with the Gospel?
If the answers to the previous questions are “No, no, and yes” (and they will be) – there is real ministry to be done in that community, no matter what its size might be.
Myth #3: Rural and small town congregations are stepping stones, not destinations.
Sometimes, rural and small town congregations are looked at as a place for new pastors to “get their feet wet” before moving on to bigger and better things. Rural and small town ministry takes time. There’s much benefit to making it a destination and not a stepping stone.