I recently came across an article from Time Magazine written by David Van Bierna/Crookston
January 29, 2009. In which they recognize and researched that in rural churches there is a
massive exodus of pastors.
In my reading, The article notes that less than half of the rural churches in the United States
have seminary-trained full-time pastors and that in some sections of the Midwest only about
20% of the churches have such pastors. According to the article, one of the main problems
such churches are having is that their congregations are aging and shrinking and so it makes
it difficult for them to afford a pastor. Another problem is that many young pastors don’t want
to minister in rural areas; as rural church expert Shannon Jung says in the article, “A town
without Starbucks scares them.” Funny nevertheless interesting, the search for meaningful
pastorates and places of greater possibilities of “success” deters many new pastors or young
minsters to adventure themselves in the rural areas of Idaho.
Coming from a city that was closed to four hundred thousand in population to a town of only
748 people according to 2010 Census, it was a great transition, nevertheless adventurous and
exciting. This change allows me to dig deep to the many opportunities to minister and be of great
influence and impact in our community as well opportunities to be somewhere else.
So here is my confession: I’m Isaac and I’m a rural church pastor because this town is beautiful,
I call it paradise, also because this town understands community, because these people need
the good news, and because these lives in this place call out for love, grace, and ministry just as
surely as the people in any other place. But most importantly is because God called me to be His
representation to this Town of Hagerman and rural Idaho, and as His servant I am more than
happy, willing to serve this beautiful community.
Here I stand. I can do other–I just choose not to.
Loving GOD and Loving people. Pastor Isaac