Abraham Lincoln said: "God must love the common [folks], he made so many of them." A paraphrase for this quote could be: "Certainly, God must love the small/rural church because so many of them continue to thrive."
From coast to coast; in villages, towns and cities; and nestled in the foothills of mountains and alongside country roads are the small churches of our land, presenting a surprisingly positive countenance and gentle expression of the love of God in times of discord in the world. In no way is this meant to paint a picture of the perfection of the small church. Rather, it is an opportunity to "be still and know" (Psalm 46:10) the strength, beauty and peace that can be found in small congregations.
To survive the monumental changes in the church and in the world, rural and other small congregations have had to hold tight to the hand of Jesus — to allow the Lord to guide them as they endeavor to maintain God's values while continuing to serve God.
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers