One thing we can do to help alleviate church “growth” stress in rural churches is to remind them that there’s more than one way to get home from here. I regularly take different routes to get to my destinations. I’ve been at my churches just over six months and I’ve learned a dozen different ways to get from my house (about 20 minutes away) to the churches and back.
Almost immediately the state closed the main road I would normally take (Old Shelby) to replace a bridge, and I learned several other back roads to get here and there.
The same is true for ministry. We may think we know the way we’re going to take (or maybe not), and then we may get halfway there and find out the road may be closed. But because we’re country, we know there’s always more than one way to get there. We just have to remember that we are not in a hurry and that we have options.
And sometimes, success isn’t measured in getting to a destination, but just getting in the car and driving around, looking to see what we can see.
And my reminder is, we don’t run on gas, we run on hope.