The Rural Revolution

I think the next era in church growth and renewal will be in the rural areas. Church growth started in this century with urban churches. More recently, we have seen the explosion in church plants and large churches in suburbia. I think the next explosion will be in rural America. Of course, it will look very different. One of the ideas that I think can be transplanted there (and will need to be reworked because of the context) is the multi-site idea. There are so many empty church buildings in rural areas. Also, the population is small and cannot support full-time staff members. However, most Christians have been exposed to professional church now… large, expansive worship teams/bands/choirs with professional videos, dramas, and dancing that come with a top-notch motivational speaker and slick card stock everything all complete with a perfect landscape and parking lot. Now I am not advocating for all of these things… however, there is a longing in all of us for some of this. Churches in the rural areas have never had any of these things and they long for at least some of it. They would love to worship in their native melody and tongue and learn from top-notch pastors.

The multi-site concept could lend very well for such a task. In fact, the multi-site idea could be the post-modern version of the denomination. Of course, only time will tell.

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