Tag Archives: #congregations

Inside Out – Glenn Daman – Encouragement for Rural Churches – 06/14/23

Rural Churches Face Post-Pandemic Challenges … with Resilience and an Encouraged Theology

Although resilient, small rural churches are contending with fallout from the pandemic.  “There were some differing opinions and strongly held, so I think that we need to reconnect and move beyond that,” says author, pastor, and professor Glenn Daman. His 2018 book focusing on rural churches, The Forgotten Church, received Christianity Today‘s Award of Merit for The Church/Pastoral Leadership.

Daman points out that the pandemic also revealed the impact of media content and the internet on how people think–even within rural churches. The internet guides users to perspectives similar to what they’ve already sought out, so people often are not hearing opinions that challenge what they’ve been exposed to. “So, in some ways, the greatest threat to the distorting of truth is ourselves,” he says.

How can church leaders respond to the changed cultural landscape after COVID? “I think we continually have to challenge people to think biblically,” he says. The politician is not the person we’re to turn to for truth. We need to be turning to Scripture and to the foundation of what the Scripture teaches as we form our perspective on our world and on our culture.”

Daman assures us that there’s reason for pastors and leaders to feel encouraged. “The biggest thing we need to remember in all this is God’s the one who builds the church. He didn’t say, ‘You go out and build the Church.’ He says, ‘Upon this rock I will build my Church.’ ‘Some plant, some water, but I will build the Church.’ God is still building His Church. And nothing can stop that,” Daman says. “Our job is to be faithful. Preach His Word. Love the people. And if we do that, we’re being effective regardless of what the outward results are. Because God is at work.”

 Listen to our 18-minute conversation to hear about Glenn Daman’s newest book, The Lighthouse.

For further insights and inspiration on these matters:

  • Learn more about Glenn Daman here
  • RuralMinistry.net has reflections on congregational vitality, resources for training and equipping leadership from the membership, and practical encouragement from Glenn Daman and others on how to sustain faithful ministry in rural churches (and small churches in other locations too).


Feature – The Shape of Campus Ministry Today – Steve Cheyney – 06/12/23

The Shape of Campus Ministry Today

Steve Cheyney tells us about the current priorities of most campus ministries, because of changes in the priorities of most college students of the current generation, often referred to as Generation Z.

Cheyney calls the mental health circumstances of many of these young adults a current “crisis”. The causes, he says, are related to the ways students relate to each other and to other people, mostly via their devices. They want to impact society, improve the world, and find themselves often unable to connect.

That shapes ministry to college students, with a focus on counseling and pastoral care. That also means that campus ministries — and local congregations near a university campus — will miss the boat if they focus on traditional Bible studies, Sunday morning worship, or other “religious” events. The veteran of more than two decades of campus ministry says there are many great ways that churches and organizations can provide positive Jesus-centered influence particularly for this generation.

Listen to this podcast with leaders of your congregation.

The Rev. Dr. Steve Cheyney is university pastor at UNC-Charlotte and leads the Niner United ministry there. He also is on the faculty of the Honors College at Charlotte.


Feature – Beyond Mother’s Day – Jenny Coffey – 05/16/23

Mother’s Day was Sunday.

We talked with family counselor — and mom of four preteens — Jenny Coffey about what most moms might really like for Mother’s Day.  Her answer for the weekend was “rest” and balance.

Those are still gifts which can bless mothers the other 364 days of the year.

Coffey gives us advice for families, including stories from what is working for her own household. She also has encouragement for moms themselves — how to avoid the internal and external pressures and stereotypes can improperly focus women on unattainable accomplishments and unrealistic status.

Also in this extended version of the feature we aired at noon, she shares additional insights for women who are parenting alone (either as single moms or without good support from others), as well as ways congregations can adapt their families to be better supportive of mothers (and fathers). Coffey sees this as an important evangelistic tool too, because older church leaders may not realize how parenting styles and family patterns have changed for today’s young adult generations.