Two years ago we moved from the Chicago suburbs to northern Minnesota—a major cultural adjustment.

Driving through town recently, I approached a four-way stop. The cross-traffic sat passively, watching me slow down and come to a complete stop before starting out. As I waited I complained to my son, "Can you believe it? They sit and wait when they could have gone, and now I have to wait for them."

"Well, Dad," Nathan said coolly, "this isn't Chicago, you know."

He was right. In a small town, sometimes you have to wait. Accepting a different pace of life here has been a significant part of maintaining my ministry edge.

When I lived in metropolitan areas, I found numerous opportunities for sharpening ministry skills. I had my pick of seminars, seminaries, consultants, libraries, large churches, and creative colleagues. Progressive business people and entrepreneurs stretched and challenged me with their big ideas.

Now, I'm back in a small town, and I sometimes feel like I'm losing my edge. ...

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