Jon Sanders: Let's ask God for the vision of how he wants to use your church to accomplish the mission that he's already defined for us in your time, in your town, in this space, and make it happen. And it'll be awesome.
Karl Vaters: Hi, I'm Karl Vaters and I’m a small church pastor, and welcome to Can This Work in a Small Church?
My podcast guest today is John Sanders and the subject is rural church rescue. John is the founder of smalltownbigchurch.com and he's the co-host of EntrePastors Podcast. For years he was also the host of the Small Town, Big Church podcast, which you can still get in their archives. He's also the author of Rural Church Rescue, a Call to Restore Healthy Churches to Rural North America. In this conversation, John and I talk about how he used the principles that he learned in his previous experience as a firefighter to help churches better understand how to do ministry that matters. The parallels are vivid, they're helpful, and we even uncovered a couple of new ideas as we talked.
Don't forget to stick around when the interview is done. I'll come back with an overview of the content and an answer to the question: Can this work in a small church?
Hey, John. So good to have you on the podcast today.
Jon Sanders: Karl, it is my pleasure to hang out with you, man. Thanks for the invite. I'm honored.
Karl Vaters: Oh, it's good to have you on with me because you've invited me onto yours a couple of times. I hope people have spent some time with you on your podcast. I'm just getting this thing started; you're the veteran, so hopefully we can get some good stuff out there today because you've got some really great material. You and I were at a conference recently and we were just two booths apart. So even between talks, we had a chance to chat. Although they put the two of us - our workshops - at exactly the same time, so neither one of us got to go to the other guy's workshops, which was the biggest disappointment, I think, for both of us of the entire conference.
Jon Sanders: Right. I have since sent a strongly worded letter to management, so hopefully that never happens again.
Karl Vaters: Oh, man. What I want to talk about today, at that conference, you gave me a copy of your book, Rural Church Rescue. Rural, it’s one of those weird words. Every time I say rural, I feel like Scooby doo, like rural, right? It’s a strange word. It's a wonderful place, but it's a strange word. All right. Rural church Rescue, a Call to Restore Healthy Churches to Rural North America. It's a short book, but you got a bunch of really good stuff in it.