Yesterday I addressed the question of what a prophet is. I imagine that many other preachers did also. It’s more than a little confusing since the idea of prophet as fortune teller has become so ingrained in our thinking, in part through the popularity that idea with some televangelists and end-time aficionados. We did get to the concept of prophet as truth teller and some of the ways by which true prophets might be discerned, but not without having to take a detour. One of the advantages of preaching in a small rural congregation is that there is no real need to use the pulpit or stick to a written text. I can respond to congregational questions that might take us on a bit of a digression for a minute or two. Before my little congregation (11 yesterday) could focus on the question of prophets, they wanted to know what the heck Paul was talking about in his little lecture to the Corinthians on whether or not to eat meat purchased from the local pagan temple. So we took a little side trip to Corinth and talked about the kind of town it was and how this little band of brand new Christians was not finding it all that easy to know how to follow Christ, especially given the community in which they lived. Once we got that out of the way, we could get on with prophets and have a good time dong it. If you are lucky enough to live where you can sometimes preach and celebrate in a small rural setting, do it. It is tremendously rewarding.
2 thoughts on “Rural Preaching”
Every week, brother . . . every week.
You seem to have the best of both worlds-retirement income with active ministry in a rural parish! Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, when English and Irish country parishes could be staffed with endowment income, many ordained graduates could serve a parish well, and still have ample leisure for both scholarly hobbies and if they so chose, a little foxhunting too. Modern parishes are so filled with constant meetings, committees, and such they are burnout ovens for clergy. I had once a Greek Orthodox friend, prominent in his own parish as an archon (=churchwarden or vsstryman), who scornfully said of the local Greek priest, \”He is paid such-and-such thousand dollars a year for two hours work a week!\” I think he had no clue how stressful and busy that priest\’s life probably was, especially with having to deal with lay leaders like him! Dr B