3 Things I Have Learned About Small Towns and Hard to Reach Places

My blog is called UTTERMOST, because our family has been called to “Go where no one else wants to go.” From a small rural farm town to the most unchurched, “Truman Show” place in the country where there are 25+ cities in my back yard without 1 church [non-LDS] at all. BY THE WAY…there is a reason there are no churches here or no life-giving ones where you are.

Here are 3 tough lessons you have to grip to lead well where God has called you.

1. The grass is not greener on the other side. Stop dreaming of bigger and better. Maybe God will unleash his power when you start dreaming BIG dreams for places no one else wants to go instead of dreaming of building the next large church in a large city. [Jesus came from Nazareth, a very out-of-the-way place on no ones radar! John 1.46]

2. Plant HIS kingdom and not YOUR church. Stories of large churches in crazy places is NOT the norm. Yes, I pastored one of them, but again, it is not the norm! I would have thought anything less than a campus launch of 300 [even in a small town] was not a “success” when I pastored in Ohio. Now in this place I find myself, we are looking to plant 10 healthy, disciple-making churches of 200+, rather than just 1 church of 2,000! I am so much more about expanding THE kingdom instead of just MY kingdom. [We need planters here in Utah…if you are called, hit me up.] Acts 1.8

3. Your family really does come first after your God. Rock-stars of the Christian world pull their pants on one leg at a time, trust me. Many of you are working for things that are not eternal. You are building a church to “reach” people with a potentially hidden agenda: to get recognized and to be “on the radar.” I know I used to live this way. The day I gave up chasing that agenda, God opened up all kinds of doors for me to speak, share and write on how GOD has expanded His kingdom somehow through our family and our team. [You shall have NO other Gods before me is ringing in my ears.]

Does your wife really know that you would QUIT tomorrow to bus tables at Olive Garden if it were between your ministry and your marriage? Honestly, mine does…now.

Going where no one else wants to go is not for the weak. It is harder than any other calling on the face of the planet. Cheers to those of you who will never get the credit…God sent His best to a small town, an out-of-the-way place, a nothing town. Hmmmm…maybe he did that with you too.