Recently, we were with a church on the East Coast, and one of the leaders began sharing some of the struggles of growing a congregation in a rural environment.
"It's hard to translate some of the things that edgier churches are doing into our congregation," he confessed. "In an effort to be sensitive to the landscape of our community, I have to be careful in what elements we add to our services. I love hearing what God's doing in other churches, but being here makes me feel insulated and behind the times."
"It's got to be hard," I conceded, "But don't forget the insulation is also your protection. You're not called to be the next so-and-so church. Though these institutions offer insightful best practices and helpful techniques, at the end of the day, you are called to follow Jesus right here, right now, right in this community with these people.
"You are called to be true to your own DNA and the way God wired you. You are designed not only to reach these people, but also to live and be among them. Don't be distracted. Remember that God can do great things through those who are slow, steady and faithful."