Tim Keller’s Advice to Seminarians–Pastor a Country Church

Though I have never been the “permanent” pastor of a local church, I have been a youth minister and done interim pastor work. Three of the churches I’ve served were rural congregations of less than 100 active members. I wouldn’t trade my experiences with those small-church saints for anything in the world. Perhaps because of my own experiences, I think Tim Keller’s advice to seminarians–consider becoming a country parson–is good advice for many would-be pastors. This is especially true in a denomination like the SBC that is filled with rural churches, many of which are in need of sound pastors (and sometimes other staff leadership). I am all for urban church planting and church revitalization (my current church, FBC Durham, meets in the inner city). But we mustn’t neglect the thousands of rural churches across our Southern Baptist landscape. They are in many ways the heart and soul of the SBC. I hope God will raise up many, many godly and gifted pastors for these churches, even as he raises up church planters to go to the great urban centers of our nation.