Small Town Benefit #1 – It’s Small

So the last few months, I have had my friday’s frustration about serving in a small town. But last week, as I laid out my schedule of posts for the next few weeks, I decided to do some benefits of small town ministry before I got into any more downsides.

One of the best things about serving in a small town is just that, its a small town. For many in the town, there is a real sense of community. When my Wife and I were looking at houses, it was amusing to hear Trenton Natives tell us every family that had lived in a particular house, and that they knew all that was interesting, and really made us feel like we were moving to a good ol’ little All American town, the kind of place where you picture they would film leave it to Beaver if they still filmed that show.

The real benefit is the closeness of all of the kids. To be able to ride my bike to the houses of 90% of the students in my Youth Ministry has been great for building relationships with them and their parents.

Further, I love how safe I feel in the town. One of my favorite parts of my day is close to 11 p.m. when I take Max, our black lab, for a long walk. I love it because its a time for me to just talk with the Lord, pray, worship, or listen to the Simply Youth Ministry Podcast. There have been many times the past few months where those times have kept my sanity in tact.

And this comes back to the closeness of the students. I can spend just an hour walking, and pass by the houses of again, almost 90% of my students. I love the ability to stop in front of their house and say a little prayer over them and their family and move on. And I love knowing that at most I’m only going to pass 2 cars in that whole hour. The quietness and stillness of it all is something magical. The views are breathtaking. Yes, its very flat here, but not being in a populated area, I can see millions and millions of stars. Any time I start to feel arrogant I can go out that night and be humbled of how small I am, and I love those conversations with God.

And thats what I love most about living in a small town. What do you love most about serving where you are?


One Response to “Small Town Benefit #1 – It’s Small”

  1. I go to college and serve in a town of 10,000 (which is tiny to me compared to St. Louis, which I grew up in!). I used to serve as a volunteer in a different church before serving as the YM in my current one, and I love that my teens, past and present, all know each other. I talk to a professor at school, and they tell me how they went to a Chiefs game the past weekend with two men from my church! It really does seem like everyone knows each other, whether they are connected through my church or my school. I absolutely love it! At the same time, it reminds me to have integrity because you never know who is watching!

    Which is another thing–Every time I’m at Walmart, I run into someone from church. So now I can’t just go in sweats 😉 It is definitely not like that in STL.

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