Don’t Hate On Rural Ministry This insightful video discusses the differences in church planting and ministry between the urban and the rural environments. Actually, it gets into the tangible regional differences as well and turns out to be a pretty well-rounded discussion. There is a link drawn between the temperament and personality of the planter and how those factors may influence where one decides to plant a church. I think that the inferences drawn may be a little simplistic and stereotypical; however, the host was quick to point out common challenges to both rural and urban ministry, and the speakers specified that they were expressing views from their own experience. The important aspect is that it takes a lot of patience, particularly in unchurched areas like New England, where progress in building a work may take twice as long as in other contexts. It is also important to note that, while there is an idealized view of life and religion in rural America, these areas of the country are quickly becoming the least Christianized places in the country.
Israel’s Christian Awakening “A minority within a minority” is the way Arab Christians in Israel are described in this article. 136,000 Christians, along with more than a million Muslims, make up the Palestinian share of Israel’s 8 million people. And according to the article, they identify more with their Jewish neighbors than they do with their Palestinian brothers, so much so that they want to be a part of serving and protecting their country. The number of Christian Arabs in the Israeli Defense Force more than quadrupled since 2012. Arab Muslim leaders are denouncing this, stating that Arabs should be unified, but Arab Christians interviewed in the article state that they feel Israel has protected and cared for them, so they will not depart or stand aside while their home requires protection. It is not surprising the unity Christians and Jews have with one another; as an American Christian, it has always been evident to me that Christianity flowed out of, and represents the fulfillment of, Jewish law and prophecy. The Judeo-Christian ethic is the basis of American law and, still to a large extent, American culture. I pray that by this, Christians grow closer together in the truth while Jews draw closer to the revelation of the mighty God in Christ.