You Know You Are a Rural Pastor
One of my favorites from the past. A reminder of the special nature of our calling to the rural church.
You know you are a rural pastor if…
You didn’t realize that most people actually buy sweet corn.
Your organist has had to leave the service because the cows were out.
You expect attendance to drop during planting, harvest, and deer season.
You learned that “a little lunch” is actually another meal served at 10:30 a.m. or 3:00 p.m.
You have prayed for it to rain – and for it to stop.
You realize that if someone offers you a doughnut, they are not asking if you are hungry.
You know that coffee is just a good excuse to visit.
Your car and your cell phone have taken the place of your office.
You have made a pastoral call with rubber boots on.
You have actually done counseling while riding in a combine.
You regularly drive 100 miles to the hospital, sometimes several times a week.
You have seen neighbors complete someone’s harvest in one day because they had a crisis.
Your church secretary knocks on your door at 6:30 a.m. because she let you sleep in.
You know the names of the dogs on every farm in your area.
You have had breakfast at the sale barn.
You know how to read a plat book.
You know that comments about green and red tractors are about loyalty, not just colors.
You can tell which of your members raise cattle and which raise pigs when they come in the room.
Local doctors are not afraid to call you when a patient needs your prayers.
It has taken you three hours to get the mail from the post office (because so many people wanted to visit).
You tell distance by minutes, not miles.
Pies, cakes and other baked goods regularly show up in your office.
You have received a grocery sack full of beef or pork for Christmas.
Memorial Day is a big deal at the local cemetery and you are expected to pray.
You get a Christmas gift every year from the local funeral home.
You know that scalloped potatoes and ham is its own food group.
You have done Christmas caroling while being pulled on a hay rack.
Your board meeting can’t start until 8:00 p.m. because several elders have to finish milking.
You have to lock your car doors in the summer or you will mysteriously get a sack of zucchini.
Your nativity scene has real sheep.
You have driven 20 miles for an ice cream cone.
You have eaten at least one meal that featured an animal with a name.
You regularly see four or five generations of a family in the same pew.
You know that a veggie burger is a hamburger with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
You are not surprised when your doorbell rings at 2:00 a.m. because someone needs to talk.
- Skip Shaffer, 2018