Resources and Events

Lecture and Workshop Ideas

Interested in bringing this conversation about congregational vitality to a larger audience in your area?  

Perhaps you are looking for a guest lecturer or workshop leader for your next synod or presbytery event. Or maybe you are just interested in bringing the rural pastors in your area together to talk about ideas of common interest. 

We are always interested in sharing our passion for rural ministry with church or seminary groups, large or small. Skip has been a guest lecturer and workshop leader at a number of academic and ecclesial events, including the Wartburg Rural Ministry Conference, the Western National Leadership Training Event, and Omaha Seminary Foundation Heartland Lectures.

Some past topics of interest have included:

“Re-energizing Vitality in Small and Rural Churches”

“The Changing Landscape of Rural Ministry”

“Examining How Mission Motivates Our Ministry”

“Finding the Courage to be Contagious: A New Look at How Rural Churches Can Thrive and Survive”

“Redefining Success: Learning to Look Beyond the Numbers”

“Looking For the Signs of Life: Finding the Keys to Vitality in our Lives Together”

“The Art of Welcoming:
          What Do Our Building and Context Say About Us?
          Welcoming Visitors Through the Back Door”

“The Crisis of Comfort : Challenging our Presuppositions and Moving Beyond”

“Exploring the Keys to Vitality: Worship, Awareness, and Adaptation”

“Finding Mission in Unexpected Places”

“New Life for Tired Churches”

For information about availability, feel free to contact us at Rural Pastors

Have You Done a Church Audit?

How do others see your church? Sometimes those who are the most familiar with a community or a congregation are the least able to notice the obvious. Many churches have both strengths and weaknesses that have not been addressed because we are so comfortable with the status quo.

Consider inviting a consultant from Rural Pastors to visit your congregation and look at your ministry through the eyes of a visitor. We will examine your facility from the perspective of a newcomer, note how you are welcoming or in need of improvement, consider the ways your ministry draws participation from your membership and reaches out into the world, and even visit with the pastors and staff about their work and the ways they contribute to the life of your congregation.

If you are interested in learning more about an affordable church audit, contact us at Rural Pastors Church Audit today. (note: this is not a financial audit, but an overview of your congregation and community)

Rural Ministry Resources

Denominational Resources

Seminary Resources

Agricultural Resources

Rural Life Resources

Country Living

The Daily Yonder - Rural Life and Ministry

Rural Living Today

Small Church Leadership Network

Shalom Hill Farm

Center for Rural Affairs

Rural Advancement Foundation

Leadership Resources


Contact: For Skip Shaffer or, send an email to

Follow on Twitter @skipshaffer

Like us on Facebook at Rural Pastors

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