Praise for Country Churches

One man’s opinion says smaller is better when it comes to churches.

| July/August 2009

  • Country church
    Rural country churches make members of their congregation feel like part of a real family.

  • Country church

I am a city boy who moved to the country several years ago. For a while, we continued to go into the city twice a week for church. I couldn’t imagine a Sunday school class of five or six men, or a congregation of less than 100. I was used to belonging to a large, city church. My wife grew up in the country and had attended a country church. She knew there was a difference, but she waited patiently for me to agree to visit a country church.

Several years ago we decided to try the country church down the road a piece from where we live. After attending that church for two weeks, I vowed, for several reasons, never to go back to the city for church.

In most big-city churches I’ve attended, you may get to know a few people who sit around you or who are in your Bible study class, but many will remain strangers, particularly if you are not outgoing.

If you really want to feel the love of God fully expressed through His people, go to a country church. The people there exhibit God’s love in many ways. For example, from the moment you enter Sunday school at our church and for 30 minutes after the last “Amen” in the worship service, everyone hugs everyone. The congregation is happy to see each other, and they show it.

In our former big-city church, if you have a prayer concern, you write it on a card and drop it in the collection plate. At our country church, time is given during the worship service for folks to call out their concerns for others in the congregation, as well as those in the community who aren’t members.

We have fun in our worship service. As the hymn “Down in My Heart” says, “I have the joy, joy, joy joy, down in my heart,” and it applies to every member of our church.

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