By Patrick Bowler
Valley Life Church (Lebanon, OR)
Welcome to The Middle of Somewhere, an aspiring resource environment for the small town church planter.
It became apparent to me some years ago that there was a gap in the resourcing aimed to serve church planters. So much of both printed and streaming content was/is aimed at the metropolitan/urban church planter. Now let me say, the argument for small town church planting is not dependant upon the vilification of urban planting. I am excited to see, and want to see more, urban churches planted. The argument is not an “us/them” argument; let’s not go there. My motivation with this blog is to simply, and more intentionally include the small towns and their planters within the church’s mission strategies. Small town planters tend to be the least resourced men on mission (especially here in the U.S.). They tend to be more isolated and the least connected. Even if they do belong to a denomination or a formal church planting network, small budgets often forbid them from participating in meetings and conferences. These men need help; they need tailor-fit resourcing. We tend to leave the guys with the least resources with the greater job of content-to-context translation.
I want to help and I think, by God’s grace, I can. In the words of John “Cougar” Mellencamp, “I was born in a small town… Taught to fear Jesus in a small town.” And six years ago, I planted Valley Life Church in a small town… Lebanon, OR (where I was born). With this blog, I want to do what I have been telling other small town church planters to do for some time now, I want to make a contribution to this particular conversation.
I am looking forward to the conversation… there is plenty of room on this small stage.