Small Town Jesus Blog

Don’t Try to Work Harder Than Jesus And Call It “Mission”

I’ve realized through the last almost nine years of church planting that missional churches, like the one I pastor, are giving in to a busyness that drives many of their pastors and leaders to the brink of burnout and beyond.

This has left me to consider that it may be that personality, ambition or just our western cultural worship of progress is driving our churches’ schedules more than Jesus’ mission. It’s at least worth considering.

Continue reading “Don’t Try to Work Harder Than Jesus And Call It “Mission””

Living As A Missionary Where Food Is Worshipped by Donnie Griggs

I said in my book, Small Town Jesus, that good missionaries learn to identify what their small towns worship, they show the insufficiency of that idol, they call out the idol for failing to do what only God can do and they show how Jesus is better. I also said that a good missionary doesn’t worship the idols that the town worships.

Continue reading “Living As A Missionary Where Food Is Worshipped by Donnie Griggs”

3 Challenges of Small-Town Ministry – Donnie Griggs

Recently I wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition and in this article, I wrote about some of the challenges that I faced leading a church in a small town. My hope is that you’d be able to relate to and learn from our experiences whether you are planting a church or working to strengthen an existing church in a small town.

Continue reading “3 Challenges of Small-Town Ministry – Donnie Griggs”

The Pain & Privilege of Doing Multisite in Small Towns – Donnie Griggs

A few years after planting One Harbor Church, we ran out of seats for the fourth time even with multiple services. We also ran out of parking and kids’ ministry space. Even if God had sent us more people, we had nowhere to put them.

Trying to find another building in our small town, including all of the money, energy and time it takes to move to another building, made us step back and think about what we really should be doing.

Continue reading “The Pain & Privilege of Doing Multisite in Small Towns – Donnie Griggs”

How To Help Your Church Be Better Missionaries – Donnie Griggs

I think many of us church planters and pastors have been rightly impacted by the necessity for us to see our town as a mission field just as significant as anywhere else. We are grateful to pastors and thinkers like Ed Stetzer, Tim Keller and others for this mindset. These faithful leaders have caused our eyes to see that mission isn’t just something that happens “over there,” it also happens “right here.”

Continue reading “How To Help Your Church Be Better Missionaries – Donnie Griggs”

ministries in small towns

3 “Ordinary Ways” To Leave a Gospel Legacy in Devastating Places – Chris Priestley

Many of us ministering in small towns are surrounded by devastation and despair. My state, West Virginia, is leaving a legacy of alcoholism, depression and heroin addiction. [Source] Sound like where you are at? What will it take for the Gospel to leave a greater legacy in our towns than despair and devastation?

Continue reading “3 “Ordinary Ways” To Leave a Gospel Legacy in Devastating Places – Chris Priestley”

Making Waves with a Pebble – Will Basham

My great grandfather started churches in small towns in the early 20th century. He had a third grade education and somehow managed to pull off one semester of bible college on top of that. He was found out by the school and consequently kicked out of college, but not before being exhorted to pursue great things for God in spite of his educational deficiency. “He couldn’t spell ‘CAT,’ but my oh my could he preach, play, and sing,” my great aunt told me. Continue reading “Making Waves with a Pebble – Will Basham”

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal covers important subject through article, “Is Rural America The New Inner City?” – Donnie Griggs

In chapter three of Small Town Jesus we look at “Small Towns, Big Mission”, which talks about the current brokenness in small towns. This is something I continue to find more and more as I travel and speak with church planters in rural areas. Recently, while in West Virginia, a church planter there told me that the state’s legacy is heroin, alcohol abuse and depression. It’s the same sad story everywhere I go, from the Rhondda Valley in Wales to where I live in eastern North Carolina. Continue reading “Wall Street Journal covers important subject through article, “Is Rural America The New Inner City?” – Donnie Griggs”

Christianity Today

Developing Church Leaders in Small Towns – Donnie Griggs

Recently one my prior blog posts was featured as an article for Christianity Today. I’m always encouraged when others agree in our desire to see God’s kingdom shared with everyone, even in small, rural, sometimes forgotten towns.

In this post, I write about the need for leaders and what small churches should be looking for when developing leaders from within.

Continue reading “Developing Church Leaders in Small Towns – Donnie Griggs”