There are some things I love about Rural Ministry that I just love.
One of those things are “Family Parties”. As a Youth Pastor, I get invited to family functions of the youth I minister to, which means I get to interact with the grandparents, cousins, crazy uncles, etc (there are some stories here, maybe for another day). I love the laid back atmosphere you get in Rural Ministry. For example, If multiple people show up to a party paking firearms, its not a big deal, provided that someone also brought paper (or improvised) targets or sporting clays (also known as clay pidgeons). It gets really interesting when you are invited to shoot with them. In some areas where I have served, this scenario would bring law enforcement and/or the evening news.
The level of interaction you get when at these functions are priceless in understanding the teenagers you work with. Its one thing to see your teens interaction with their immediate family, but it can be a whole different story when elements in the extended family come into play. If you’re lucky, you get to meet and thank that aunt, uncle, or grandparent that encouraged one of your teenagers to get involved in church, which resulted in them coming to your youth group.
These are some of the best times you can enjoy in ministry.