‘Lead Like Jesus’ conference focuses on rural ministry

Grove City College’s Project on Rural Ministry is hosting a conference for pastors, lay leaders, and others interested in helping pastors serving rural, rust belt, and Appalachian churches – and their congregations and communities – thrive.

“Leading Like Jesus” is set for Sept. 15 and 16 at Tower at Tower Presbyterian Church, 248 S Broad St., Grove City. The conference is open to the public. To see the full schedule and register, visit ruralministry.org. Registration is $10.

The conference features workshops, lectures, and panels focused on meeting the challenges endemic to local ministry, with a focus on counseling, preaching, and youth and children’s ministry. Leaders and speakers include Grove City College Biblical and Religious Studies professors Dr. Seulgi Byun, Dr. Duffy Robbins, and Dr. Carl R. Trueman.

The conference’s plenary speaker is Sam Allberry, an apologist and author who serves as associate pastor of Immanuel Nashville and a canon theologian for the Anglican Church in North America. Allberry will speak about “Cruciform Leadership” at 7 p.m. Friday. Allberry is the author of “Why Bother with Church?,” “7 Myths about Singleness,” and other books, and his writing appears in The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, and Living Out.

Glenn Daman, pastor of River Christian Church, Stevenson, Wash.. will speak on “The Landscape of Rural Ministry” at 6:15 p.m. Friday. Daman has pastored rural churches in the West and written five books related to rural and small church ministry.

Saturday’s schedule includes workshops on counseling, preaching, and youth ministry and a noon panel discussion about sexuality featuring Christian pastor and counselor Bob Shull, Allberry, Trueman, and Byun.

The conference is a key part of the Project on Rural Ministry’s programming. Grove City College established the Project in 2019 as a four-year initiative to understand and address the needs and concerns of a group of about 30 pastors from rural, small town, and rust-belt churches. The project was funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Last month, the College announced it was establishing the permanent Center for Rural Ministry to continue and expand the Project’s work. The on-campus Center will provide a sustained focus on an underserved church community and serve as a catalyst for pastors, students, professors, and communities to collaborate on service projects and scholarship in support of rural ministry. Lilly Endowment provided a $400,000 grant to aid the effort.

‘Lead Like Jesus’ conference focuses on rural ministry

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