For discussion

March 8, 2010 | Feature | Number 5

1. How are country churches different from city churches? Do you agree with Phil Wagler that country churches are more traditional? What are the advantages of living in the city or living in the country? What might make a large urban church more attractive than a small rural one?

2. Are rural Mennonite churches in your area suffering serious numerical decline? How has urbanization influenced your congregation? How far do people drive to attend your congregation? Where is your congregation on the spectrum of urban to rural?

3. What are the benefits and drawbacks of having a rural area become a bedroom community for what Wagler calls “sub-suburban urbanites”? Can a congregation have a healthy mix of city and country people?

4. What are the major challenges for small churches? Do small rural churches face unfair expectations from their denominations? Is it inevitable that small rural churches will close? How could Mennonite Church Canada, and its area churches, help small congregations?

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