Rural Shepherdology has been a great blessing to this pastor. Not only do I pastor a rural church but I am also bi-vocational, so I feel I need this group more than most. Pastor Jerry with his many years of pastoral experience understands not only the pastorate, but people. I am thankful for RS, as it is my small group where I can be free to express my own thoughts, gain wisdom, vent my frustrations from time to time and meet with pastors that want to reach people with the love of Christ.
About 2 months prior to the start of the cohort I moved from a large city in California to rural Michigan. Rural Shepherology has allowed me to avoid some significant potential potholes that could have derailed the ministry, guided me toward flourishing as a person and a pastor, and provided an opportunity to learn and wrestle with the unique challenges of pastoring a rural church with a cohort of other pastors. Whether you have been serving in a rural church for ten minutes or ten years, the investment of your time and resources in joining a Rural Sherherology cohort will be worth every minute of your time. I am so thankful for Jerry’s encouragement, training, wisdom,and partnership in the Gospel. I would encourage you to join a group and experience the fellowship, training, and mentorship Jerry brings to each session.
I met Jerry back in 2020 after becoming a first time lead pastor. After being a youth and associate pastor for nearly 20 years I found myself as a lead pastor in a new type of community. I was always a part of a larger city context, and I found myself pastoring a rural church community. I did not realize how much I didn’t know about being a pastor, but especially about serving a rural community. This is why I have found coaching to be invaluable. You never know what you don’t know, until someone tells you. Jerry has been impactful in helping me understand some of the cultural differences that you will encounter in a smaller/rural church. These cultural differences have been important for me to be able transition as a pastor, and to be able to avoid many pitfalls that others have made before me.