About 45% of the world live in rural areas, with China, India and Africa having the largest rural population. Statistics show that about 60 million Americans in the United States live in rural areas , about 17.16% of the UK's population live in rural United Kingdom, about 34.58% of Europe and Central Asia live in rural communities and about 19% of the Brazilian population live in rural Brazil.
Jesus admonished us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and the rural communities are a significant part of the world the Lord admonished us to go into and make the gospel known.
Small and rural towns were important when the Lord Jesus carried out ministry in his day. Firstly, he was born in Bethlehem, which was a small community in his day(Micah 5:2). After his family returned from Egypt, He was raised in Nazareth, which was a small city nestled among the hills (Luke 4:29, John 1:46). During His ministry, He preached in towns and villages(Mark 1:38, Luke 13:22). He taught that the gospel of the kingdom was to be heralded even to all creatures(Mark 16:15).
In reading the Gospels, it is undeniable that Jesus had a heart for ministry in rural and small towns and we should too.
This is why at the International School of Ministry(ISM), we pay attention to developing Pastors and ministries in the rural communities.
The 5- Way Impact
1. The Ministers Literacy Program: A program for ministers in the rural communities who may have difficulties in reading and writing. This program will provide basic adult literacy education and skills to the participants.
2. The Ministers Cell Group: This will serve to establish ISM Ministers Cells in rural communities; where the pastors can meet together and fellowship with one another.
3. Ministerial Training Program: Designed to train, teach and impact the ministers in rural communities with the requisite knowledge required for effectiveness in life and ministry even in their location. They will be impacted with the same teachings at the ISM in the language they understand.
4. Project Equip: Purchase of equipment such as microphones, keyboard, chairs, pulpit, etc and sometimes supporting the ministry by constructing the church building in the rural communities.
5. Project Languages: Bringing the Gospel to those in rural communities in their local dialects through the distribution of translated Bibles and other ministry publications.