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Wordwise Insight, Issue #101
January 14, 2013


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Do you have a burden for churches in rural communities? God does.

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? See below for how to send it to us.


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LIKE TO ASK A QUESTION? On a Bible topic or passage of Scripture? Or one about a hymn or gospel song? Click on Questions from You.


Rural Churches

(The Waiting Harvest)

Is it a forgotten mission field? Or an often neglected one? Perhaps so. There is definitely an unmet need there. And I'm not speaking of a remote jungle tribe, or people in a country closed to the gospel. What I have in mind is those in the hundreds of small rural communities scattered across North America.

I can only speak about Canada, where I've lived and ministered. The numbers in the United States are ten times larger, but I suspect percentages of urban and rural are somewhat similar for them.

Canada is a vast and beautiful country, with a population spread from coast to coast. But in recent years many have gravitated to the cities for various reasons–schooling, jobs, medical care, and so on. As of the 2011 census, the population of our country was around 34 million. Of these, 81% are in the urban centres, leaving 19%–or 6.5 million people–living in the hundreds of small communities spread across the land.

But...six and a half million people--that's a true mission field! And surely the gospel is for "all the world" (Mk. 16:15).

My Own Experience
In over forty years of ministry, I've served in one larger city church, and several smaller ones in rural communities. One of the latter was in a tourist area circled by beautiful woods and lakes; another in farming country, in the midst of a boundless vista of western prairie.

I know something of the challenges and opportunities that come with each situation, but the Lord has given me a special burden for the smaller centres. I grieve to see church buildings, once open and a vital part of the community, shut down and boarded up. Or ones that have been turned into private homes, stores, museums and other things.

The Pressing Need
Though some smaller communities continue to thrive, others are...

For the rest of this article, click on Rural Churches.


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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