With the poetic force of Kathleen Norris and the pastoral warmth of Eugene Peterson, Kansas pastor Roth sets forth a vision for vibrant rural churches, for ministry in congregations that bear a profound sense of both loss and possibility, and for harvesting fruits of transformation and renewal. Rooted in stories from Scripture, his own ministry, and interviews with rural church leaders, Roth offers a sturdy theological and practical alternative to church-growth strategies that rely on success stories and flashy metrics. Reclaiming God’s vision for the rural church, Roth writes, means learning how to praise, abide, watch, pray, grow, work the edges, die, befriend, and dream. In God’s Country, rediscover the stunning abundance of God’s presence in rural communities. Name the ways that the rural church testifies to God’s glory and goodness. Learn to live and love and minister right where you are, no matter how small or unassuming it may seem.
Winner of the Award of Merit, Christianity Today 2018 Book Awards, The Church / Pastoral Leadership category.
Free downloadable study guide available here.
“You can sense Brad Roth’s love for rural people on every page in this book. . . . This is a book I will assign to divinity students and to a prominent position on my shelf.”Leonard Sweet, Reviews
“Brad Roth has done a wonderful, unusual thing: thought about the rural church in a way that combines both honesty and hope.”Will Willimon, Reviews
“Filled with wisdom and grace and a tenacious love for rural communities, which have much to teach us all. I recommend it highly!”Tracey Bianchi, Reviews
“God’s Country is a beautiful book. Brad Roth tackles our temptation to either deplore the state of the rural church or romantically glorify it. And best of all, he calls us to love.”Michele Hershberger, Reviews
“Brad Roth deftly weaves his social and theological analysis of the rural church in America with his own experiences. Readers will come to understand the problem and promise of the rural church in all its complexity.”Tom Montgomery Fate, Reviews
“A balm to the soul for all who seek the kingdom in rural communities. For anyone who fears that the sun has set on vibrant rural congregations, Brad Roth offers a sage call for hope and renewal.”David Boshart, Reviews
“Brad Roth really understands rural ministry—he understands the challenges and yet still loves living and ministering in a rural town. I found God's Country helpful and inspiring, and I think you will too.”Donnie Griggs, Reviews