The Anatomy of a Rural Church: 10 learnings from summer prayer walks around the church's neighborhood

by S. Roy Kaufman. The Mennonite, September 1, 2011. Accessed April 14, 2017.

If your rural congregation needs to re-connect its ministry to its context, you will appreciate long-time rural pastor Roy Kaufman’s brief article on the value of prayer walks. Kaufman and several people from his congregation prayer-walked the sixteen square miles around their rural congregation in four, three-four hour stints. The walkers designated a geographic quadrant surrounding the church, walked, prayed, and paid attention to their environment, resulting in questions and observations. Answering population and land use questions required research. The walkers also noticed the proximity of members to the church and discovered the diversity of the changing vegetation. Kaufman says that the knowledge gained influences his view of the church and its ministry, such as the connection between stewardship of the land and revitalization of their community and church. This article is appropriate for any congregation seeking to see its context and its related ministry anew.