This statement, from the Barna:Cities website, really bothers me: “Cities matter. The economic well-being of a nation rests largely on the health of its cities. Likewise, the spiritual vitality of the U.S. is deeply connected to the faith of the people living in its largest cities.” This statement either implies that small towns and rural communities matter less than cities, or the statement has no meaning at all, because all communities matter.
When I lived in the Midwest, I burned with the heat of a thousand suns when I heard it dismissed as “flyover country.” I’m concerned that “flyover country” is now being applied to rural communities everywhere, and I even sense an urban bias creeping into the language of the American church. Kate and I are committed to Silverton, and it’s a good thing, because everything in my bones is saying that if society has determined that the least desirable and relevant place to live is the rural Midwest, then that’s exactly where I’m going to go.