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Five Podcasts for Rural Pastors

Evalyn Summers

Did you know that there are a number of podcasts specifically centered around the topic of rural ministry? 

Here at the PRM, we desire to both encourage pastors working in rural areas and small towns and to equip them with resources aimed at their specific needs and circumstances. 

That is why we’ve pulled together this list of five podcasts from around the web: to encourage and equip you. Whether you’re a regular podcast listener or have never tried it before, you’ll find hundreds of episodes on countless topics related to rural ministry from a variety of American pastor perspectives. Enjoy! 

1. Rural Pastors Talk (hosted by TJ Freeman and Joe Wagner)

Rural pastors helping rural pastors think biblically about the local church” 

    With over 150 episodes to listen to, these pastors from the small town of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania offer a lighthearted yet faithful and rich podcast about life in rural ministry. Recent episodes include “Are Your Weekly Rhythms Killing You?” “Are Mission Statements Necessary?” and “Do Rural Pastors Need a Seminary Education?” These guys are quick to laugh with each other and recommend outside resources, and they also remain active on their podcast’s Facebook page

    Available on: their website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and more

    2. Dirtroads Circuit Riders Podcast (hosted by Steve McVey, Michael Houle, and Doug Routledge) 

    “...an honest rambling discussion between three leaders in the rural American church.”

      Borrowing the idea of circuit-riding preachers from the 1800’s, these three hosts take Jesus’ heart for the villages seriously (see Matthew 9:35) and see rural pastors as long term missionaries and disciple makers. Collectively, they bring decades of wisdom and experience from pastoring, church planting, and youth ministry that is specific to rural settings. You can read more about their ministries below and connect with them on their Facebook page

      Dirt Roads Network

      Small Town USA 

      Crossroads Farm: Loving the Rural Teen  

      Available on: Podcasts.com, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify

      3). The Rural Pastor Podcast (hosted by Andy Addis and John Mark Clifton) 

      “Because everywhere matters” 

      In this year-old podcast, Andy Addis and John Mark Clifton bring their knowledge of strategizing for, replanting, and revitalizing rural ministries with the North American Mission Board to the table. They are particularly in tune to challenges that affect rural ministers, like isolation, low resources and vocational identity. Their website includes a blog on rural ministry and a page of other great free resources for pastors. As a bonus, this podcast features a fantastic theme song from the award-winning Gospel bluegrass group, Chosen Road

      Available on: their website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts 

      4). Small Town Big Church Podcast hosted by Larry Kaufman 

      “This podcast exists to help church leaders embrace the truth that God desires to do BIG things in small places!”

      Begun in 2014 and still going, this podcast has over 300 episodes for “encouraging, equipping, and challenging pastors and church leaders in small, rural towns.” The podcast frequently features interviews with guest speakers and recommendations of other resources for rural ministry. The podcast’s new host, Larry Kaufman, is passionate about the Gospel and about his work coaching and supporting pastors. On the The Small Town Big Church website, you’ll find more resources like a great recommended reading list for rural pastors and a link to the Kaufmans’ retreat center in Ohio Amish Country. 

      Available on: their website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts 

      5). The Rural Church Podcast 2.0 (hosted by Allen Nelson and Eddie Ragsdale) 

      “Two SBC pastors in Arkansas discuss life, ministry, theology, and the Gospel from a local church perspective.”

        The Rural Church Podcast 2.0 is a revival of a podcast from 2018 that releases episodes every week. If you are looking more for theological discussions, this podcast from rural pastors might be a good fit. Episodes include discussions on topics like “Missions and the Local Church,” “Pastoral Visitation,” and “Cancer and Ministry.” In addition to working as faithful pastors and producing the podcast, Eddie writes for his blog “Thousand Hill Thoughts”  and Allen is a contributing writer for the “Things Above Us” blog. 

        Available on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more 

        Evalyn is a PRM writing intern and rising senior who is studying English and pursuing teaching opportunities in classical Christian education. She lives in and loves rural Western Pennsylvania