New England churches struggle to fill pulpits UPDATED

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

Trouble filling pulpits – Leaders stress need to reach out to domestic mission field

MANCHESTER, N.H. – More than a year ago, the West Keene church in southwestern New Hampshire advertised nationwide for a mature minister interested in a mission opportunity.

The 35-member congregation, about 40 miles west of Manchester, offered housing, utilities and a small stipend.

But only one man applied — and he turned down the job.

<ed.note>Note I left on Bobby Ross’s Facebook wall: Empty New England Pulpits Story — someone needs to do some research on how many folks can’t afford to consider the jobs due to crushing bible education debt; then consider studying Project MedSend’s model of providing student loan forgiveness for folks willing to do a specified “tour of duty”.

In addition to the wall note I would add: Further, books like Strapped and Generation Debt need to be considered. UPDATE: See this. CLOSE UPDATE Other stories in the Chronicle emphasized colleges closing in the Pacific NW; its time for Churches of Christ to put distance education in the first place of options rather than on insisting on relocation to a campus to get access to educational materials. These materials can do double duty for students in mission fields (like the NE) as global broadband builds out — especially in the form of wireless to smart phones. I should note also I truly appreciate the excellent reporting the Chronicle crew does! Tangent: Post on Alex Campbell as blogger by Greg Taylor over at the Disciples of Christ Historical Society site. Many other excellent resources available there ONLINE. </ed.note>