A few weeks ago I decided to attend a training for Prepare Enrich marriage program through Life Innovations. I have worked with the material for the last 10 years, but wanted a refresher course on their new material. I was once again reminded of the lack of understanding for small church ministries.
In one of the discussions, we talked about the type of couple that you should refer to professional counselors. I explained that some of the couples I have dealt with do not have the money or the ability to travel to professionals (in some cases over 45 miles away). After some discussion, it was concluded that the small church ministry was the only option these people had. Lack of training and opportunities, meant that we had to do the best that we could.
In a world full of choices, the smaller rural ministry is often the only choice. While some may view that as a discouraging thing, I look at it as an opportunity. I may be their only source of help and encouragement for someone who is struggling. God has brought them into our ministry for a reason. God has given us the incredible privilege to help and minister.
So my Pastor friend, while you may be overwhelmed by the many hats you are required to wear, hang in there. The feeling that you are unprepared to deal with many of this issues, allows God more room for it to be about Him and not our abilities.