• Pastoring Small Towns


Small town life is quite different from life in a big city. There is not as much traffic. People recognize each other at the grocery store. Local sporting events carry a different cultural weight, and it may not be out of the ordinary to wait behind a tractor or get used to the smell of a nearby factory. These communities are unique, and pastoring here is an extraordinary task.

Ronnie Martin and Donnie Griggs are well-aware of this reality. In Pastoring Small Towns, their hope is to equip pastors and ministry leaders to take on the different nuances that come with pastoring smaller communities. They point out the cultural realities of these places and give pastors the tools to effectively engage their people with the Gospel.


  • Sample Chapter – Pastoring Small Towns



  • “I’ve long admired and gleaned from the vision of Griggs and Martin for reaching small towns. This book is a reminder of the joys and difficulties of small-town ministry, and it also serves as a guide for doing big gospel work in small places.  Our tendency is to wrongly limit the power of God to be at work in places we prioritize (often cities). Yet, the gospels record that some of the most significant moments in the ministry of Jesus take place in seemingly insignificant places.  Why? Jesus loves small towns. This book is a declaration that Jesus sees us and is with us in our context, no matter how small.”

    Dayton Hartman, PhD
    Pastor of Redeemer Church in Rocky Mount, NC., Adjunct Prof. of Church History for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Author of six books, including the forthcoming B&H Academic book The Pastor as Apologist: Restoring Apologetics to the Local Church

  • “I love this book. In a world where we have pastors with bodyguards, private cars, and big platforms, it is refreshing to see pastors with a passion for the forgotten and overlooked places. This book drips with a love for the lost, a posture of humility, and a call to sacrifice for the gospel. May it lead to more pastors willing to go the ‘highways and the byways’ for the sake of Christ.”

    Michael J. Kruger
    President and Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC

  • “This is a book of compassion, hope and grit, written by seasoned practitioners who know what they are talking about. It is movingly real, from the overdoses and funerals to the barbecues and dove hunts, but it is also stirringly hopeful, rich with biblical insight and wise encouragement. Small town pastors will find it invaluable; big city pastors (like me) will find it refreshingly clear on the nature of true shepherding. Excellent.”

    Andrew Wilson
    Teaching Pastor, King’s Church London

  • “It’s rare to find authors who truly understand the unique challenges of pastoring in forgotten places. Martin and Griggs have written from their own hearts and speak straight to the hearts of us out here laboring in small towns. This book reminds us of the value Jesus places on our work. As a small town pastor, I felt understood as I turned the pages of Pastoring Small Towns. I finished the book encouraged, equipped, and inspired to continue in ministering in a small context.”

    Will Basham
    Lead Pastor of New Heights Church, Regional Director, Acts 29 Mid-Atlantic, Author of Rural Mission

  • “In Pastoring Small Towns, Ronnie Martin and Donnie Griggs offer straight talk for pastors in small places. This book is honest and convicting. But it’s also hopeful and compassionate. These two pastors have struggled and suffered, and in this book, they put their arms around the shoulders of their fellow small-town pastors, sharing the sweet biblical truths that have sustained their own souls. I pray that many will read their words and be strengthened for fruitful, enduring ministry.”

    Stephen Witmer
    Co-founder and President, Small Town Summits; author of Eternity Changes Everything and A Big Gospel in Small Places

  • “Over the past 2 decades, urban ministry has gotten a lot of attention. And I’m thankful for that. But I’m also grateful for men like Donnie Griggs and Ronnie Martin, who are helping us prioritize gospel ministry in small towns. If we’re going to see renewal in the American church, we’ve got to care about both. I pray this book will be used by God to encourage leaders and to strengthen churches everywhere.”

    Bob Thune
    founding and lead pastor of Coram Deo Church, fellow of the Keller Center for Cultural Apologetics, Author of Gospel Eldership, the co-author of The Gospel-Centered Life and The Gospel-Centered Community, and the creator of the Daily Liturgy Podcast

  • “Donnie and Ronnie provide essential encouragement—from pastors, for pastors—to those doing the quietly heroic work of leading Jesus’s Church in small-town America. This is a much-needed, helpful book.”

    Elliot Grudem
    Founding President, Leaders Collective

  • “Pastors in small towns are too often overlooked and under-resourced. Pastoring Small Towns is more than just a valuable tool, it is a reminder of the heart of God. It is a call to join in the reforming and reviving work of the Spirit in places that are never forgotten or forsaken by Him.”

    Josh Kouri
    Founding Pastor Frontline Church, Oklahoma City, OK

  • “For far too long, we have either ignored small-town ministry or treated it like the minor leagues. Donnie Griggs and Ronnie Martin remind us that Jesus loves small towns and small churches. They encourage small-church pastors to labor in their fields with renewed energy and lay out a roadmap for building strong, healthy churches in small towns. May this volume lead to a new generation of pastors who are willing to embrace the beauty and challenge of small-town ministry!”

    —Scott Slayton
    Lead Pastor, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Ollie, AL

  • “My rural heart is skeptical whenever someone slaps ‘small town’ on a Christian book or conference. Growing up on a gravel road in farm county, I am used to the condescension and cliches permeating most discussions about communities like my hometown. But I found something different on the pages of Pastoring Small Towns: Gospel-infused hope and time-tested understanding from men who have joyfully and passionately settled into small towns to love people who have chosen the same. As a pastor of a church that straddles rural, suburban, and urban contexts, I was challenged to follow their lead in shepherding the flock that is among me.”

    —Noel Jesse Heikkinen
    Pastor, Riverview Church, US Midwest Regional Director, Acts 29, Author, Unchained and Wretched Saints

press inquiries

For press inquiries regarding Pastoring Small Towns,
please contact press@bhpublishinggroup.com