Rural Missions Solutions History
"Rural Mission Solutions" is a fresh expression of a mission organisation that was established in 1988 but whose roots go back 25 years before that. From 1988 to 2010 it was known as Rural Sunrise.
From 1963 to 1988 Barry Osborne was part of a team ministry that conducted short term evangelistic outreaches at the request of village churches. Anything from 8 to 15 missions were undertaken each year in various parts of the UK. Many of these also provided training for men and women following their time in Bible Colleges. The core team was four people with exceptional communication skills. Many of these missions were remarkably effective but a casual remark made towards the end of one of these missions in Cumbria led to a serious re-think of strategies. During an informal evening meeting where around 30 people had crowded into a home a woman turned to the vicar and said, "Well, vicar, I don't know what we are going to do next week with only you to entertain us!"
Valuable as these outreaches were the work was rarely sustainable afterwards. Also if the evangelisation of thousands of small rural communities was dependent upon such external "expert" ministry the task would never be completed. It was also giving a limited understanding regarding evangelism methods.
With the establishment of Rural Sunrise in1988 came the opportunity to launch a fresh approach, drawing not only on Barry's past experience but also on what he had learned on an Open University Management Course (a pilot for an MBA) and other management studies. It was also a time of deep theological reflection. In 1989 the first opportunity of employing the new methods came with a mission in Norfolk at the request of an Anglican Church. It was profoundly successful. In late 1990 an invitation came to take on the pastoral oversight of a moribund Congregational church in East Sussex. The church had a congregation in single figures but answering that call also provided an opportunity to put the theories into practice within a part time pastorate while continuing to exercise a wider ministry.
Again the results were very encouraging and the church grew to a core congregation of around 40 people, plus a youth congregation, a major local community mission, a monthly fresh expression type event, and two young couples working in mission overseas. All this while remaining essentially a local village church - of the village and for the village.
The passion to help small and rural churches discover their potential in God's mission is as strong as ever. We continue to seek partner churches willing to work through this unique enabling process to develop tailored mission strategies. We are also now looking for men and women - preferably with pastoral experience - who would like to train as facilitators on this process.
Monica Cook, a talented childrens worker and trainer joined Barry in 1988 and continues to head up the children and families aspect of the work.
We can help you?
Find out how by contacting us at:
Rural Missions Solutions
Centre for Rural Mission
4 Clarence Street
Tel: 07720 322 213
Or use our online contact form.
Lots of Great Ideas!
Take a look at our Free Online Seminars section where you will find video recordings of past webinars together with handouts. Great if you missed a webinar but attending one is always better.
Local Rural Mission Consultation
An excellent way for helping rural church leaders. Why not consider one for your area?
Oxford Diocese - Mission & Discipleship Event
Find the Paper and supporting PowerPoint presentation relating to the event organised by the Diocese of Oxford.
Rural Evangelism Survey Report
The results of a survey into rural evangelism can be found on News and Events section.
No Ordinary Man
Check out the section on "No Ordinary Man". We are giving away hundreds of copies of this excellent book to rural churches in the UK.
Thank you for your prayers and Support
You faithfulness in prayer and support for this ministry are vital to us and very much appreciated. The easiest way to keep up to date is to sign up for the weekly emailed news. This is also published at ruralmission.blogspot.com