I walk down the halls of the local school, and I think of the kids and families of my community. We are not unique, but an average Mid-American rural community. Yet, the people are important to me.
My wife an I have lived just under ten years. We have watched children grow up from elementary through college, and some we have known since they we a few hours old. I substitute in the local nd help our local Youth For Christ leader, and it is great to see how young people are comfortable with me many time.
I learned long ago in ministry that I have a much more interaction with my community, by simply laying aside so called planned evangelistic outreach, and living life with the people of my community. It is my community, and that is a key to small town and rural ministry, it may take time but when you really become a part of the community ministry takes a Kore comfortable and open place.
I encourage any pastor moving into a small town to get with other ministers for support. However, to minister to people you have to become a true part of the community. You have to work and play with them in the everyday, and in time you will hopefully be able to show them Jesus in all you do.
Blessings on your ministry journey