Rural Advancement provides resources to multiply and mobilize rural pastors and churches. Jesus spent much of his time ministering in the villages, kome, where he taught, healed the blind man, and the leapers. He sent his disciples to the villages where He would also go and minister. Jesus also spent time in places, topos, that were smaller than villages. Jesus sent the 70 to the topos. Jesus also ministered in the chora, open areas between villages, and agros, the countryside. Jesus called people in the rural places and trained them in rural Galilee to transform the world.
“No place was too far away, too rural, or too unimportant for the Gospel’s proclamation” (Clark, Rural Theology: A Biblical Case for Rural Ministry and Rural Church Panting, 2018, 18).
Jesus call continues to reach every person in every location with His wonderful news of salvation. This requires strengthen existing churches as well as planting new churches, the challenge of equipping the church to reach the rural community continues to grow.
How we started...
Life began for both Dwight and Nadine in homes of agriculture families. Both began their education in country schools, graduating from rural high schools, and volunteered in their local churches during their school years beginning with church projects and community outreaches. They met at Trinity Bible College traveling together on music ministry teams. Dwight began serving as a youth pastor in a rural community in 1981.
Dwight and Nadine married in 1982, finished their education, then served together as rural leaders in local, district, educational and national venues. They have lived in rural communities and served rural ministries for nearly four decades.
In 2017, Dwight and Nadine partnered with Trinity Bible College Graduate School in Ellendale, ND to develop a Master of Arts in Rural Ministry. In 2020, their 4th cohort of students began this exciting program.
They sensed God’s direction to initiate a ministry to advance existing rural ministries and launch new ministries in communities without a Pentecostal witness.
A team of rural pastors, church members, regional and national church leaders launched Rural Advancement in the fall of 2019. God led Rural Advancement to focus on multiplication and mobilization: training and educational resources for rural pastors and churches to advance the gospel witness and works. The focus includes:
• identify potential leaders
• encourage and equip them toward rural ministry
• provide formal and nonformal methods of training for people in ministry
• assist with churches, districts and educational institutions providing curriculum and educational resources for rural pastors and churches
• empower, equip, and encourage rural Spirit empowered pastors and churches.
The team building process continues while developing a network of leaders who resource the rural church throughout the nation
We desire to see a Spirit empowered, multiplying, life-giving church worshiping in every rural community under the Lordship of Christ and the authority of scripture fulfilling the mission of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Provide resources to equip pastors and churches to reach their communities with fresh approaches for sharing the good news of a loving Lord. Provide resources for existing rural churches and identify, equip, and deploy 10,000 leaders for the rural church.
- Every person needs to hear the wonderful message of Jesus, to believe on Him for salvation.
- Every person bares the image of God, and as a result all people are equally the object of God’s love and desire to save.
- Every believer should be filled with the Spirit to be empowered to tell others about Jesus.
- Every believer should pray for the LORD of the harvest to send labors to the harvest.
- Every person has built within them the capacity to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
- Every believer should represent God to their neighbors and the nations of the earth. God’s desire to partner in His mission in the world.
- Every place should experience the presence of Jesus through a loving redemptive church.
- Every Spirit empowered church should send people with the message of Jesus.
Every person needs to hear the wonderful message of Jesus, to believe on Him for salvation.
- Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
- Mark 16:15-17 And He said to them, “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature; He who believer and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believer. In My name they will cast out demons. They will speak with new tongues…
- Luke 24:46-49 Thus it is written and thus it was necessary for Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, And You are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.
- John 20:21-22 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
- Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Every person bares the image of God, and as a result all people are equally the object of God’s love and desire to save.
- Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule…”
- Joel 2:23; Acts 2:21; Rom.10:13, “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Every believer should be filled with the Spirit to be empowered to tell others about Jesus.
- Acts 1:8. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
- Luke 24:48-49 And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
Every believer should pray for the LORD of the harvest to send labors to the harvest.
- Luke 10:2; Matt. 9:38 “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
- Mark 11:17 Then He [Jesus] taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? referring to Isaiah 56:7
- John 3:15-17that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved
- John 4:14 …but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
- John 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.
- Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
- Acts 2:32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
- Acts 3:15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.
- Acts 5:32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
- Revelation 7:9-10 “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the lamb, clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands, and crying with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”
- Romans 10:14-15How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?
- The Forgotten Cotton of North America December 9, 2020 Deep in the heart of rural America lies thousands of…
- Threads of Hope August 31, 2020 How one creative rural church impacted their entire community.
- Leadership Lessons Learned at A Small Country Church June 15, 2020 I once pastored a church that was twice the size…
DWIGHT SANDOZ, MDiv.
Dwight grew up in a family that lived on a farm and then in a small town (about 30 people.) He was educated in country schools and graduated from a rural high school with 10 students in his class. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Trinity Bible College and Graduate School. Dwight served in three rural towns as a youth and senior pastor and in district roles that worked with many rural churches. They believe every person should be able to attend a flourishing Spirit-led church no matter how remote the location. His current studies include work on a PhD in Intercultural Studies at AGTS Evangel University.
NADINE SANDOZ, MDiv.
Nadine Sandoz, grew up on a ranch and attended a courntry school. She has served youth, children, women, worship, and drama in local, district, and national venues. She holds degrees from Trinity Bible College and Graduate school. Her current studies include work on a PhD in Intercultural Studies at AGTS Evangel University.
She serves as co-director of MA in Rural Ministry at Trinity.
DAVE BENNETT, DMin.
ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
As a child of Native American missionaries, Dr. Dave spent his childhood on Indian reservations of the west and midwest. He has served churches in the Dakotas and Montana in the role of Youth and Music Pastor, Lead Pastor, Church Planter, Church Consultant and Interim Pastor. His major creative works are an equipping seminar titled, “Discover Your Ministry ID,” and the job description manual, “100 Plus Ways to Serve.” Dr. Dave holds degrees from Trinity Bible College, The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, and Trinity Evangelical Seminary. He serves as the Director of Accelerate at Trinity Bible College and Graduate School.
Hope is a senior in Trinity Bible College and Graduate School’s Intercultural Studies 4+1 program pursuing a Master of Arts in Missional Leadership. She has enjoyed her time at Trinity studying to be equipped to serve on the missions field full-time in the future.
Brett is a graduate of Northwest University and is owner and lead developer of Rodli Web Strategies. He provides Internet-related services for the Montana and Wyoming Ministry Networks, and approximately 45 churches and ministries across the US.
Joe has served as Youth Pastor in Baker, a rural town in Southeastern Montana, for the past 7 years. Joe also oversees a local Youth and Community Center focused on meeting community needs as part of a larger outreach program.
Dennis Rivera serves as the director of Hispanic Relations for the National Office of the Assemblies of God. He previously led Central District/Distrito Central as superintendent for 16 years and pastored in Idaho for 3 years and Colorado for 21 years.
Previously the lead pastor of a rural multisite church of seven campuses, Gerad now facilitates rural pastors in the Water Tower Network and oversees campuses for Northplace Church in Texas.
Rick DuBose was elected assistant general superintendent of the Assemblies of God in August 2019. He previously served as superintendent of the North Texas District for ten years and pastored in multiple rural locations throughout Texas.
Wendy has served in several rural churches. She has been involved in planting two churches serving as Senior pastor, and serves on the board for Minnesota School of Ministry. She is the current director of Credentialed Woman for the Minnesota District and has also served as a District Presbyter for the Minnesota District of the Assemblies of God.
Stephen has served as a youth pastor, associate pastor, lead pastor, and currently has served as the District Superintendent of the South Dakota Assemblies of God since June of 2001. Stephen also served as the South Dakota District Secretary/Treasurer for eight years while pastoring.
Four years ago, Jeremy Haroldson and his wife Lori became senior pastors of Impact Ministries in Wheatland, WY. In the Fall of 2020, Jeremy stepped into the position of Representative of House District #4 in the Wyoming State House of Representatives. Jeremy truly feels that it is time for the church to do what it has always been called to do; bring the hope of Jesus to lost and dying people.
Steve is a US Missionary and the founder and president of Rural Compassion and co-founder of Convoy of Hope. Before Rural Compassion, Steve pioneered “Rural Church” at the intersection of the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges.
Pastor Chris Clem has a unique background that is a hybrid of business and ministry leadership experience and is finalizing his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership (2021) at Southeastern University. Chris and his wife Tricia have served 13 years as the lead pastors of the Highland Assembly of God church in rural Arkansas.
Cody Cochran is a fun-loving, passionate, and free-spirited husband, dad, friend and follower of Jesus. He is a rural guy with a heart for rural America, which he expresses in his down-to-earth and practical approach to life and ministry. Cody has pastored Bethel Assembly of Anson for more than 18 years. Through his leadership, Bethel Assembly has pursued a vision of multiplication, planting two new churches in nearby rural towns.
Randy Hahne is the Assistant Superintendent of the North Dakota Assembly of God. He is a church planter and pastor at Harvest Valley AG in Fargo, North Dakota. Randy has also received his Master of Arts in Missional Leadership graduate degree from Trinity Bible College and Graduate School.
Dobie Weasel is the founder and president of Life Tribe Ministries, a movement that seeks to reach Native North America. Dobie is a church planter and pastor of multiple multi-ethnic churches. He has ministered as an evangelist, camp and conference speaker. Dobie Weasel is a graduate student at Trinity Bible College and Graduate School pursuing a master of arts degree in rural ministry.
Don Miller serves as the superintendent for the Southern Missouri Assemblies of God District. He has many years of pastoral experience and has developed a deep love to see churches thrive and see lost people found.
DENNIS A. TYSON
Dennis graduated with three degrees from the University of Nebraska in preparation for thirty-nine years of college leadership as a faculty member, dean, campus president and chief academic officer of Central Community College. Dennis has served as an educational consultant in the United States, Canada, England, and France as well as serving multiple Christian organizations.
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