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Rural Missouri Connections Resources





Halo Effect Resource

Rural churches offer support to communities in so many fantastic ways that we don't always remember to celebrate. Partners for Sacred Places, the Duke Endowment and UNC Charlotte Urban Institute conducted a study to understand the economic impact of rural churches in North Carolina. What the report showed was rural churches impact the economy through six key categories: direct spending, education, magnet effect, individual impact, community service programs and open space. Check out these handouts for a few learning points we can consider in when celebrating rural impact in Missouri. The full report can be accessed at sacredplaces.org/info/publications. You can also engage your leadership or volunteers with the reflection questions to think about and celebrate your local impact. Feel free to share your experience with us afterwards at moumethodist.org/rural-missouri-connection.

Community Development (assessment, collaboration, connection etc.)  


Rooting for Rivals: Peter Greer & Chris Horst 

Mission Drift: Peter Greer & Chris Horst 

Websites & Tools 

Spiritual Approach to Community Assessment 
Community Resource Guide - Walk-through Video
Community Resource Guide - Free Download
Missouri Hunger Atlas: Through a series of indicator maps and tables, the Atlas details the extent of food insecurity in all 114 Missouri counties and the city of St. Louis. The Atlas also assesses the performance of a host of public and private programs intended to help people struggling with hunger.


Economic Development 

Websites & Tools 

Missouri Community Betterment Association: “Missouri communities, especially small rural communities, struggle to maintain their livelihood, facilitate growth and improve their quality of life due primarily to a variety of interdependent economic and population challenges. Missouri Community Betterment offers hope by helping community leaders expand personal connections through individual contact, technology use, resource networks, celebrations and gatherings.”  

US Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development Faith and Opportunity Initiative: focuses on non-profits and community organizations, both secular and faith based, looking for ways to positively impact their communities by utilizing USDA resources.  



Websites & Tools 


Growing Stress on the Farm: Highlighting the challenges of mental health for the agricultural community.

Healthcare/Health Behaviors 

Websites & Tools 

Health in Rural Missouri Report: Examining rural health by looking at the conditions in which people are born, live, and work.

The “Follow-Up” Appointment



Missouri Broadband Access Interactive Map

Small Church/ Rural Church 


Small Church Essentials- Karl Vaters 

Grasshopper Myth- Karl Vaters 

Entering the World of the Small Church- Anthony Pappas 

The Forgotten Church- Glenn Daman (rural)  

Websites & Tools 


www.smalltownbigchurch.com/ (rural) 

www.Villagemissions.org (rural) 

https://www.bgcruralmatters.com/ (rural) 

http://www.ruralchurchnetwork.org/ (rural) 

UM Rural Advocates: Legislation at General Conference 

Convoy of Hope Rural Compassion: Through our Rural Compassion Initiative, Convoy of Hope resources, empowers, and partners with rural churches through training, mentoring, and coaching. We believe their increased presence and partnership with local leaders will help strengthen and enrich their communities.  

Little Free Library

MOAC Library Builder Grant


Missouri Public Schools Statistics

Mutual Benefits of Church-School Partnerships

National Center for Rural School Mental Health

Substance Abuse 


1 in 3 families in Missouri are affected by substance use. There are several organizations making strides in decreasing the negative impact of substance use in Missouri. The average number of people in Missouri with prescriptions has gone down to 70%, which can impact the number of people who move on to illicit drugs. The MO-HOPE project is training “1st responders” on how to administer naloxone/Narcan and utilizing community education tools. 60% of resources from this project are being used in rural MO.  

Websites & Tools 

Missouri Department of Mental Health 

Missouri’s Good Samaritan Law 

Safe Disposal of Unused Medicines 

Teen Challenge (Fee for curriculum) 

Teen Talk: National Institute on Drug abuse 

The Landing: Celebrate Recovery for Students Kit (Fee for curriculum) 

“Through the Landing, our students can find a safe place to find help, hope, and healing through engaging the recovery principles and growing in relationship with Jesus Christ. Ultimately, this ministry can help students learn how to break cycles of dysfunction and provide tools for them to live free and healthy lives.” 



Transportation plays a key role in various aspects of our daily lives. There are about 4.2 million licensed drivers and over 50,000 miles of roadways. In rural Missouri, the average percent of the population that does not have access to a vehicle is 6.3%. This leaves an estimated 140,300 people in rural Missouri without access to a vehicle. Oats and Southeast Transportation Service, INC. can bridge some of the gap for rural populations, people with disabilities, senior citizens needing access critical resources in their communities. In terms of transportation and healthcare, there are 42 counties in Missouri that do not have a general access hospital (your typical hospital with numerous beds, ER, and various services). For some counties, access to neighboring county hospitals is easier than others. However, the average driving time is around 30-45 minutes.  

Websites & Tools