Rural America

Personal Rural Youth Ministry Background

I am about as rural as they come. I grew up on a family dairy farm in northwest WI; went to a two room country schoolhouse with 6 in my class; graduated with a class of 69; went to a country church with about 100 people; and Directed a rural youth ministry in a two country area for 20 years; and became the Rural Coordinator for the National Network of Youth Ministry.

Two global leaders in missions challenged me to look beyond my rural town, and even rural America, and consider the overwhelming needs of the rural world. Both Dr. Ralph Winter from the U.S. Center of World Missions and Loren Cunningham of YWAM said, “There are people in rural villages all over the world who have never even heard about Jesus.”

As a result of these challenges, as well as the enormous needs of the rural world, Global Seed Planters will continue to target rural villages in America…and to the ends of the earth. We refer to this strategy as the Back 40 to the 10/40, or Rural America to the Neediest Rural World.

~ Diane Brask, Director of GSP


  • “Rural youth fare worse than non-rural youth in 34 out of 39 critical comparisons.” (Source: National Rural Small Schools Consortium)
  • “Rural America is the most neglected geographical part of our nation.” (Source: Former Young Life Exec. Vice President.)
  • 1/3 of America’s churches would be considered rural. Most of them are under 150
  • Rural youth problems today will affect the entire nation in the 21st Century. We cannot afford to let a single child languish by the wayside. (Source: Pres. of the Children’s Defense Fund.)
  • Of all public schools, 39% are in rural areas.  29% of nation’s public school children are in those rural schools. (Source: The Coaching Center)

Barna Survey:

  • 72% of “God-professing rural youth find the teachings of Jesus as they have learned them in their church irrelevant.”
  • 90% had no youth pastor or youth program in their church

Bright Side

  • 80% of full-time missionaries from America, come from rural communities and churches under 150. (Source: Loren Cunningham, Founder of YWAM.

Connections for your rural ministry

FCA– has vision to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. No other organization is having a greater impact on rural schools for Christ than FCA.

NNYMThe National Network of Youth Ministries is convinced we’re better together! A local network is often a united community of churches, youth workers, and caring adults who come together to pray, share resources and plan strategy to reach and equip teenagers in their community and school for Christ.

Rural Church Youth MinistriesTom Horton challenges youth pastors to GO RURAL! Student leaders are developed through rural mission trips preparing them for a life of service AND a rural church and community is served and challenged.  Learn more about this unique mission’s trip at

Campus AllianceThere are 67,000 high school and middle schools in America with 25 million students. Join the movement of Christian students, youth leaders, adults, churches and organizations in adopting every school, giving every teenager the chance to see Christ’s love in action and know Him personally.

Global Link PartnersMark Gold is committed to train and equip the church to advance the Kingdom of God in some of the most rural places in the world. Explore ways you can get involved.

Endeavor– Tim Eldred is passionate about this global generation of youth taking action and transforming their world for Jesus Christ. It’s working. Churches are changing the way they see youth ministry. And a generation of young people are rising up and leading the way.

Global Seed Planters believes that revival and awakening for America just might come from the voices of a generation in the wilderness, from teenagers in rural schools, ranches, farms, Indian reservations, sharecroppers shacks, or the rural hamlets in Appalachian Mountains crying out with one voice, “Prepare the way for the Lord.” Could rural America be the environment that creates the John the Baptists and the Elijahs of our day?