About the Book

Small towns are big mission fields that are almost totally neglected by modern church planters. City ministry has become, for many, the definition of godly ministry. But what about the millions of people around the world who live in small towns? Donnie wrote Small Town Jesus to answer the questions of why small town ministry is necessary and how we can go about taking gospel ministry seriously everywhere, big or small, because that’s what Jesus told us to do.


“Over 33 million people live in small town America. These people matter to God. Yet you’d never know it by reading the books and attending the conferences aimed at church planters. It’s all about the cities. It’s as if small towns and the people who live there don’t exist. Donnie Griggs has written an important corrective with passion, steely logic, and powerfully practical insights showing that small towns not only matter to God, they should matter to us.”

Larry Osborne, Pastor & Author, North Coast Church

“The neglected rural back roads of America are the new frontier for church expansion and multiplication. Donnie Griggs is one of the trailblazers showing the way. Small Town Jesus is must reading for every pastor and church planter who want to make a difference in small town America.”

Jim Tomberlin, Founder/CEO/Author – MultiSite Solutions

“I know this man. I know his church. I know his town. And I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you. It will boost both your faith and knowledge to see Jesus do a big work in small towns…and big cities for that matter.”

PJ Smyth, Leader of the Advance Movement of Churches

“The forgotten America of the small town hasn’t been forgotten by God and must be remembered by the church. Donnie’s book will help us remember. This book is a great tool in the fight to build a church planting vision as big as the great commission.”

Josh Kouri, Lead Pastor of Frontline Church, Oklahoma City, OK

“God has given Donnie a vital message for the Church. He has not just got ideas about reaching small towns for Jesus – he has seen amazing fruitfulness in putting those ideas into practice on the ground. Buy this book. Read it. Then read it again.”

Phil Moore, Leader of Everyday Church London and author of “Gagging Jesus,” “The Bible in 100 Pages” and the “Straight to the Heart” series of Bible commentaries

“For a number of years I’ve encouraged my friend Donnie Griggs to write this book. Now that I’ve read it, I’m thrilled he did. It exceeds my high expectations. It is a helpful and necessary book for pastors, church planters, and those training for the pastorate, no matter the location of their church.”

Elliot Grudem, Founder and President, Leaders Collective

“Donnie Griggs sounds a clear call for the necessity of planting and revitalizing churches in small towns with humility and courage. As a fellow pastor of a small town, I found myself quickly turning the pages and shouting, “Finally!” Small Town Jesus is compelling, theologically sound, and intensely practical. Few people know more about reaching small towns with an understanding of why it matters than Donnie. I enthusiastically recommend Small Town Jesus as the go-to guide for planting and revitalizing churches in small towns. ”

Ben Durbin, Lead Pastor of The Bridge Community Church in Leadington, MO

“In an era when urbanisation is a trend capturing the imaginations of politicians, business and cultural leaders, it is easy to forget that millions of people still live in small towns. The church can forget this too, with mission to the cities often presented as the only legitimate place for ministry, especially church planting. Donnie Griggs has bucked this trend, moving from a city to a small town and planting what has become a large church there. In this practical and inspirational book Donnie encourages us to have a more biblical approach to mission – one that does not dismiss mission to the cities, but which does include church planting in small towns. With wit, honesty and examples from his own experience, Donnie helps us see the significance of small town church planting, and gives us a roadmap for going about it. If you are already in a small town you should read this book and be encouraged. And if you want to be involved in church planting you should read it too – perhaps God wants you in a small town, not just to cut your teeth before going to the city, but because Jesus loves small towns as well as cities!”

Matt Hosier, Lead Pastor of Gateway Church in Poole, England; contributing author for Think Theology

“Donnie exemplifies what it means for a pastor to be a missionary and through this book, has brought much needed attention to small towns. I think this is a must read for anyone who is currently in or is thinking about pastoral ministry in any context. As I read it, I was confronted with the truth how I overlook areas of need because of what I see as important instead of what Jesus sees as important. Small Town Jesus inspires and equips to build gospel-centered churches where there is great need.”

Bryan Mowrey, Lead Pastor of Jubilee Church, St Louis, MO and Midwest Regional Leader for Newfrontiers USA

“We need men who want to be known in their city more than they want to be known for their city.” This is one of the most profound things I have ever heard and it was spoken by a man who embodies it. Donnie Griggs loves  Jesus and has a grand vision for what a Big Jesus can do in small towns. Much like an afternoon fishing with Donnie, Small Town Jesus will fill your heart with joy and confront your soul with conviction at what Jesus can do when we trust Him.

Brian Lowe, Network Director Acts 29 US Southeast

“Numbers matter; numbers aren’t just numbers, they represent children of God. Jesus came for these “numbers.” It’s staggering to hear, Donnie Griggs and One Harbor Church are reaching 1,000 people a week in a town of just over 9,000 people. This is a Jesus glorifying accomplishment, one every city pastor can learn from. This is a superb book that will help the church reach 33.7 million people in small town America or wherever you are.”

Tyler Jones, Lead Pastor of Vintage Church, Raleigh, NC

Reviews Of Small Town Jesus

The Gospel Coalition – Scott Slayton

Think Theology – Matt Hosier

Church History Review – Lex Loizides

The Blue Fish Project – Dave Bish

Think Theology – Andrew Wilson

100 Books in 2016 – Andrew Wilson