Transforming Church in Rural America by Shannon O’Dell
In Transforming Church in Rural America, Shannon O’Dell tells his story of restarting a church in a small, rural town, and growing it from an average of 31 in attendance to over 2000. He does not paint a naïve picture; rather, he is honest about the challenges, heartaches, and struggles he faced along the way.
O’Dell describes how there is no magic formula to growing a rural church. Instead, he says it takes biblically-based principles, passion, and lots of blood, sweat and tears. He says, “When you begin to live out a God-sized vision, it is guaranteed that people will start barking.” O’Dell explains how he focused on prayer, leading by example, building relationships with people, and equipping them to do ministry.
O’Dell reveals the principles that helped grow Brand New Church: vision, attitude, leadership, understanding, and excellence, and devotes a chapter to each of these principles. I found the chapter on leadership to be especially insightful, and it had applications for any church.
O’Dell also includes a helpful chapter on building multi-campuses through satellite feeds and Internet broadcasting.
As a former minister of a rural church, I recommend Transforming Church in Rural America for its candid, biblical approach to building a church.
Four out of five stars