Transforming Church in Rural America: Breaking All the Rurals  -     By: Shannon O'Dell
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Transforming Church in Rural America: Breaking All the Rurals

New Leaf Publishing / 2009 / Paperback

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Small church buildings dotting the countryside are home to ministries that often struggle with limited attendance, no money, and little expectation that change can revitalize their future. In Transforming Church in Rural America, Pastor Shannon O'Dell shares a powerful vision of relevance, possibility, and excellence for these small churches, or for any ministry that is stuck in a "rural state of mind." The book reveals:

  • how to generate growth through transformed lives
  • ways to create active evangelism in your community
  • no-cost solutions for staffing challenges, enhancing the worship experience, and inspiring volunteers
Focusing on vision, attitude, leadership, and innovation, you can learn the practical strategies and biblical guidance that helped to grow a church of 31 into a multi-campus church of several thousand, with a national and global outreach. Discover effective structure and ways to cast God-given vision so others can follow and make an impact. Experience the blueprint for transforming into effective, dynamic, and thriving churches- no matter where the location or how small it may be.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: New Leaf Publishing
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X 0.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0892216948
ISBN-13: 9780892216949
Availability: In Stock

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Endorsements

“No matter what size church you are a part of, this book will challenge your
traditional thinking, force you to look beyond the status quo, and enable you to grasp a bigger vision of what God has in store for your ministry and your leadership.” - Ed Young, Fellowship Church

“Shannon O’Dell’s passion for the rural church in America is contagious…” - Craig Groeschel, LifeChurch.tv

ChristianBookPreviews.com

O'Dell, a pastor, explains how he led a small rural Arkansas church from a handful of members to a multi-site church of thousands. A unique feature of the book is inclusion of photos and perky illustrations and rich graphics to move readers through important points. O'Dell's is a fresh, no-holds-barred voice in Christian nonfiction, and he makes the case for a strong connection between marriage and ministry: "Now this book is primarily about growing the rural church, and I feel that having a red-hot marriage and a functional family is an extremely important element of that." He advocates V.A.L.U.E.: vision, attitude, leadership, understanding, enduring excellence. For all the crisp selling and innovation in the book itself, it doesn't break all the rules. Instead, it uses some of the tired phrases found in many books on church growth; and, for all the good pictures and talk of transformation of lives, the majority of the photos are of buildings and illustrations for the pastor's sermons. (May) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

4.2 Stars Out Of 5
4.2 out of 5
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(16)
(4)
(1)
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Quality:
4.3 out Of 5
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Value:
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4.2 out Of 5
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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good read for ministry
    January 13, 2011
    kaeb
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Recently I read Shannon O'Dell's book " Transforming Church in Rural America". If your in ministry- this is a good read. I thought I wouldn't like this book but as I read, I found it more intriguing. O'Dell doesn't teach you how to start a church or fix a church in rural America. Instead O'Dell focuses on God, he shares how he tuned into the vision of God, pursued it, and maintained it.
  2. birmingham, al
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good read.
    December 21, 2010
    TCBHAM
    birmingham, al
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    I just completed reading "Transforming Church in Rural America" which is a great read for anyone in the ministry. Shannon doesn't merely teach you in this book how grow a big church in a small community. He doesn't give you step by step, "here's how you do exactly what we are doing." Those kind of books are on my bookshelf - unread. I've grown tired of those. Instead, Shannon shares how to hear from God, how to stick to His vision, how to pursue the vision, and how to maintain it.
  3. Berea, Ky
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    December 6, 2010
    Josh Phelps
    Berea, Ky
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    I recently received a copy of the book Transforming Church in Rural America by Shannon O'Dell. At first I was kind of excited to read this book, but as I read it that excitement quickly faded. There are lots of good points in the book; however there are a few things that I have issue with when reading this book. I literally had to force myself to finish the book.

    The first thing I have is that there is really no talk of the Holy Spirit at all in the book. There is talk of fleeces and congregational votes but not the Holy Spirit. I believe that it is extremely important in the time we live to let the Holy Spirit shine. The Holy Spirit is missed in so many books and it is leading to people not believing it is important. We cannot suppress the Holy Spirit in our books about leading or growing a church. When the whole congregation is allowed to vote on everything, you are also looking for trouble. That is for a whole other article however.

    The other major issue I have is with this book is that it generalizes many of the statements in the book. Not all of them will apply and many of them may be overstated a bit.

    I would recommend the book as an ok, tough read but it might help some people. I would have liked to know more about the Holy Spirit however. The writing style is a bit hard for the normal lay reader. There is a lot of information to push through.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
  4. Scottsburg, IN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A must read for all pastors in rural America...
    November 29, 2010
    Johnkchcc
    Scottsburg, IN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Pastor Shannon was right on in this book. He confirmed with me things that I already had felt in my spirit, many times we just need things confirmed in our spirits for it to make sense in our own ministry...
  5. PA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Encouragment for the small church
    November 11, 2010
    momof10
    PA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I got this book through booksneeze.com to review. It seemed like the perfect pick because we go to a small country church in "Rural America"! In fact, our church is very similar to the one described in the book and the book had me chuckling at the similarities. Sad_.but true!! The book provided a very encouraging story of a pastor who moved from a large urban church to a small rural church of only 30-40 people. The church has now grown to involve many campuses and reach many people in other countries through internet etc.

    It did provide the basic information and tactics he used to encourage the growth of the church. While much of the information was overall very helpful, it did lack details that I wish would've been there! The author does have a website with more information and videos to help fill in those blanks. I would say it could be a great place to start for a pastor of a small, struggling rural church to get some fresh ideas or at least some much needed encouragement. And, even though I am not a pastor or pastor's wife, it was still an encouraging and, in places, humorous book for me to read.
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