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  1. Transforming Church in Rural America: Breaking All the Rurals
    Transforming Church in Rural America: Breaking All the Rurals
    Shannon O'Dell
    New Leaf Publishing / 2009 / Trade Paperback
    $9.99 Retail: $12.99 Save 23% ($3.00)
    4 Stars Out Of 5 35 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    CBD Stock No: WW216949
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  1. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    October 11, 2010
    Alysa Sawyer
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    This book caught my eye because I just moved to North Dakota. Although the town itself would not be considered "rural" all of the surrounding areas most definitely are. Not to mention that this is very rural compared to my last four years in Okinawa, Japan. The author, Shannon O'Dell, is a pastor who felt called to a rural dying church with a congregation of 31 people. He describes his journey of struggles and victories as his church made many changes and eventually became a congregation of 2,000. This book seems to be geared toward pastors and people involved in church leadership. He emphasizes five important goals that he feels every church should have as V.A.L.U.E.-Vision, Attitude, Leadership, Understanding, & Enduring Excellence. Overall, I think that this book has a great message and good tools to help leadership stay focused on what is important when leading a church. I think that the book is an easy read but is repetitive in some places. O'Dell's enthusiasm is very apparent and his testimony will probably be encouraging to struggling churches. I plan to give it to my pastor, who seems to have a similar vision for my new church.

    In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Thomas Nelson provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    An enjoyable read!
    October 11, 2010
    Bethany
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Transforming Church In Rural America: Breaking All the Rurals was an enjoyable read! Author Shannon O'Dell shares his interesting acronym of V.A.L.U.E. Vision, Attitude, Leadership, Understanding and Enduring Excellence which is the premise of focus that he attributes his success of transforming the struggling, small rural church that he moved to Pastor with his wife and family. As a self proclaimed urbanite this was a huge stretch of faith and he unabashedly shares his resistance and struggle as he felt the urging of the Holy Spirits direction to this new challenge.

    I found it particularly refreshing that unlike many other church growth books that O'Dell openly shares his personal feelings and struggles about the people and circumstances that he faced. Having experienced pastoring rural churches alongside my husband I was able to easily relate to many of the authors stories of frustration and triumph and I easily recognized nuggets of wisdom that O'Dell shares with the reader. Many parts of the book allowed me to visit memories of my own experience and allowed introspection and insight into the mistakes that we had made and the warm camaraderie of sharing a common experience.

    Like any other church growth book I do not believe the purpose of this book is to interpret the content as an instruction manual to follow as a map for success. God's people are unique and different and each body of believers is obviously made up of people_therefore this book should be read as a story of one man and his family called by God to one body of believers whom God wanted to put together to bring about changes and growth in each to bring glory to Jesus Name.

    It was a privilege to be able to be able to learn from the journey that was shared in this story and I would definitely recommend it.

    Thomas Nelson Publishers provided this book for free as a part of BookSneeze.com book review blogger 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
  3. Missouri
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Awesome book for the church, God's people!!
    October 11, 2010
    Robin Prater
    Missouri
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Message? Simply, when God is in it, God does it! I belong to a rural church. It is a country church and after reading this book I have more respect for my Pastor Ben Kingston than ever before. This book takes us to the rural church, it's struggles and blessings. We see God's mission is not always our plan of action. When God calls us, are we really ready to go? Are we in it for God or for ourselves? If we are not in it for God, well them, it is never going to work. I loved V.A.L.U.E. 1) Vision 2) Attitude 3)Leadership 4) Understanding 5) Enduring Excellence. Pastor Shannon O'Dell is honest, pure and opens up his heart so the world can learn and grow from all God has done in his life. He gives insight to the blind.We seem to settle and God is calling us to much more. This book is about change. It is about seeing God's mission and putting aside our comfort zone and accepting His will. It is a wake up call for America and her churches. He provides when He calls. He gives the vision and sets the path before us. Church growth is more than numbers. The Principles of Leadership is another one that brought wisdom to my eyes. 1) A leader is anyone who resists the urge to settle. 2) Leadership is born out of life change. 3) Your best leaders are sitting in your pews. This is a must read for every Christian. It is an awesome book to give as a gift to your Pastor and will soon reach the hands of mine. I enjoyed this book greatly. It teaches us that with our love for Christ comes passion. With that passion we must get up and move. I highly recommend this book as one you should have in your collection. It is one that will set you on a new course on your walk with Christ!

    This book was a gift from Thomas Nelson.
  4. Columbus, GA
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Inspirational story and ideas
    October 11, 2010
    Janet
    Columbus, GA
    Gender: female
    "Transforming Church in Rural America" is part autobiography, part advice, written to encourage and inspire pastors of churches in small towns. In the book, Shannon O'Dell tells of his calling to rural America and how God turned a struggling church into a multi-campus ministry with services also available via satellite and the internet. Using this story and the acrostic, VALUE, O'Dell provides principles for evangelism, discipleship, and mentoring to help pastors grow congregants who can in turn reach others for Christ.

    My husband and I pastured a rural church before entering military ministry. Everything O'Dell says about the blessings and challenges of such a church is on target. He brought back a lot of memories for me. From that point of view, the book was fun to read.

    But O'Dell's ideas for reaching people in this setting are impressively innovative. Some of them concerned me a little, but every church, every minister is unique. I recommend this book to pastors of rural churches as a source of inspiration—a catalyst for fresh ideas. Yet I would encourage them to prayerfully consider how they can best integrate these ideas or others triggered through the book into their church's own situation.

    Thank you, Thomas Nelson Publishers, for sending this book for my review. It was an interesting and worthwhile read.
  5. USA
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Breaking All the Rurals
    October 11, 2010
    ML Michaels
    USA
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 4
    "Transforming Church in Rural America: Breaking all the Rurals" by Pastor Shannon O'Dell is a great guide book for all Christians. Reading like a page from his own journal and a business plan, O'Dell writes about the God dream in his heart to transform a small rural church into a center for biblical study, learning, and worship. The pastor tells the story of a small church in the middle of No Where, Arkansas and its resurrection from just a few members to several thousand through having a business-like vision. He tells the good and bad of the transformation, but leaves readers believing that this kind of transformation is only possible with God.

    Thomas Nelson Publishers provided this book for free as a part of BookSneeze.com book review blogger program.
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