Monday, May 17

Transforming Church in Rural America

I accepted a review copy of Shannon O'Dell's Transforming Church in Rural America expecting the book to be another one of those writings about how to grow a church but I certainly was surprised!  Watch the book trailer here.

My husband and I have been in ministry for 30 years and have pastored the rural church.  I could easily relate to so many things Shannon writes about in his book but Transforming Church in Rural America isn't just about how to grow a rural church. 

God called Shannon and his young family from a successful 4000 member church in Oklahoma City to a church of 31 in South Lead Hill, Arkansas. Shannon O'Dell's book is amazing, full of inspiring ideas and a wealth of wisdom from a young pastor who wasn't afraid to make a difference in a rural community.  This book will absolutely challenge you no matter where you live or where you are at in your journey with Christ. 

A sampling of chapter 4, Vision.........
         Too many rural pastors I know have little vision, if any.  Very few have a call, if any.  They don't have a vision for what they want their staff to look like, so their staffs do not operate correctly.  They don't have a vision for what the building needs to look like, so it falls into archaic disrepair.  They don't have a vision for their marriage, so love and passion slowly fade.  They don't have a vision for their personal worship, so they fall into complacency.  I am learning some are content with a "small" everything - except a small paycheck.

New Leaf Publishing Group is offering one of every ten people who comment to this post a free copy of the book?  Simply complete the form to qualify.  NLPG will use the contents of the form to ship the book to the winners.

I have encouraged my husband and our son Brandon, who is an evangelist, to read this book.  I found myself not wanting to put the book down.  Don't take my word for it.  Get your own copy today and allow Shannon O'Dell's inspiring story to challenge and encourage your life and ministry.


  1. If you pastor a rural church, then you know of it's unique people and many challenges. We have been at ours for 9 years this June and have seen it grow, God has blessed us greatly. I'd love a copy of it. Where can I get it?

    Kelly Jones

  2. I have been listening to Pastor O'Dell's video comments on the NLPG website, and find myself thinking about them constantly. We pastor a rural-minded church in the middle of a large metroplex. We find ourselves wanting to do so much more, but totally overwhelmed with the mindset of our people. I would love to read the entirety of this book.

  3. Hi Deb I really enjoy your comments and info and I agree with out a plan and a vision God's people will come complacency. We are studying the book called (Staying Close by Dennis & Barbara Rainey) in Sunday School classes and it is really good. We need strong foundations for marriages and biblical principals to keep love and passion in our marriages no matter how long we have been married. We need NOT to measure our marriage by the worldly fantasy, but by God's word only. I think every church could use more insight on growing a rural church and to keep the people excited about the Lord and his word, to restore the joy of the Lord in the people and that will strength the people and build the congregation and there faith to bring the lost into the kingdom of God. We could really get insight from this to bless our church and to help our pastors.
    thanks to much Deb for this Godly information.
    love in Christ. Bev Davidson

  4. It's ALL about ACTS 2 !!! PTL


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