"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
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.
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.
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Transforming church in rural America
After the first several chapters, I thought Shannon had been reading my mail! Excellent read for anyone in ministry, especially pastors.