Book Review: “Transforming Church in Rural America”

I have to be honest with all 2 of my readers… I don’t read books.   I am a lazy leader who hasn’t been reading books (whew! I feel better now that I’ve gone public with this deep hidden secret).
This week, I have changed my ways in that and have completed reading 1 book (a real paper book), and now I’m 1/4 of the way through a book on my Kindle app on the iPad (review for it to come).
To stay on track with some of the books I’m reading, and to remind myself that books are good for me, I’m going to try to keep some book reviews on here.
I just finished reading Transforming Church in Rural America by Pastor Shannon O’Dell of Brand New Church out of the sticks of Arkansas (somewhere) and I feel like I’ve had a shot in the arm.  This book was just what the Doctor ordered for my life and ministry at this time.
book cover

Click the book image to order from Amazon.com

In Transforming Church in Rural America, 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.” Quite honestly, 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.  Of course he shares some of the things they are doing to support their vision along the way, and you can see how having vision is important.
This book will show you, not only through experience, but from scriptural examples as well, how to tranform a church in a rural community to leave the stale “we’ve done it this way before” model and move forward with a model of vision that sees that God has a plan for every community, every church, and every person.
Shannon uses an acrostic for VALUE. which helps you see what is necessary to lead in any community:
V – VISION
A – ATTITUDE
L – LEADERSHIP
U – UNDERSTANDING
E – ENDURING EXCELLENCE
There is a whole lot of meat in this book.  If you are discouraged in ministry, or just need some affirmation that you are in the right place at the right time (as I did), Transforming Church in Rural America is for you!
This book is not for the pastor who is too afraid to hear from God and move forward.  This book is not for the lay ministers who are building their resumes serving under pastors like that.  It is for visionaries and those who support a visionary.
(Click any link to the book to order it now on Amazon in paperback or for your Kindle)
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