I have got to say that I was very surprised by this book! I have read many books about transforming, revitalizing and growing the church, and while many make bold promises, very few actually succeed in what they advertise! I had never heard of Shannon Odell, but was intrigued by the title and knew that I had to read this book.
This book is the story of Shannon O’Dell’s call from ministry in the city to ministry in the country. He tells how God has used and is using him and a growing handful of faithful to do just what the title says: “Transform The Church In Rural America!”
If you have ever pastored, then you will relate almost immediately to much of what the author talks about. I enjoyed the way he made his points by sharing his personal journey and the journey of the church/churches to whom he gives leadership.
Shannon goes to great lengths to help the reader know and understand the values that shape a growing rural ministry. This book encourages the reader to consider the various possibilities of where God has called you to serve. It will motivate you to think about, dream and pursue with greater passion the call of God upon your life!
The book is divided into three sections. The first deals with the way it all began. It helps the reader to see that while it is not easy, it is also not impossible to grow the church to make a difference in the community and world. The second section lays out and provides the values that help to shape rural ministry into church with purpose and potential for growth. The third section provides the reader with the structure necessary to maintain and sustain the growth of a ministry that desires to reach up and out.
This is a very interesting book. I enjoyed reading it and especially appreciated the conversational style in which it was written. I believe that it would be a great help to anyone who is serving in any type of ministry and an encouragement to anyone that loves the church and desires to see it do more and to do it better!
Disclosure: This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson Publishing for review purposes only. I was not required to give a positive review or compensated in any fashion.