“Transforming Church in Rural America” by Shannon O’Dell

“Transforming Church in Rural America” by Shannon O’Dell is an interesting work.

The author relates his call from a large urban church to a struggling (read dying) rural congregation. He goes on to describe a process by which the church grew numerically as well as spiritually.

The book is intriguing and encouraging, but I feel Pastor O’Dell crosses the line from “this is what God did – and can do” – to “this is the recipe for everyone to follow to make this happen in your field of service.”

He gives us deep insight in the pastor’s personal struggles in the work of the ministry and his template, for which he uses the acronym V.A.L.U.E., is strong.

However, there does seem to be the conclusion that his experience would be valid in every rural situation. While I agree there are a lot of sacred cows which need to go to slaughter, there are some parts of his premise (literal satellite campuses of Brand New Church) I’m not sure will be viable options everywhere.

Overall, the advice in the book should be taken as one would eat a crab – pick out the meat and leave the rest.

I post these reviews as a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger Program. I receive a free copy of the book, but am not required to give a positive review.  Check it out at http://www.booksneeze.com

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