Monday, October 11, 2010

Transforming Church in Rural America

Transforming Church in Rural America, by Shannon O'Dell, is both a story and an instructional manual. The story tells how Mr. O’Dell came to accepting his role as a pastor of a rural church and making it come alive. He was happy as a lark in his large urban church but kept being called to pastor a small, dying church in Nowhereland, Arkansas. Having been an active member of many suburban churches I can only semi-relate to the problems of both the urban and rural churches. But I can see the issues of many churches, no matter where they are located, are similar.

I’ve been part of churches that had the masses exit within weeks and months. I’ve been part of churches that worked hard on coming back after the exodus. It’s never easy. It takes a lot of work and a change in attitude by the pastor and the members.

Mr. O’Dell knows what he’s talking about. Not all of his suggestions would work for all churches but any pastor (no matter where his or her church is located) can come away with good ideas after reading this book.

His many good points particularly include his V.A.L.U.E. (Vision, Attitude, Leadership, Understanding, Enduring Excellence) system. I feel the Vision and Attitude are the most important, and the others should follow, with a little bit of help from our friends and prayer.

No matter what you get from this book you will find the points delivered with a good sense of humor. I laughed out loud in many parts of the book. Read it and see what you come away with. It’s good for any pastor, any leader in the church, anyone who volunteers in a church, or anyone who is simply a member with little participation. After this book, I think every reader will volunteer to help the life of his or her church.

No comments:

Post a Comment