Friday, November 5, 2010

'Transforming Church in Rural America' book review

by: Shannon O'Dell

Ok, I must admit that at first I was a bit put off my this book...but it was my own stupidity that led me there.
I had listened to what others had said about the book, and I let their thoughts bias me. Now normally, I never take the advice of anyone...ESPECIALLY when it comes to books.

You can't judge a book by it's least that's what they say!!
                                                         Me?? I do it all the time.

                                                                                         But back to the book at hand.

After I read and reread and even read again, the first few chapters, I dropped my biased thoughts and read directly to myself, for myself and came to a wonderful conclusion.

Shannon makes a lot of valid points in this book. He says that '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."

This book is very, very good. I mean, if you can get past the occasional sarcasm (which I can, because I have also been know to occasionally often dish it out!!) and read this book with an open mind and a God-fearing, God-loving heart...I believe that you too will enjoy this book.

Now it's true, this book was written for or geared mostly toward other pastors.But I think that might be exactly why I liked it so much. I like to always be learning, and this book taught me alot about the insides of the actual church. I mean like how it is run, who the decision maker really is, and so on. So, like I said, if you can read with an open mind, or if by all means, you are a pastor, you might really like this book.

I myself, grew up in a small town...moved to huge city (didn't like it) and now live back in a small town.
These small town, rural churches that he speaks about, surround me in every direction.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not by any means putting down any of these churches, but I really like what Shannon has to say. I believe you always need to be open minded and also be open to change, especially when it is inevitable. Shannon speaks of how closed-minded the church members were when it came to any kind of changes or any kind of money being spent. Everyone knows that with time, comes change. We also know that most people (especially those who feel they 'own' the church simply because their fathers great grandfather helped build it...therefore they have all the say so when it comes to decision making.) 

Shannon shares the many struggles he overcame in his church through the years, and more importantly shares ways that other pastors can overcome some of these same struggles. Now personally, myself certainly  not being a pastor, still learned new ways of problem solving or cooperating with others in order to work all together toward the main goal at hand.

One of Shannon's chapters is entitled "Leadership: Resisting the Urge to Settle" is particularly good. He talks about many problems and possible solutions that might come into play and help others should they come across the same types of struggles.

Note: I was in no way compensated, financially or otherwise for reviewing this book. I did however get my copy of the book for free.  Thanks Booksneeze :)


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