Transforming Church in Rural America – Shannon O’Dell

Having read Shannon O’Dell’s ‘Transforming Church in Rural America’ I have decided that the title is a bit limiting (I recieved a complimentary copy for review from I’m working in a suburban church in South Africa, so we are neither rural nor American, yet O’Dell’s book has much that speaks to our situation. This is basically a book for those who have decided that Mega Church is not the be all and end all. It is a call for pastors to return to their call – to return to discipling people instead of focusing on numbers and size. At times O’Dell comes across as a bit pushy so I’m not sure how he will go down with Pastors with more experience. Congregations who see their pastor reading this book need to be warned it gives a few tips for radically changing the constitution and set of a church without the members realising what is going on until it is too late! I would have loved to have heard more of O’Dell’s story – the story is told piece by piece in amongst O’Dell’s forthright instructions to Pastors. Although O’Dell’s call is to the rural church this book and his story can translate to any church – it is a radical call to pastors to return to the main thing – pastoring people.

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