This book caught my eye because I just moved to North Dakota. Although the town itself would not be considered “rural” all of the surrounding areas most definitely are. Not to mention that this is very rural compared to my last four years in Okinawa, Japan.
The author, Shannon O’Dell, is a pastor who felt called to a rural dying church with a congregation of 31 people. He describes his journey of struggles and victories as his church made many changes and eventually became a congregation of 2,000. This book seems to be geared toward pastors and people involved in church leadership. He emphasizes five important goals that he feels every church should have as V.A.L.U.E.–Vision, Attitude, Leadership, Understanding, & Enduring Excellence.
Overall, I think that this book has a great message and good tools to help leadership stay focused on what is important when leading a church. I think that the book is an easy read but is repetitive in some places. O’Dell’s enthusiasm is very apparent and his testimony will probably be encouraging to struggling churches. I plan to give it to my pastor, who seems to have a similar vision for my new church.
In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Thomas Nelson provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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By Shannon O’Dell / New Leaf Publishing