Transforming Church

About a month ago, I got a Twitter message about writing a review on this blog for “Transforming Church in Rural America“.

The title alone was enough for me to agree to do so.

I’m glad I did.

Transforming Church in Rural America is one of the best books I have ever read on transforming a church…period.
It doesn’t matter if you are in a small church in a town of mostly cows and hay, or in a large metropolitan area with 2 malls and 2 Targets. :)

This book should be on your reading list.

Here are a few of the lines I highlighted as I read this book…

“I personally believe that rural America is one fo the most over-churched, unreached people groups in the world. The number of church buildings says nothing about the state of Christianity in rural America.”

“You take the Bible to some churches in rural America and there is a tendency to assume ownership of it as they wrote a portion of it – yet so few read it, so few believe it, and so few follow it.”

“So many of us are guilty of confusing God’s call with an invitation. It’s not an invitation; it’s a command from heaven.”

“See, you will be either the anchor of your ship or the engine. Do not hold it in a standstill; perpetuate momentum with the cylinders of passion, purpose, and pursuit.”

And all of those are just in the first 80 pages…

I really believe that revival is on the verge of breaking out in rural America.
That God is up to something huge in rural communities.
Thanks to Shannon O’Dell and his team, it just became a little clearer.

Want a free copy of this book?

Here’s what you do…

Leave a comment on this post telling me the name and author of the best book you’ve ever read.
Sign up here so they can mail this book to you.

1 in every 10 win!
Oh, and if you would retweet or share this post on FB, that’d be great too (not required though).

Audience of One from New Leaf Press on Vimeo.


  1. Aaron Brant

    Wow, sounds like a great read. As a youth pastor in a rural community I totally understand the concept of an over churched and yet unreached people. I’m going to have to pick that book up sometime after I get finished with School and have time to read again.

    Thanks for the post,

  2. Sounds like a great read! It is time for a rural revival. We have 6 churches in a two mile radius, probably 20 in a five mile radius, that most of which are stagnant or declining. Most are still controlled by the founding families, and will never change or advance. We have to drive 20 or more miles to be a part of an active, contemporary church. Too many people in our area believe the church is the building you visit once a week, or maybe only on Holidays, not the people in the church.

    1. No, Thank You for the heads up and the review!! After visiting the site, and listening to Shannon, I am picking one up anyway. If I win one I will just pass it on. Its time for a “brand new church” in our community! I pray that someday the Lord will allow me to lead or at least be a part of a new church plant.

  3. I think “Life of Pi” by Yann Martell is one of the most fantastic novels I’ve ever read. You should also read “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman, a great novel about religions coming to the US.

  4. I’ve read so many great books, but I’m really loving Pete Wilson’s Plan B right now. Transforming Church in Rural America sounds really interesting. Growing up in a very very rural community I can relate. I see rural churches dying because the older adults aren’t relavent to the younger generation. They complain, but aren’t willing to change. I would love to read this book!

  5. I am so glad to be a part of a church that teaches coming to church doesn’t make you a Christian. Our pastor has truly been annointed by God in sharing the Word in a way to make us realize the Kingdom of God is NOW. I will read this whether I win or not, in an effort to share Christ with other Christians. Thanks Jonathan!

  6. Even though your book giveaway is over it still looks like a great book to pick up.

    Books I like:

    Divine Commodity, Skye Jethani

    Wise Woman (classic), George MacDonald

    Books I’ve written: Mercy Rising: Simple Ways to Practice Justice and Compassion

  7. Mike McGinnis

    A Leader in the Making by Joyce Meyer is a great book for the up and coming leader. Shannon’s book, Transforming Church in Rural America is fast becoming my current favorite! I am only half way through it now. I hope to win another copy to give away. Thanks!


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