LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Shannon O'Dell Brings It!

Today we heard the story of Brand New Church from pastor Shannon O'Dell. Some of my takeaways...

  • God called me to Southside Baptist Church six years ago. I didn't see it coming.
  • I was taught in seminary, "God's everywhere. Go where the money is." I thought it was supposed to start a church in a white collar suburban region.
  • I put out a bunch of fleeces cause I didn't want to go to this rural church in Arkansas. The population there is 88.
  • I felt the call of God: "What if I want you to blaze a trail in rural America?"
  • I believe the most unchurched place on the planet is rural America.
  • God blesses those who are serious about transformed lives.
  • Within two years--another church asked us to take their ministry and we were officially multi-site.
  • We re-branded and moved to Bergman, Arkansas. The population there is 407. Grew to 600 by Easter of the third year.
  • We purchased a uplink satellite Hummer and now we can broadcast to anywhere in the world from our town of 407.
  • Now we have house churches in communities that are too small for a congregation.
  • 16 countries participated last weekend in our online service.
  • Why does God only call us to plant churches in metro areas?
  • Many people will never hear the clear call of God because they haven't lined up with his prerequisites (I Timothy 3).
  • In rural America, a whisper is a roar. We all pump gas at the same place, our kids all attend the same school.
  • Earlier this year, my best friend stabbed me in the back, had an affair, and took scores of families out of the church. As recently as a few weeks ago, I thought it might rip our entire church apart.
  • If you are married, you are required by God to have a red hot marriage. If you have kids, you are required to disciple them.
  • You can't expect your church to grow if your spiritual life doesn't have vitality.
  • It is so important to have a church that is theocratic--not democratic.
  • God is more interested in growing congregants than in growing congregations.