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MultiSightings Blog

Transforming Church in Rural America

May 17, 2010
I have been convinced for a long time that the multisite church model was going to revitalize rural church America. At the beginning of 2010 I wrote in Outreach Magazine:


“Multisite will energize rural congregations. Those seeking to plant reproducing churches—
and multisite churches—are  renewing long-established churches and stimulating new,
vibrant congregations in the neglected back-road areas of America.”


Shannon O’dell’s book, “Transforming Church in Rural America,” tells his story and shows the way to do it! In seven years Brand New Church has grown from 31 to 2000 members with 5 campuses, 3 satellite house churches, and an online campus under Shannon’s leadership. The Southern Baptist affiliated church has reported the second most baptisms in the Arkansas convention for the last four years.
The rural back roads of America are the new frontier for church expansion and Shannon O’dell is one of the trailblazers leading the way. His story and book debunks the misconceptions of rural ministry “the rurals” and proves that:
  1. Churches can be vibrant and flourish “in the sticks.”
  2. Rural churches can grow their own staff and team “from the pews.”
  3. Rural communities are technically savvy and know their way around the “super information highway.”
  4. Rural church ministry is not for the faint-hearted or timid, but for God-called missionaries who give their lives to people “in the country.”
Of course I loved the chapter “Multi-Sites and Satellites: Rural Goes Virtual.” Shannon proves that video campuses do work and are affordable in rural communities. He even asserts they are more successful in rural communities because there are so few churches in the back roads of America with relevant teaching. He asserts that the plan was never to go multisite, but his vision to reach rural America forced the issue rapidly. He gives sound advice about how to go multisite in rural communities:
  1. Know you are called to multisite.
  2. Know you are called to the area.
  3. Have the RIGHT campus pastor in place.
  4. Know what ministries to launch strong with and what areas must evolve.
  5. Know who is the target audience.
If you are a pastor serving in small town America or sensing God’s call to go the boonies—ORDER Transforming Church in Rural America now!
If you need some encouragement, resources, and a network to help you serve in small towns and hard-to-reach places SIGN UP for the next Church in the Sticks Conference.
If you need some individual coaching and how to go multisite in the sticks contact MultiSite Solutions HERE.

Jesus said, “Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that My house will be full.” – Luke 14:21
Lets get’r done!

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  • Curtis

    I’ve been thinking this for the past 3 years – it’s something I think could dramatically change rural ‘Canada’ – where I am and America!

    1. jim Post author

      Innovation and growth often comes at the fringes and where resources are in short supply. The rural backroads of America and Canada are fertile for a spiritual revolution.
      Be blessed, be fruitful and multiply!

  • Henry

    Thank you for your seminary yesterday in Wetter/ Germany. I’m looking forward to see Multisitechurches in Germany and I’m very exited to see in in rural areas in Germany, too. Today I will reflect your seminary to find out what will be importend for our church planting. I wish you God’s blessing!

    1. jim Post author

      Thanks for attending my seminar in Wetter.
      Multisite is in the embryonic stage in Europe and is 3-5 years from becoming an accepted and proven model there. This will happen and I want to help make it happen.
      Everywhere I spoke I was asked to come back to help the multisite efforts that are emerging. The plans are in the works for a return to Germany in 2011.
      Perhaps you will be one of the early multisite pioneers in Germany. Ja?


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