Hardest Day of My Life – Part 2

By Shannon O'Dell / Posted on 11 March 2009

ttlayo18_dg_4Thanks to all who have responded to my previous blog. I want to answer a few questions and hopefully give some clarity:

- Cheap Seats
The article sentence and context states “Many outside the church”. It says nothing about the faithful inside the trenches of service at BNC.
- Accountability
Again, the article clearly states that these recommendations were counsel given by the Stewardship Team. This is not a one man ideology.
- Tithes
I never said the tithes were down. I stated that due to budgeting issues we made layoffs. We have had the same tithes and offering average for over 18 months, but our vision and budget needs have increased. The New Testament doesn’t encourage tithing, but even greater sacrifice…”selling their possessions”. If you recall a couple kept of portion of their real estate deal and died at the altar.
- Deletion of Comments
I deleted a comment that was inaccurate concerning what was stated in the blog. I again referred to “many outside” and the post stated those inside BNC. I said nothing to BNC members and regular attenders, but to those who are outside the church. Again, my statement proved true that the loudest boos come from the cheapest seats which are those outside the local body called BNC.
- Layoffs
The staff cuts have shown the character of these staff members and the passion of BNC! Thank you!!

I believe this process is going to give God more glory than ever!!! Thank you Jesus!! Let me know your comments… I’m sure you will!





There are 41 Comments about this post

  1. April Moler says,

    Praying for you Shannon!!


    on 11 March 2009 / 10:55 AM

  2. Sharon Evans says,

    Shannon, James and I are so thankful that BNC came along when it did, in our lives. I have commented several times that I would not have continued in church had we not found BNC. Also, later on in our marriage, we would not have made it thru some very hard times had it not have been for God, you and the church & family support.

    We are standing by the church and praying each and every day that everything is worked out and that everything that needs to come to light is shown at some point. We are praying that satan is not able to tear our church apart.

    Out of curiosity, will we find out who was laid off at some point?


    In Christian love,



    on 11 March 2009 / 10:57 AM

  3. Nathan says,

    Just wanted to say that Monica and I love you, Cindy, and the entire staff at BNC. The leadership at our church is 2nd to none and we are so thankful for all of you. We have and will continue to pray for each staff member and their families.

    Love you,
    Nathan & Monica


    on 11 March 2009 / 11:48 AM

  4. Jordan Eoff says,

    BNC and Shannon,
    I am praying for you. May God give you wisdom and discernment as you continue to seek His will for that which He has entrusted you with. May His grace be showered upon you and those families effected by this. May you continue to grow in dependency on Him in the midst of “trials.”

    Your brother in Christ,

    Jordan Eoff


    on 11 March 2009 / 1:11 PM

  5. Danah K. says,

    However you intended for said comment to be read, whether you meant those inside or outside of your church, it is still an arrogant comment and insulting. Since I am allegedly one of those you & Chris Ezell say are in the “cheapest seats”, apparently you have no desire to reach anyone in a “cheap seat” nor will you ever. Whether you like it or not, there are Christians outside of YOUR church that will still go to heaven. Cheap seat or not. So let’s not degrade those that do not take part in YOUR BNC because they see things you do not.


    on 11 March 2009 / 1:13 PM

  6. Keri M. says,

    I’m praying Danah K. can understand that until he/she is a part of BNC and been in the trenches with us, that he/she hasn’t earned a right to be so critical on this topic. I’m also praying that God will soften his/her heart to be able to understand the hearts of those involved in these difficult decisions. I just hate to read words from such a hardened heart–CHOOSE JOY, instead! Anyone who understands and loves Shannon is hurting along with him. (And I kinda like Chris too, even though he’s bad fruit–hee hee.)


    on 11 March 2009 / 2:48 PM

    • Ashley Toler says,

      I am praying for Danah K. as well, Keri. We don’t have the right to judge. None of us knows what God is speaking to Shannon’s heart. And regardless of whether the layoffs were a wrong or a right decision, one thing is for sure, God can make good of it!!! Where’s the faith Danah??


      on 11 March 2009 / 3:42 PM

  7. Art says,

    “I never said the tithes were down. I stated that due to budgeting issues we made layoffs. We have had the same tithes and offering average for over 18 months, but our vision and budget needs have increased.”

    This is a deadly issue invading the church today… pastors that will run over anyone to see their “vision” come to pass. You laid people off because your vision needed more money? Are you serious? That is insane. “Let’s kick people to the curb so we can reach more people??!!”

    Maybe, just maybe, a lack of resources was God’s way of saying “the vision you’ve got isn’t mine?”


    on 11 March 2009 / 2:49 PM

    • R.W. says,

      oohhhhh, that’s laying it straight on the line, my friend. YEEEOUCH!


      on 13 March 2009 / 5:40 PM

  8. Barry says,

    Our family has been praying constantly throughout all the past days of disussion. A reminder to us is that several things have not changed:

    (1) Our primary mission is to seek and save the lost – to bring them in, train them up, send them out.

    (2) The enemy (the evil one) will do anything to keep us from our primary mission.

    We cannot loose sight of either of these perspectives. When we believe that God has positioned a leader rightly and are honored by what God has been doing, it is time to be on our knees, to discern what He is doing.

    God, what do I need to learn to be rightly positioned to fulfill the your primary mission.

    God, direct me to understand the spiritual war that distracts us from that mission.

    God, give me wisdom to respond carefully, not from hurt, but from wonder – I wonder, God, what you have in store for your children.

    Here, your child listens, carefully.


    on 11 March 2009 / 3:08 PM

  9. Thomas says,

    I have read and did not respond to anything but have to ask. Did the church look into liquidating some assets and cutting pay before the lay offs? It would seem to me that taking care of people is more important than “stuff”. Maybe everything grew too fast and got out of control? Just asking. I do not go there but have many friends that do. Massive lay offs can split a church. Praying for you all.


    on 11 March 2009 / 3:12 PM

  10. Michael Betts says,

    I would like to start Shannon by first saying thank you for all you and your staff do for us through BNC in the name of Jesus. Unfortunately the church needs money to operate and alot of people dont understand that. Therefore it has to be run like a business. All businesses are in hard times and have to make neccesary adjustments. I recently lost 50% of my salary. It will come back one day as the Tithes will soon increase in the church resulting in again filling those positions and growing forward with Gods word around the world. I say this. Thank BNC for all they have done with no budget included. Thank BNC for sharing the word of God and stop being petty. We all have enough problems without adding to them when they really are not a problem to begin with but just an adjustment in what God has instore for this great church in the future.



    on 11 March 2009 / 3:24 PM

  11. Danah K. says,

    Keri M., I was the one that left the comment your pastor saw fit to delete. Unless you know me, or get to know me, then you yourself have not earned the right to be critical of my take on the topic or my “heart condition”. There was no ill-will intended in any of my comments, it was deleted, that was hurtful.

    My question to you is this: What does the Bible say about laying off those God has called to minister?


    on 11 March 2009 / 3:31 PM

  12. Robbie Evans says,

    Love your comment Art!!


    on 11 March 2009 / 3:33 PM

  13. A.P. says,

    Even if the Tithe and offerings are not down, if the church is growing and moving in more directions, it is going to be costly, and it is going to take everyone being on board together to make that ship stay afloat. And if God’s people are moving as one body…with the same goal and mission in mind then the lost are going to be found and changed forever. GO BNC!!! LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!!! There will always be ones that point fingers and complain…but stay strong and carry on!!! Trust the ones that God has appointed to lead the way and trust him and have faith in God! You’ll never go wrong!


    on 11 March 2009 / 3:57 PM

  14. Mark Brooks says,

    Hey Shannon, Why is it we Christian shoot our wounded! Hang in there man. Ignore empty suits and empty seats. Stick with the vision, remember good vision trumps bad economy.

    All you guys criticizing this guy, lay off!


    on 11 March 2009 / 4:06 PM

  15. A.P. says,

    well said!


    on 11 March 2009 / 4:11 PM

  16. Don says,

    Hey Shannon- I just recently started following you on Twitter and reading your blog and other stalking type things. My short impression tells me that you are one of the most Kingdom minded people out there and the moves, while painful, were still for the advancement of HIS kingdom. You’ve sought Godly counsel, made tough choices, and now must soldier on with the work that God called you to do.

    You and the BNC family are in our prayers. Stay strong, my brother.


    on 11 March 2009 / 4:15 PM

    • Thanks so much Don!! Thanks to the thousands who have read this blog and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord.


      on 11 March 2009 / 7:56 PM

  17. Bryan Stanley says,


    I know that you sought God first. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about because, as I said before, God will provide.


    on 11 March 2009 / 5:03 PM

  18. Cindy Hyatt says,

    I balieve in God’s vision for BNC. I have known Shannon for 3 years now. I know that he makes no decisions without consulting God first. I will pray for him and those laid off and will continue to support the BNC vision!! Bringing those far from God closer to God!!! I was far from God and thank God daily for BNC and Shannon’s leadership


    on 11 March 2009 / 5:49 PM

  19. Skip says,

    Still praying.


    on 11 March 2009 / 6:11 PM

  20. Dale Boggus says,

    Be a leader, and a target is painted on your back. Be a pastor with real John 3:16 vision, and prepare for nuclear attack. 2 Timothy 3:12 is true, that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
    I see a lot of cheap shots being made, and I really ask that everyone read and obey 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18.


    on 11 March 2009 / 6:53 PM

  21. Brandy says,

    BNC has changed my life!! I know I am not the only one. Bottom line I don’t understand who has been let go and even if I knew and didn’t agree BNC is where I will continue to go even through the bad and the ugly. Isn’t that what family do for one another. Just because you disagree you don’t abandon family. Otherwise my older children wouldn’t have a mother for sure. If I have learned anything in my 40 years it would be that there is not a church out there that is perfect. THANK YOU for all you have done and continue to do.


    on 11 March 2009 / 7:54 PM

  22. LR says,

    God has a mighty vessel in Shannon. We can either support the vision or be di-vision. Divided we all lose. God shakes up his flock..He did it with Moses, He did it with Esther. It’s done to snap you out of it and put the main thing the main thing. We have been blessed, pressed down shaken under and overflowing. State of the art facilities, worship etc. A ministry that has a message and we can’t help when the duty calls for it? No different than Peter turning his back on Jesus and told him to his face he wouldn’t. It’s shaking up the flock.. where are your feet planted? We’ve had blessings, but God only blesses the obedient. Not the wanna be obedient… the time is now..bring this to a new level and take it to the SON.


    on 11 March 2009 / 8:45 PM

  23. David Ruth says,

    Found this on a pastors website I really enjoy keeping up with. He’s not just any pastor…he’s got serious experience. Please excuse me….I’m not a name-dropper, but there is great knowledge here. Especially in #5.

    Seven HUGE myths in church planting

    #1 – There is a way to do church…and my way is it!

    Be VERY careful what you speak against…you will probably put it into practice one day!
    There isn’t ONE WAY to do church…there are many ways. Our job as church planters is to seek God for HIS specific vision for our church.

    #2 – Details do not matter

    I used to say this…until I read through the first five books of the Bible and began to see how focused God was on the details! EVERYTHING the church does MATTERS!!!

    #3 – I should allow anyone to do ministry who says they are called.

    We used to have a philosophy, “If you want to start a ministry, go for it–we will support you!”
    THAT was one of the dumbest things we ever said!!!
    Just because some people have a HEART for ministry doesn’t mean they have the calling for it!
    “But they love to (FILL IN THE BLANK…sing, teach, etc.).” I am sure they love to…but passion for something doesn’t always equal calling.

    #4 – These people will always love me

    Not trying to be a pessemist…but I remember hearing someone tell me that the people who started the church with me would not always be with me. I thought, “no way…we are all in this together.”
    Sure enough…a year into the plant around half of the core group was gone. The people who begin with you usually won’t stay with you because they have a hard time handling change…and they hate losing access to you

    #5 – Launching new ministries is a sign of success

    This myth KILLS momentum. Churches naturally think that doing “more” is a sign of success…I say it is a sign of stupidity!
    People always expect a growing church to do “more,” and because of that ministry across the board usually winds up getting watered down.

    #6 – Numerical growth means we are doing everything right

    If you believe this myth…then you will also be tempted to believe that you are doing everything wrong when you are not growing…thus making the church all about what you do and not about what God does.
    I do believe God blesses with numerical growth; however, I believe He will bless WHEN the church (and the leadership) is ready…and not before.
    AND…numerical growth from the church split in your town doesn’t mean you are doing everything right…it just means that the life sucking leeches (in most cases) have latched on to you…and they will leave you as soon as you don’t give them what they want!

    #7 – Defending what we do should be one of our top priorities

    I WISH someone would have told me to NOT WASTE TIME defending what we did here at NewSpring.
    Dang it! I wasted so much energy and had way to many “freak outs” about what bloggers and naysayers were saying.
    One of the things I used to believe is that I could win critics over…that if I could just talk to them…if they could just see my heart then they would change their opinion.
    SO…instead of focusing on what God wanted to do for our church I spent time defending what He was doing…until He finally taught me that HE doesn’t need me to defend Him…but rather to OBEY Him!
    Church planter–do what God called you to do…if people are speaking out against you…it probably means God has spoken into you and you are being obedient.
    Don’t waste the time God has given you on those who don’t like you…ever! If what you are doing is of God then critics can’t stop it!


    on 12 March 2009 / 8:44 AM

    • Kameron Richter says,

      Perhaps the most relevant, applicable an important read today, outside of my quiet time.


      on 12 March 2009 / 9:11 AM

      • David Ruth says,

        #7 hits home also….does it not? Still prayin’ for ya’ll here…..keep the peace, not the bitterness.


        on 12 March 2009 / 10:14 AM

    • Chris Ezell says,

      Wow. That says it all. I’m behind you, Shannon.


      on 12 March 2009 / 3:21 PM

  24. Jennifer Taylor says,

    Shannon, if you aren’t living the God-filled life, you won’t face trials. This just shows that you are living for God! This might be a good week for you to study James! I admire you for staying faithful to the ONE that matters! God Bless.


    on 12 March 2009 / 8:01 PM

  25. Pat Neuner says,

    I just want you to know that I’m so proud to call you my pastor and to be a member of BNC. More specifically to share in the great commission of bringing the lost to Jesus Christ. Thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made to be obedient to your divine calling. I also want to thank all of the staff for the sacrifices they have made in order to get the gospel message of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible.

    As you know, and the others reading this post do not, it wasn’t but 2+ years ago that I was among the lost. I was a Christian by my own admission…meaning that I believed in God, and in Jesus. But I wasn’t a Christ follower. Being a Christ follower means fully accepting his gift of salvation and living in obedience to his law.

    Before I followed Christ I’d throw in some $ in the offering plate as it went around but the idea of actually giving 10% or more of my income was crazy in my opinion. When I became a Christ follower I came to realize what Jesus did for me and tithing became something that I wanted to do. At first it was difficult, and it was a financial sacrifice, but something interesting happenned over time: I became a better manager of $ and somehow the more I gave– the more I was blessed financially. It is truly an amazing thing and something that someone who doesn’t tithe can’t understand…the point is that by not tithing people are robbing themselves of a blessing. Read Malachi 3:10.

    I’m so thankful that the word of God is truly spoken at BNC and my life (and my wife’s) have been changed since we have attended there.

    I’m so excited to see the growth in the number of campuses, home churches, and on-line. There are so many lost people (including many people who call themselves Christians like I did) who need to hear the word of God. BNC could sit back and store up money to build a big gymnasium for their central campus,create a country club like atmosphere, or spend time in business meetings debating on what brand of coffee maker to buy for the lobby but that isn’t what BNC is about. BNC has one clear vision that is the great commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20.

    Thank you Shannon for saying the things that need to be said, for taking the stand that needs to be taken, and for your obedience to Jesus Christ.


    on 12 March 2009 / 8:05 PM

  26. Zach Lee says,

    Brand New Church is alive and moving so fast!!! We are watching the haters fall off left and right and at the same time seeing so many new ones come to the saving grace of Jesus and I love it. Our Pastor is truly giving his life to the mission of this huge God vision.. How dare you judge one of God’s anointed!! “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” it says in 1 Chronicles 16:22..
    The bottom line is God is moving and shaping us and Im so thankful, I dare anyone to try to carry Shannon weight, try to run with this God sized vision, it will crush you unless its of God.. Its so easy to set back and point fingers and criticize but just remember that anything alive grows and changes. There are many in our church I would go to hell and back with and have, and they are the ones that when the heat gets turned up they get fired up even more and become even more radical about reaching the lost. I dare anything to try and get in the way of this movement of God.. I have been here for 3 yrs as the worship pastor and never have I seen the church this ready and equipped with such zeal, talent, technology and people ready to see Gods kingdom glorified.. Come get in the trenches with us and lets be “The Church” like never before..
    In Christ


    on 12 March 2009 / 11:37 PM

    • Robbie Evans says,

      Zach,please explain watching the haters fall off left and right. That is a unchristian like word!


      on 13 March 2009 / 11:05 AM

    • John says,

      Zach Lee will not give a answer on a post…….


      on 03 April 2009 / 12:22 PM

  27. Lauren says,

    My heart is saddened and my prayers are filled with love. I no longer attend BNC. Not because anything that has happened,or because I was offended. But because seasons change and my season at BNC, serving in the children’s ministry is over. It broke my heart to leave those kids, and my beloved church family. And it breaks my heart to know that there is a full-fledged attack by Satan on this church. We are like rubberbands, we can stretch. The Lord knows our limits, He will never give you anything that you cannot handle. I don’t know about anyone else, but I KNOW my God is bigger than this. He has a plan. Lamentations 3:38 “Does not the Most High send both calamity and good?” He knows what he’s doing. Be patient, do not demand your own way, keep no record of being wronged, rejoice when truth wins out, never give up, never lose faith, ENDURE THROUGH EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE. That is love! We are called to love.

    The staff are in my prayers.
    Shannon you and your family are in my prayers.
    And the heart and vision of the church are in my prayers.
    And all of you are in my heart.



    on 13 March 2009 / 8:24 AM

  28. Curt Williams says,

    After having to leave BNC-Bergman due to job relocation to Houston, Tx. Thank You Lord for icampus. I want to express that finding a new church isn’t easy after having a pastor like Shannon.
    My family has been blessed to be part of the BNC family. We will continue our prayers as you have for us, especially during this time of change. All times call for Godly guidance. It’s easy to come to Him when in need. Where are we individually in times of great fortune?


    on 13 March 2009 / 12:48 PM

  29. wondering says,

    here is my fear, people are so caught up in BNC that they can not go to another Church and worship. If you move to another city, please please please find a local church and get involved, if you ever need anything there is someone right there that you can go to. I would not enjoy and will never do it, only being able to watch someone preach on the internet. HOw is that keeping you accountable? You never see anyone to talk to, and the pastor never knows you were there. Get involved in a local church, I promise you will grow in Christ at other churches besides BNC, I did.


    on 13 March 2009 / 10:02 PM

    • Robbie Evans says,

      Wandering, My wife and myself have been members of BNC for almost 3 years.WE both have poured out our hearts in the bus ministry,now our hearts are broken.WE have been praying for direction from GOD and he is leading us away from BNC. I will assure you we will be able to worship at a local church and will continue to grow with christ.WE will miss BNC and all the people,But we are following GOD


      on 14 March 2009 / 9:40 AM



    on 16 March 2009 / 1:54 PM

  31. bob says,

    We love you, just keep praying!!!


    on 16 March 2009 / 2:24 PM

  32. Brent Bushen says,

    Wow what a read in these blogs-you can learn so much- I’m reading Pastor O’dell’s book for the second time-It was an answer to prayer-I pastor a Church in upstate NY-a rural Church in Sloansville NY. The book has rekindled my vision for this Church and the people in this community. Thank you brother Shannon. The book was God sent -back in October I prayed Acts 16:9-I believe this book was an answer to this cry of my heart. Pastor O’dell-this scripture has ministered to me as of late, may it encourage you as well.
    2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (NKJV)
    7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
    8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
    9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed–
    10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.



    on 25 January 2013 / 8:14 AM


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