Friday, October 5, 2012

Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley

This is a terrific book for anyone interested in the story of Andy Stanley's rise and the success of North Point Community Church. It's also a great book for anyone interested in keeping your spiritual formation while reaching as many people as possible.

This book is divided into five sections. The first section is basically an autobiography of the relationship between Andy and his father, Charles. Andy, with his dad's permission, describes what took place in Georgia with a fairly successful inner city church that branched out to reach more people.

It is a very painful remembering between the harsh words between church attenders and how Andy's parents went through a divorce to how bitter the father/son relationship descended. That first section alone is worth the read to see how transparent and humble Andy is.

Section two begins exploring how North Point got off the ground and eventually took off like a rocket. And how it remains to be so successful in how it ministers to people.

Section three begins the ministry process for Andy and North Point. He begins by explaining how such a large church is committed to "going deep". This is how they restructured their Spiritual Formation endeavors. I really enjoyed reading how they do things at their church and where they came up with some of their ideas.

For many established church-goers, this part would be offensive and so out of the norm that they wouldn't come back. In fact, Andy explains that they have occasionally told people not to return to their services.

Can you imagine your church telling someone not to come back next week? That just smacks in the face of how so many church people view their church.

In section four, Andy explains why people love going to North Point. He covers three general ideas: they create irresistible environments, he does what's called, "Double Barrel Preaching" and how they handle Rules of Engagement. I was blown away that North Point tries to stay clear of rules and policies. In fact, Andy writes that how they serve others is considered not fair. They don't do a cookie cutter process in community aide.

Again, imagine if your church tossed away their policies and simply did ministry on a case-by-case basis. Imagine how many of your black and white/by the rules people would be so angry with you.

Section five is where Andy offers the challenge to other churches to follow their example. And then he finishes with a "What If" conclusion.

The back of the book includes five Appendices for you to explore and custom for your own environment.

This is truly a great book for ministers and lay leaders.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Zondervan Publishing

1 comment:

Andrew Rogers said...

Thanks for posting this review!