Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend
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Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  1,194 ratings  ·  195 reviews
With surprising candor and transparency pastor Andy Stanley explains how one of America s largest churches began with a high-profile divorce anda church split.

But that s just the beginning

Deep and Wide provides church leaders with an in-depth look into North Point Community Church and its strategy for creating churches unchurched people absolutely love to attend. Andy writ...more
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Zondervan (first published 2012)
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In Deep & Wide Andy Stanley is offering another how-to book on copying the North Point model. It’s an apology of that model in the framework of his story and the church’s. The overall thrust of the model is making church a place where the unchurched and irreligious love to attend (pp. 12-13, 16). Depending on how that’s fleshed out hallelujah! More often than not as described by Stanley it was the head scratching. I will say I was impressed with Stanley’s heart towards those he knows critici...more
Deep & Wide is the new open source standard for the church. Andy Stanley has provided a selfless engaging tour behind the curtain of North Point Ministries and left no mystery as to what they’re about and how they do it. He has taken the time to lead his team through the hard work of defining mission, vision, model, and programming and unified them under a clear vision. He has established moor lines and checkpoints to ensure they don’t drift from the established standard. And he has written...more
This is a brilliant book. A must-read if you love the local church.
Dave Courtney
Much of this book is lifted from previous works, sermons and seminars that Stanley has given through the years, however he manages to package the material in one of his most concise and inspiring works to date. It should be considered a must for any pastor, teacher, preacher or leader. If you are not overly familiar with Stanley's philosophy, it is likely that his presentation here will help shift your mindset and approach to ministry entirely as he is very convincing and compelling. I will admi...more
I don't agree with everything Andy says, but the parts I didn't agree with forced me to think hard and evaluate what I do believe about the function and ministry of the church. There are times when it seems like Andy is saying the SOLE purpose of the church is to be a place unchurched people love to attend. I don't think that's what he means. However, if you are looking at the title of the book, it seems a little unbalanced: 2/3 of the book is about the church going "wide," while only about a th...more
Eric Reidsma
Deep & Wide should be required reading for all church leaders. Many may not agree with Andy and some may be offended, but at least it will make them think about what they are doing (I would challenge them to read the whole thing and not quit when they find something that they don’t agree with, whether you agree or disagree at least you will be engaged and be thinking things through). It may not be for everyone - I was recently talking to a local church leader who told me “how good their chur...more
Jared Sparks
Astonishing that this book has been getting such great reviews. The first 2 chapters we very well written and intriguing. Chapters 3 and 4 set the stage and trajectory for the rest of the book. The book is faithful to unpack the implications of those two chapters. The problem is Stanley's answer to What is the Church and who is the church for is terribly misguided. Since chapters 3 and 4 are misguided so is the rest of the book. Who historically would agree with Stanley's view of the church? No...more
Adam Shields
Short review: This is a book that I hope lots of people will read. It is the best defense I am aware of for why the church needs to be primarily concerned with the unchurched. This is very autobiographical, Andy tells his own story as well as the story of North Point Community Church. It is written to a lot of audiences, so lay people and pastors will find value in reading it. Strongly recommend it!

I have a much longer (about 1200 word) review on my blog at

I rec...more
Dustin Bagby
I think there is some good leadership wisdom here however the main flaw in the book is the assumption that by and large unchurched people have some interest in attending church if its done right. perhaps that used to be true and maybe it still is in the south. but in the Nw you can make church as compelling and exciting as you want but that's not the underlying issue. for an understanding of why pick up Prodigal Christianity by Fitch and Holsclaw. but I imagine most already see this (unless you...more
Vernon Keszler
A quote from The Tale of Three Kings, by Gene Edwards:
"Beginning empty handed and alone frightens the best of men. It also speaks volumes of just how sure they are that God is with them."

Obey God and leave all the consequences to him.

Matthew 16:16-18 the first appearance of the word "church" in some English translations.

Cornerstone of the Christian church: believe in Jesus as the son of the living God.

"church" comes from the Greek ekklesia - meaning gathering, NOT a place
When Christianity became...more
Merv Budd
Stanley’s book starts with a very vulnerable and candid perspective of his life growing up as the son of his famous father and preacher Charles Stanley. He is able to identify well with much of the evangelical’s sub-culture and because of that, offer a penetrating challenge to abandon dying models of church. His book’s sub title, “Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend”, may scare away some more missional minded readers who will assume that it is advocating for an attractional model...more
Oliver Pierce
Andy is fun writer to read. He simplifies things often too much, is a bit arrogant, but still I think there are many insights in this book. It's not a book I would keep going back to as a model for ecclesiology but it's worth a read and some his ideas are worth reflection. Ultimately he only knows what has worked with his north point model and he is just sharing that story. That part I enjoy.What concerns me the most is Andy's flippant approach to "truth." At times he seems more concerned with w...more
Marvin Johnson
Good read. This is the kind of book that forces you to understand why you do or don't do what you do in ministry or your personal walk with Christ. It forces you to take a side, make a decision, and evaluate what you are or are not doing to take the gospel to the lost or the "un-churched" as Stanley calls them. I definitely did not agree with everything presented, but I absolutely felt challenged and provoked to thought. I recommend this to church leaders in particular, serving in whatever capac...more
Tim Madding
This book causes you to think about ministry in the local church. Is the church for the already saved or for those in need of a savior. Andy Stanley challenges the status quo by asserting that the church is for the lost. Stanley also offers an inside look at Northpoint Church.
In this book, Andy Stanley describes his church's strategy for creating a church that appeals to unchurched people. After sharing his own journey, he shares elements of the strategy and offers questions for pastors and church leaders to consider. Along the way, he shares his congregation's template for worship planning and describes "wins" for each area of ministry. While I don't necessarily agree with all of his approach or theology, his offering provides insights that can be used to reflect up...more
Kevin Cunningham
This is like "Behind the Music" for church leaders. It is both very personal and very practical giving insights into the founding of Northpoint Community Church as well as good solid advice for pastors and leaders looking to fulfill the great commission.
Stephen Carpenter
This is an incredibly challenging book that every pastor who wants to bring about change in his church should read. I found it to be a great reminder of who the church is designed for. It is so easy to think that the church is designed for church people, when in reality, the church is designed for the un-churched people. Andy lays out a very strong case for why he believes this is true, and then gives some great tools to follow in order to accomplish this and make the church what it is designed...more
Maliza4cambodia Maliza4cambodia

Every church leader should be required to read this book. The transparent beginning, church history and ideas are powerful!
Peter Mead
The story, strategy and heart behind North Point. This is a fascinating insight into the family dynamics of the Stanley family, followed by a probing explanation of the why behind the what of this well-known church. Leaders should read this and prayerfully wrestle with the challenges it contains. It is not a book telling you to make a photocopy of North Point. Rather, it is a book that challenges the way you do church and why you do church. It will make you think. It will also make you excited a...more
This is an engaging account of Andy Stanley's journey to the leadership of Northpoint, as well as a thorough tour of the process and philosophy behind the Northpoint structure. I think that just as God creates each of us with different areas of passion and focus, all within the scope of God's heart, so He establishes churches with a variety of missions and approaches, all within the scope of the Gospel. It is important to read this book not as a sales pitch for a particular type of church, but r...more
Jonathan Brooker
This book had gotten some rave reviews from pastors who I know and trust, so I was excited to dig into it. It did not disappoint!

Having read other books by Stanley and having heard him speak multiple times, I was a bit concerned that it would feel like rehash of these previous teachings. However, it had a flavor all its own and it was a flavor that kept me jotting down a number of quotables, processing a lot of his concepts and challenges to the norm, and has me planning on using it as a sort o...more
Chris Armer
Stanley presents a model for carrying out the mission of the church. His book is not for everyone. Many will disagree with his philosophy of ministry and many of the ways he does things. But positively, this book also contains some great nuggets of wisdom. I appreciated his comment about "walking toward the messes" in an effort to help people. I also appreciated how he emphasized that growing FAITH is superior to KNOWLEDGE in Christian growth. Some Christians tend to think that Christian growth...more
Jonathan Beigle
Deep & Wide is about creating churches where unchurched people love to attend. The book discusses how most churches around the country are so stuck in their same old routine that they are no longer relevant and reaching people. Andy Stanley is very open and frank with his past. Deep & Wide discusses how churches can cast both a wide net and bring new people into the church, but also take the Christians that have attended for a while deep in their relationship with God. While I'm not a pa...more
Jonathan Markham
Andy Stanley is at pains to explain this is NOT a model to be followed . What it is however is the story of one particular church and the way they addressed situations faced by many of us in our ministry situations. When the book is read as what it is and allowed to stimulate thinking in each persons individual situation it is incredibly valuable. You are not required to agree with the author to get the maximum benefit from the book but rather to recognize the challenges as they occur in your ow...more
Well here is an inside look at North Point COommunity Church - how it was founded, its mission and theinner workings of the various elements making up a great church. Andy gets right to it by writing about hios parents divorced - high profile to say the least in a Baptist church. He also talked early on about the split with his father and his father's church and Andy's different approach to a church environment and appeal. This book gives provides church leaders and volunteers with an in-depth l...more
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This was my first taste of Andy Stanley, and I really enjoyed what he had to say. This book is geared toward pastors and church leaders, which I am not specifically. However, I am a Christian school educator with leadership roles and was challenged to read this book as part of some leadership training. Stanley certainly does a good job of challenging church leaders to think about the responsibility given them. He certainly made me think about my responsibility and what He has called me to do.

I a...more
Jeff Elliott
Interesting but not convincing. However, I will include some of the more valuable, challenging quotes. Maybe I should call them the most thought-provoking, because while I don't agree with many of them I do think they help pastors to ask the right questions for themselves.

In summary, I find Stanley to be very human/model dependent (as opposed to Spirit-led) and results oriented (meaning measurable results). While it is easy to discount my criticisms as those of a small church pastor working in...more
Very challenging book. I really liked the first couple of chapters where the author, Andy shares about the relationship challenges between him and his famous preacher father. I always wondered what had happened between those two, and found the process they went through very interesting. Stanley uses this book to share the mission, model , and vision of his enormous mega church Northpoint. He readily admits this model may not be for everyone, but he certainly issues the challenge for church leade...more
Harold Cameron
"Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend"

“Author and pastor Andy Stanley draws from Scripture and over 25 years of pastoral experience to communicate to church leaders how they can create a church where believers can have a growing faith in Jesus and at the same time unbelievers can make a vital and lasting connection---a ministry that is both deep and wide.” (From the Zondervan Publishing Company Website).

About the Author: Andy Stanley is the founder of North Point Ministries, Inc. (...more
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How to do church with a different perspective. 2 12 Jan 02, 2013 02:36PM  
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Andy Stanley is the senior pastor of North Point Community Church, Buckhead Church, and Browns Bridge Community Church. He also founded North Point Ministries, which is a worldwide Christian organization.
More about Andy Stanley...
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“As leaders, we are never responsible for filling anyone else's cup. Our responsibility is to empty ours.” 13 likes
“We are committed to involving as many people as possible, as young as possible, as soon as possible. Sometimes too young and too soon! But we intentionally err on the side of too fast rather than too slow. We don’t wait until people feel “prepared” or “fully equipped.” Seriously, when is anyone ever completely prepared for ministry?

Ministry makes people’s faith bigger. If you want to increase someone’s confidence in God, put him in a ministry position before he feels fully equipped.

The messages your environments communicate have the potential to trump your primary message. If you don’t see a mess, if you aren’t bothered by clutter, you need to make sure there is someone around you who does see it and is bothered by it. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. The sermon begins in the parking lot.

Assign responsibility, not tasks.

At the end of the day, it’s application that makes all the difference. Truth isn’t helpful if no one understands or remembers it.

If you want a church full of biblically educated believers, just teach what the Bible says. If you want to make a difference in your community and possibly the world, give people handles, next steps, and specific applications. Challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how you grow people.

Your current template is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently getting.

We must remove every possible obstacle from the path of the disinterested, suspicious, here-against-my-will, would-rather-be-somewhere-else, unchurched guests. The parking lot, hallways, auditorium, and stage must be obstacle-free zones.

As a preacher, it’s my responsibility to offend people with the gospel. That’s one reason we work so hard not to offend them in the parking lot, the hallway, at check-in, or in the early portions of our service. We want people to come back the following week for another round of offending!

Present the gospel in uncompromising terms, preach hard against sin, and tackle the most emotionally charged topics in culture, while providing an environment where unchurched people feel comfortable.

The approach a church chooses trumps its purpose every time.

Nothing says hypocrite faster than Christians expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians when half the Christians don’t act like it half the time.

When you give non-Christians an out, they respond by leaning in. Especially if you invite them rather than expect them. There’s a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something.

There is an inexorable link between an organization’s vision and its appetite for improvement. Vision exposes what has yet to be accomplished. In this way, vision has the power to create a healthy sense of organizational discontent. A leader who continually keeps the vision out in front of his or her staff creates a thirst for improvement. Vision-centric churches expect change. Change is a means to an end. Change is critical to making what could and should be a reality.

Write your vision in ink; everything else should be penciled in. Plans change. Vision remains the same. It is natural to assume that what worked in the past will always work. But, of course, that way of thinking is lethal. And the longer it goes unchallenged, the more difficult it is to identify and eradicate. Every innovation has an expiration date. The primary reason churches cling to outdated models and programs is that they lack leadership.”
More quotes…