Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus started a movement that has grown like wildfire throughout history. Author and pastor Andy Stanley draws from Scripture and over 25 years of pastoral experience to bring to life the irresistible nature of this movement known as the Church.
With surprising candor and transparency pastor Andy Stanley explains how one of America’s largest
In terms of actual content, most of it is really good, though perhaps, not as groundbreaking as it's cracked up to be. I think with some ...more
During a 3.5 year break from pastoring I find myself constantly thinking about how to make church effective and worth going to for all. This book challenges, inspires and is filled with openness that should be helpful for anyone serious about leading and loving lost people to Christ.
I have a much longer (about 1200 word) review on my blog at http://bookwi.se/deep-and-wide
The appendix is the gem of this book.
Andy's sharing of the "behind-the-scenes," both the personal and
corporate aspects, shows that messy situations are fertile for God's work.
Take a hold of the appendix materials in this book and get to work!
“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
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.”