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Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  3,471 ratings  ·  332 reviews

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

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Zondervan (first published 2012)
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Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
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 ...more
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-book-list
This is a brilliant book. A must-read if you love the local church.
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Bj Stricklin
This book is a must read for church leaders. Deep & Wide is Andy's magnum opus. It's his complete layout of what Northpoint does and why they do it. While I certainly do not agree with everything that Andy proposes in this book about the way that church should be done, I wholeheartedly agree with the approach that Andy takes to thinking about the church. He is very strategic in this book to explain the why behind everything that they seek to do at Northpoint. They are very clear on their ...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 ...more
Eric Reidsma
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...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
Cara Putman
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Filled with insights, questions, and challenges for today.’s Church. Lots to chew on.
Dustin Turner
I picked this book back up for both practical and academic purposes. I've been thinking a lot lately about liturgy and worship, and Northpoint provides a unique and different perspective. There's some that Andy Stanley says in this book I struggle to agree with, and there's much in this book I resonate and agree with. I think it's a valuable read for church leaders. How they think about spiritual formation is incredibly helpful, and I believe correct in many respects. His leadership discussion ...more
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this a somewhat difficult book to read. Not because there was a lot I disagreed with, but because it's written with a level of cynicism that I found very off-putting. I'm all for ministry books that clarify church vision and ministry books that are personally anecdotal, but it's difficult to attempt both without coming across as pretentious.

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
Wes Humble
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Re reading it another time

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.
Dave Courtney
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Aug 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, leadership
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.

Duane Miller
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My wife and I have been in full-time Christian ministry for some 14 years now. I presently serve as pastor at the Anglican cathedral in Madrid. My main work has not been as a congregation pastor, but I've done a lot of teaching at churches throughout the USA and other countries as well. I've had many, many opportunities to see what is working and what is not working. I've seen that in everything from home churches to megachurches. I've seen it across denominations: Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, ...more
Merv Budd
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...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
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

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 ...more
Greg Taylor
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You are not only going to read a good personal story from Andy Stanley but also how the North Point Community Church formed and how your church can use principles learned in the process to shape church vision. The most important idea is that the church is for unchurched people yet churches do little to truly reach unchurched people. Stanley shows how North Point became "a church unchurched people love to attend."
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, lead215
It is simply a must read if you are in ministry
Chad Oyer
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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!
Andrew Beni
Should be called Wide & Deep as the focus is not on Spiritual growth but instead church growth. Also remember that this book is based on the experience of a church in a large city in the middle of the Bible Belt. Some of the ideas presented may not be so effective in more secular areas.
Tim Madding
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jonathan Larssen
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A challenging way to look at church. I appreciate Andy Stanley willingness to share the secret sauce that makes his church successful but there are still several issues that addresses that I am wrestling with.
Dustin Tramel
A mix: some sections I loved (the early chapters about the history of the word CHURCH were great!) and lot I disagreed with. I lean more toward David Platt's ideas about church. That being said, this book is asking really good questions and has much we can glean. I recommend it.
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.
Maliza4cambodia Maliza4cambodia

Every church leader should be required to read this book. The transparent beginning, church history and ideas are powerful!
Harold Cameron
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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.
Andy Stanley writes a remarkably compelling assessment of how disconnected the church as a whole has become from its mission to reach those who do not know Jesus. That being said, he often comes off a bit brash at times, frequently failing to purpose ways a church can enact change without alienating itself from the church as a whole. There are also a few points when he sacrifices some theology to make a point, further alienating some of his audience. While change is sure to alienate some, coming ...more
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How to do church with a different perspective. 2 16 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.
“As leaders, we are never responsible for filling anyone else's cup. Our responsibility is to empty ours.” 27 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.”
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