Deep & Wide by Andy Stanley
Review by Peter Narloch 01-05-2013
This Andy Stanley book is a very personal writing. Pastor Stanley shares many personal stories throughout the book. The book is divided into five major sections with different target readers in mind. In general I would recommend this book to those who have been around church for awhile or are interested in church leadership. If you one who is in a position of leading a ministry area or doing any teaching during the weekend services I would say this is a must read for you. This book is a call to action for churches to become churches for the unchurched.
Section one shares a very personal account of the starting of north point community. If you have been an Andy Stanley fan you will most definitely appreciate this insight into Stanley's life. The thought that everyone has a story rings loudly from this section.
Section two discusses the definition of a church. This section offers an excellent summary of history. Those who have been around church for awhile will appreciate the clarity of these chapters. I specifically enjoyed the discussion of truth and grace within the church world and whether all decisions in churches need to be fair. Stanley states that churches have removed "move" from the original Christianity movement and have become very stuck in their ways.
Section three focuses on the five faith catalysts that North Point uses to guide its ministries. This section is a must read for all church leaders including those leading small groups. One their five catalysts is Providential Relationships and I appreciated the insight on being deliberate to influence relationships.
Section four is the largest section of the book and its focus is making your church irresistible. Stanley is bursting with things to share with his readers in this section. He speaks very pointedly to church leaders and cautions them repeatedly not get used to use the messes in your church. He encourages leaders to be very clear in defining what they want to accomplish in each area of the church. How do you know if you delivered a good message or ran a good student ministry gathering? All church leaders should read this section.
Section five deals with how to get your church aligned on a mission which may be contrary to the way things have always been done at your church. Getting everyone at your church on the same mission page is critical for all areas to work well together. Island ministry areas must be avoided. Everyone must be working for the same goal or there will be not be success for the local church.