Monday, May 13, 2013

Deep and Wide: A Book Recommendation

In recent years, I have developed great admiration for megachurch pastor Andy Stanley as I have heard him speak and read some of his writing.  He is an effective preacher, a practical leader, a transparent believer and a lifelong learner.  We might disagree on some fine points of theology, but I have learned a lot from him. Stanley is much more open to women in leadership than most people realize.   It will come as a surprise to many that women serve in practically every role at North Point Church.  He also acknowledges that women serve as pastors (although not at North Point), and he includes them in his comments in this book.

Therefore, I have found myself recommending his new book Deep and Wide to a number of people.  The subtitle of this new book is “creating churches unchurched people love to attend.”  It is that and more—personal testimony, preaching insights, practical guidelines about discipleship, and a kick in the pants to do something different.

Stanley does not consider himself a church planter but he is definitely an architect of church culture.  In this book he explains candidly the personal struggles involved in breaking with his father and launching North Point Church and then goes on to provide an inside view of the church’s intentional approaches to building a culture, reaching the unchurched, forming disciples, and preaching the Bible.

The seven questions he provides beginning on page 304 are well worth the price of the book. Stanley understands that good questions challenge us to self evaluation, provoke our discontent, and encourage us to change.  If the church or any other organization is to be a “learning organization,” it must ask pointed questions and learn from the answers.

I highly recommend this book.  Even if you disagree with the author, you will be forced to rethink how you “do church.”

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