Stanley, Deep and Wide, Churches Unchurched Love to Attend

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Andy Stanley, Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend. Zondervan, 2012.

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LifeandLeadership.com Summary

As the subtitle suggests, this book is about building churches that unchurched people love to attend. In the words of the author, Andy Stanley, “how to make your church more appealing to the people who are put off by the shenanigans that give church, big churches in particular, a bad name.” Stanley believes this is important “because the church is the local expression of the presence of Jesus…and since people who were nothing like Jesus liked Jesus, they should like us as well. There should be nothing about us that causes them to gather at the periphery and stare.”  It is based on the experience of the Northpoint Church where Stanley preaches, and reflects careful internal research on their effectiveness as facilitated by one of their members who is a management consultant.

The book is divided into five sections. In Section One, “My Story,” Stanley tells his own story of growing up as preacher’s kid (PK), working ten years for his father, Dr. Charles Stanley of First Baptist Atlanta, and then striking out on his own. In Section Two, “Our Story,” he gives the biblical justification of his approach to church, which is unapologetically attractional. Interestingly, he argues that attractional and missional are not opposites. In Section Three, “Going Deep,” Stanley reveals his “secret sauce,” a programmatic way of engaging people with five faith-building dynamics that stress obedience and personal growth. Section Four, “Going Wide,” lays out the three essential ingredients for irresistible environments. He describes the “Rules of Engagement” his church uses each time they know unchurched visitors will be present, with a special chapter on how to preach the same message to “dual audiences” consisting of both the unchurched and long-time members. Section Five, “Becoming Deep and Wide,” discusses how to lead a church through the necessary changes entailed in connecting with the unchurched in one’s community.

This is a good description of the philosophy and practice of a church that is effective in reaching unchurched populations.

**For a summary, click here for the Kindle Version, go to right column, and download the free sample. If you don’t have a free Kindle Reader on your computer, there’s a link for that too.

Publisher’s Description

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 churches began with a high-profile divorce and a 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 writes,

“Our goal is to create weekend experiences so compelling and helpful that even the most skeptical individuals in our community would walk away with every intention of returning the following week…with a friend!”

Later he says,

“I want people to fall in love with the Author of Scripture. And while we can’t make anyone fall in love, we can certainly arrange a date.”

For the first time, Andy explains his strategy for preaching and programming to “dual audiences”: mature believers and cynical unbelievers. He argues that preaching to dual audiences doesn’t require communicators to “dumb down” the content. According to Stanley, it’s all in the approach.

You’ll be introduced to North Point’s spiritual formation model: The Five Faith Catalysts. Leaders responsible for ministry programing and production will no doubt love Andy’s discussion of the three essential ingredients for creating irresistible environments. For pastors willing to tackle the challenge of transitioning a local congregation, Andy includes a section entitled: Becoming Deep and Wide.

If your team is more concerned with who you are reaching than who you are keeping, Deep and amp; Wide will be more than a book you read; it will be a resource you come back to over and over!

“Couldn’t be prouder of my son, Andy. And I couldn’t be more excited about the content of this book. I wish a resource like this existed when I was starting out in ministry.” - Dr. Charles Stanley, Founder, In Touch Ministries

“Deep and Wide pulls back the curtain for all of us to see what is required behind the scenes to build a prevailing church. I was both challenged and inspired by this book.” - Bill Hybels, author of Just Walk Across the Room

“The most common question I get from pastors is, ‘How do I get the people in my church to be open to change?’ From now on my answer will be, ‘Read Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley’. Thanks Andy. Great book!” - Craig Groeschel, Pastor, LifeChurch.TV, author, It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It

“No one has given me more practical handles for establishing a focused vision than Andy Stanley. Deep and Wide is a rich resource to help all of us stay intentional about the main thing - building a church that reaches people who are far from God.” - Steven Furtick, Lead Pastor, Elevation Church

About the Author

Andy Stanley is the founder of North Point Ministries, Inc. (NPM). Each Sunday, more than 33,000 people attend one of NPM’s seven Atlanta-area churches. In addition, NPM has planted over 25 churches outside the metro Atlanta area with a combined weekly attendance of more than 15,000. Over one million of Andy’s messages are accessed from our North Point websites monthly, including both leadership and sermon content. To learn more and to access our free online resources, visit us at Northpointministries.org.

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