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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 wr 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 & 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  


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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 wr 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 & 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  

30 review for Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mathew

    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 criticize h 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 criticize his methods. He seems genuinely willing to listen and possibly learn. My main concern with the model presented is the ethos Stanley creates around it. He seems to downplay the importance of Scripture on multiple points and readily admits this when proposing certain practices. Multiple times through out the book he made the comment that many would consider x unorthodox but we do it, we don’t have any biblical explanation for this but it works, or on the rare instance any Scripture is brought to bear it’s done poorly. I’ll provide examples of all of the above below. Granted depending on what the topic under discussion is not having Scriptural warrant is ok (for instance, there is not command about the color of your church carpet) but when the issue is the unsaved ministering in the church, deacons (they don’t have them p. 269), and divorce (p. 39). the Bible has lots to say explicitly and by good and necessary consequence we must obey what the Scripture explicitly and implicitly teaches. Not long ago there was a controversy about Stanley’s comments about a homosexual who had separated from his family but was still serving in the church. After reading this Deep and Wide, I understood clearly why for North Point there was no controversy and why the model itself is deficient. They value reaching the sinner and doing so by inviting them to serve in some capacities and also lead small groups (p. 80). The issue is a matter of ecclesiology. What does church membership entail? What does Scripture say about it? How much should unbelievers be involved in the actual ministry of the church? and what role does church discipline play in the church? If unbelievers are welcoming people and leading small groups, how does that impact those who profess Christ and then are disciplined? What point is the discipline if there’s no distinction between being a Christian in the church and an unbeliever? The bible provides a better way to love and be for unbelievers than muddying the waters (p. 92 bad explanation of Jerusalem Council for support of this church model). A few examples of the muddy waters. Stanley says, My doctor is also one of my best friends. He’s not a Christian. But it’s not from a lack of conversation. In some respects he’s a better “Christian” than a lot of the Christians I know. He closes his practice every Thursday to volunteer at a local hospice. He holds dying people’s hands, does what he can to make them comfortable, and speaks to the concerns and expectations of family members. Basically, he’s a pastor on Thursdays. But don’t tell him. (p. 254) Again he says, “Putting people in ministry environments is the quickest way to capture their hearts. So we move quickly” (p. 128 see p. 136, ); Paul says, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14). There’s a false dichotomy between being for the unsaved and being against sin (pp. 69, 73). Between Scripture and the church. For instance, he says, I give people permission to filter out the “Jesus” parts of my messages. Consequently, Jewish attendees often bring friends. They refer to me as a good motivational speaker. I’m fine with that. A Muslim attendee tweeted that he hums through the Jesus parts of my messages. I retweeted him (p. 180) The goal of their service is for first time visitors to return (short term) and to effect life change (long term) more so than people “crossing the line of faith” or baptism (pp. 196-98). To be fair, the life change would seem to overlap with faith and baptism but absent is any primary or even secondary focus on God. Last, he confuses the idea of leadership and pastoring. He actually says that the original apostles were good preachers but not good leaders which is why Jesus recruited Paul (just a woeful representation of the events of the early New Testament church). According to this interpretation of the New Testament church in Acts, pastors are typically woeful leaders and we should have more business-minded leader types in the church running the show while pastors are preaching (pp. 296-97). Stanley really misses the boat here because he has failed to interact with what the Bible requires of pastors. Paul uses the word “overseer” when admonishing Timothy and also demands men be able to lead their family well. Leadership is closely intertwined with the requirement of pastoring well. The two cannot be separated. The few helpful nuggets I took away were just not worth all the confusion and misunderstanding promulgated through Deep & Wide

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    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 r 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 rather a process for being intentional, thoughtful, and biblical in your particular context.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    This is a brilliant book. A must-read if you love the local church.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessyca

    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 it a 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 it all down for anyone who is interested. Anyone. Stanley holds nothing back or door closed in his all access glimpse of NPM. He explains in detail how and why environments, services, and programs are designed as they are, and more importantly adds how and why they are constantly evaluated and who they were created for- the unchurched. NPM stands apart in the Bible belt primarily due to its very vocalized target audience- the Unchurched, in a current church culture that seems hesitant to march head long into the mess of the world without a unanimous battle plan. By boldly proclaiming and unveiling strategy as well as the specific thought process that crafted it, Stanley removes any mysticism from the cynical, confusion from the Pharisee, and hesitancy from the secular regarding who and what define THE Church and the bridge it is called to be. Deep & Wide constantly challenges church leaders as well as business professionals to honestly critique their organizations without imposing the template that has brought NPM much success through a series of questions and applied observations. He calls for local churches to be characterized by “deep roots and wide reaches.” Deep & Wide reads as the personal diary of the now 17 year old North Point Community Church, regaling the reader with tales of relational struggles, self-discovery, and graced success. In this case, he has selflessly handed over his personal playbook that took years to develop and craft with the attitude of “Here’s what we found helpful, maybe you can use some of this to reach the unchurched.” And ultimately isn’t that what we’re all about? Deep & Wide is a must read, guaranteed to quickly rise to the frequently referenced and reread list of anyone who is in the business of ministry. What sets Andy Stanley apart, and what makes NPM irresistible, is their ability to vision cast what could be in the reality of what presently exists. Even if your organization, church, or spirit is lacking you will find engaging uplifting encouragement, be invited and welcomed to learn about what could be, and walk away feeling empowered and knowledgeable about what to do about it. This book is for anyone, and should be read by everyone who has ever set foot in a church, or think they may want to. #ILMC #ILTC

  5. 4 out of 5

    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 strateg 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 strategy to reach the lost AND to disciple those who are saved... hence "Deep & Wide". The best thing about this book to me is that Andy states throughout the book that it's ok to disagree with his approach... as long as you wrestle with the hard questions that they have wrestled with and know how you will approach those aspects of the church. And he backs this up by continually providing the reader with the questions that must be wrestled to the ground. All in all, this book is worth the read just to be forced to wrestle with hard questions about HOW to do church. A few bonuses of this book: - The chapter on preaching should be required reading for preachers. (And yes I mean that.) - You get to hear Andy Stanley talk in a raw and honest way about his dad. - You get to hear Andy take some shots at some things that obviously fire him up (prosperity gospel is just one example) - You get great insights into how Andy thinks through problems and issues.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eric Reidsma

    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 church w 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 church was doing and they didn’t really want to grow anymore.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to want to hear this message (But probably should) I’m thankful that the leaders of our church at South Harbor have read this book and try to make our church un-churched and visitor friendly. Deep & Wide is a thought provoking read and not just for church leaders, I recommend it if you don’t fear change are willing to think and question things about church a little.

  7. 4 out of 5

    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 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 live in the Bible belt).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ineta Baužytė

    Andy Stanley is a great leader who managed to create an environment and culture of the church, that unchurched people love to attend. He askes many uncomfortable questions in this book like - are we moving or simply meeting? Ar we making difference in our society or just conducting service? But also giving many wise answers and directions from his many year's experiences. ... the sermon begins in the parking lot. Andy Stanley is a great leader who managed to create an environment and culture of the church, that unchurched people love to attend. He askes many uncomfortable questions in this book like - are we moving or simply meeting? Ar we making difference in our society or just conducting service? But also giving many wise answers and directions from his many year's experiences. ... the sermon begins in the parking lot.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cara Putman

    Filled with insights, questions, and challenges for today.’s Church. Lots to chew on.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    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. I a 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. I agree with Stanley that there is a lack of leadership in our churches today, and as a whole our churches are not established to attract "unchurched people." I'm not as convinced as Stanley seems to be that this should be the primary focus of every church, but I do appreciate the tenacity with which he attacks this focus in his church. I also appreciate how he approaches the importance of vision in leadership. He challenged me to think about the vision of the Christian school, and how this impacts all we do. He challenged me to think about how I am leading, and how I am evaluating the ministry God has called me to. He challenged me to think about my gifting and how I am using these gifts in ministry. This book was very challenging in many ways as I consider what it means to be a leader, especially in the area of education. I do, however, question Stanley's willingness to assume certain things. He chooses not to ask the question "Is it true" when evaluating things in his ministry, but instead focuses on how engaging it is. I agree that the engaging question is too often overlooked, but I think our assumption of truth is dangerous ground on which to tread. All things considered, there was much to be gained about leadership from this book, and I definitely recommend it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Merv Budd

    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 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 of church. While that point could be made, it is really a book that teaches leaders how to arrange their church around their vision. While the particularities may not be applicable in all setting, the generalities certainly are. If you are a church leader who wants to be challenged and inspired in creating a greater single-focused alignment of your church with its Biblical mission around a compelling vision, this is a must read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    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 i 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 in the final section is gold. And his discussion of corporate worship and preaching is thought-provoking. Like I said, you might not agree with everything (I didn't), but it will cause you to think critically. Isn't that the point of reading, anyways!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adam Shields

    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 http://bookwi.se/deep-and-wide ___ I rec 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 http://bookwi.se/deep-and-wide ___ I received an advance digital copy from the publish for purposes of review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    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 collaborati 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 collaboration with other pastors in different cultural contexts, and some ironing out between the descriptive and prescriptive elements of Stanley's ministry career, this book could have been amazing. As it is, it's a good discussion starter, but one to take with a grain of Himalayan rock salt.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wes Humble

    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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dave Courtney

    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 admi 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 admit that I don't always agree with everyone regarding his approach (such as his particular brand of leadership, which he only really touches on here), but he remains one of my favorite teachers, and Deep and Wide is a great example of why. While the whole book is worth digesting, it is the first quarter that remains the most impressive. This is where he unfolds his perspective on what the Church is, and for as much as I have heard him speak on this material before, I found myself equally compelled as I engaged with it again. His passion and knack for communicating history, in particular Church history, is impressive. As well, the autobiographical sections in the opening pages really bring to light Andy's own journey and why he carries the passions that he does. The book itself is broken in to sections, beginning with a sort of autobiography and setting the theological and historical foundation. It then moves in to the latter half which is a practical picture of who North Point is, what they do and why they do. The book could have suffered from becoming self indulgent at this point, but it keeps its head above water by making sure to speak directly to the reader and the readers world. One may not choose to model themselves after Stanley or to model their Church after North Point, but by the time you reach the end you realize that is not the point of his message. He is passionate about Church being for the Unchurched, and however we do that (he believes he has found a way that is proven and that works), it is about moving from that heart and that vision more than copying a program or method. And I know that I came away challenged to give more attention to how I live for the unchurched as well, in what I say, in what I do and in how I communicate.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Duane Alexander Miller

    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, M 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, Methodist, Nazarene, Pentecostal—you name it. A ministry partner of mine bought this book for me and my wife, Sharon. We slowly read it together over two years or so. But we did read it. We just finished it last night. I'm excited about this book. I want to recommend it to everyone in church leadership and especially for pastors. I want to recommend it to people from every single denomination. Yes, yes, he's not sensitive to liturgical realities, I get it. But still there is so much to learn and apply from this book. The author's main goal is to tell you how to create a church that is welcoming to unchurched people. He gives you pointers on sermons, ministry, leadership, and basic nut and bolts things like welcoming people and music. There is a load of useful stuff in here. Also, his writing style is easygoing and very readable. Pick it up. Read it. You won't regret it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Stanley questions the status quo of the church today but somewhere along the line ceased to examine the status quo of his own seeker sensitive movement. Stanley's goal in his ministry is two-fold, create a church that the unchurched love to attend and make mature believers out of them. A lot of people attend his church, but are they becoming true disciples? Voices in this movement, such as Bill Hybels, lament that they aren't. I found Stanley's methods to create a church where the outsider feels Stanley questions the status quo of the church today but somewhere along the line ceased to examine the status quo of his own seeker sensitive movement. Stanley's goal in his ministry is two-fold, create a church that the unchurched love to attend and make mature believers out of them. A lot of people attend his church, but are they becoming true disciples? Voices in this movement, such as Bill Hybels, lament that they aren't. I found Stanley's methods to create a church where the outsider feels comfortable very troubling. In order to create an atmosphere for the unchurched, the church tries to not feel like a "church", but more like a neutral place where you can be entertained and hear motivational speaking about living a good life. Jesus is talked about but Stanley says he invites people, who might be offended, to put on "Jesus filters." Secular music is used to break the ice and Christian songs that might be "offensive" are avoided. Once a month they open the service with a game. Is this what church has become? Is this working? According to many who have left the movenment, it is not. Bigger is not always better. Entertainment is a far cry from worship.

  19. 4 out of 5

    James

    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 th 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 third or less deals with going deep. I was also thinking there would be more of a history of Northpoint, similar to how Hybels' "Rediscovering Church" is a history of Willow Creek. But there isn't much narrative after the first 2-3 chapters. Overall, I recommend this book for anyone who is truly desiring to connect the unconnected. But it's been helpful to be reading Geiger and Chandler's "Creature of the Word" at the same time. That one gives much more emphasis to going deep.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Buzz Park

    Thought-provoking, Challenging and Encouraging. If you are a senior pastor or primary church leader, I HIGHLY recommend this book! This book will challenge you and, hopefully, encourage you. However, if you are a lay leader or play a supporting role on a staff, this book may be challenging to you. This book may make you want to implement changes that may not be popular with your church leadership. I read this book along with the rest of the leaders and staff in my church. I found Andy's methodolog Thought-provoking, Challenging and Encouraging. If you are a senior pastor or primary church leader, I HIGHLY recommend this book! This book will challenge you and, hopefully, encourage you. However, if you are a lay leader or play a supporting role on a staff, this book may be challenging to you. This book may make you want to implement changes that may not be popular with your church leadership. I read this book along with the rest of the leaders and staff in my church. I found Andy's methodology, approach, and mindset to be refreshing. As a staff, we are doing some things right. However as a church, I think we need to reevaluate our approach in order to accomplish the Great Commission more effectively. This book is an excellent read, and the audible version narrated by Tom Parks is also excellent.

  21. 5 out of 5

    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 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 one. I do not however believe Stanley is dishonest. God seems to be using North Point church in spite of the model of ministry even though Stanley would say it is because of the model.

  22. 4 out of 5

    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 ow 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 own context.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mollie

    This is probably the most useful church ministry book I have ever read. Of course, I've been a huge fan of North Point and Andy since I first attended their church ten years ago. However, my love of this book goes beyond that. If you are in ministry, this a must read. If you want to impact this world for Christ, then you have no excuse. Andy presents here the explanation for why they do what they do and why we all should be churches that unchurched people love to attend. This is probably the most useful church ministry book I have ever read. Of course, I've been a huge fan of North Point and Andy since I first attended their church ten years ago. However, my love of this book goes beyond that. If you are in ministry, this a must read. If you want to impact this world for Christ, then you have no excuse. Andy presents here the explanation for why they do what they do and why we all should be churches that unchurched people love to attend.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Greg Taylor

    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." 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."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jelmer

    It is simply a must read if you are in ministry

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tim Madding

    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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    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. 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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chad Oyer

    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! 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!

  29. 4 out of 5

    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. 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.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Larssen

    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.

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