Monday, December 10, 2012

Deep and Wide


I recently finished Andy Stanley’s newest book, Deep and Wide.  It’s one of the better books I've read this year.

There are several things I appreciate about Andy Stanley.  He’s laser-focused on reaching unchurched people for Christ and leading them towards discipleship.  He not only understands the value of the Great Commission, but also developing healthy systems to accomplish the mission.

Here are a few highlights from the book that grabbed my attention, with number 10 being my personal favorite:

1.  “The best performers usually build the biggest churches, but not necessarily the healthiest ones.”

2.  “Read the Gospels and you will have a difficult time finding even one example of Jesus being fair.  He chose twelve apostles from among hundreds of disciples.  He gave preferential treatment to three of the twelve.  He didn’t heal everyone.  He didn’t feed every hungry crowd.”

3.  “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.”

4.  “Nearly all the senior pastors I’ve ever talked to would claim adamantly that they want unchurched people to attend and connect with their churches. But then they turn right around and create weekend services that assume everybody present is a believer and attends every week.”

5.  “New ideas are generally considered bad ideas. Then they become normative. Then, eventually, they are yesterday’s news. Nothing is new or innovative forever.”

6.  “Vision is the place to begin every discussion pertaining to change. Start the discussion anywhere else and you will experience resistance.”

7.  “One of the primary reasons churches are empty is because church leaders love their models more than they love people.”

8.  “The primary reason churches cling to outdated models and programs is that they lack leadership.”

9.  “If no one is following you, if you are uncomfortable asking people to follow you, if the only people following you are people you secretly wish would follow somebody else, you may not be the one to introduce and implement change in your local congregation.”

10.  “What does your church pray for? What does the staff pray for? What do your elders or deacons pray for? God’s blessing? The presence of God? A pouring out of the Holy Spirit? Safety? As far as the ‘presence of God’ and ‘an outpouring of the Holy Spirit,’ you’re a bit behind - both of those were covered on the day of Pentecost.  Regarding God’s presence, Jesus promised to be with those who were making disciples. So besides you, and what you and your congregation want God to do for you, what does your church pray for?”

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