Deep and Wide Book Review

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North Point Community Church has one vision—to be a church that unchurched people love to attend. Throughout the years, they have remained true to that vision.

Write your vision in ink; everything else should be penciled in. Plans change. Vision remains the same.  pg 304

Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley is broken into five major sections. Here are the titles, subtitles, and my one-sentence summary of each section:

  1. My Story: Starting Up and Starting Over — How North Point Community Church began.
  2. Our Story: Walking Toward the Messes — What is the church and who is it for?
  3. Going Deep: Rethinking Spiritual Formation — How do people grow spiritually?
  4. Going Wide: Why They Love to Attend — How to create irresistible ministry environments.
  5. Becoming Deep and Wide: Transitioning a Local Church — How to lead people to embrace change.

History of the Church

In Deep & Wide, not only do we learn the history of North Point Community Church, but Stanley  takes a look back at the history of the Church—the Church Jesus commissioned us with over 2,000 years ago. Did you know that through the course of history, what was once intended to be a gathering of people united by a common purpose, became instead a physical location? “What began as a movement dedicated to carrying the truth of Jesus Christ to every corner of the world, had become an insider-focused, hierarchical, ritualized institution that bore little resemblance to its origins.” (pg 63)

Asks Hard Questions
Reading this book, one is challenged to ask the hard questions. What is the vision of your ministry? Are you more concerned about keeping people or reaching people? “Are you organized around a mission or are you organized around an antiquated ministry model inherited from a previous generation?” (pg 67)

On a Practical Note
After reading this book, you may feel like you need to make some changes within your own ministry. If so, you may be asking yourself, “Now what?” At the end of the book, Andy provides North Point’s mission, strategy, beliefs and ministry wins, along with some practical guidelines to help you make the right next steps.

The most practical piece in the book is when Stanley talks about the principles of spiritual growth which he calls the Five Faith Catalysts.  These 5 catalysts are what create remarkable and consistent spiritual growth over time:

  1. Practical Teaching (what I’ve called Relevant Equipping/Teaching)
  2. Private Disciplines (what I’ve called Personal Spiritual Practices)
  3. Personal Ministry (what I’ve called Taking Risks in Life or Ministry)
  4. Providential Relationships (what I’ve called Meaningful Spiritual Friendships)
  5. Pivotal Circumstances (what I’ve called Moments of Crisis)

 

Top 10 Quotes From Deep and Wide That Will Help You Rethink The Overall Vision and Mission Of Your Student Ministry:

  1. “When we choose to engage with culture at the level the apostle Paul was forced to engage, it gets messy for us as well. It’s the messy middle ground that makes some of us uncomfortable.”
  2. “Jesus was not content to simply say what was true. Being right was not enough. Being biblical was not enough. Being exegetically correct was not enough. That was not His purpose in coming. He came to seek and to save that which was lost.”
  3. “If the idea of embracing the mess is uncomfortable for you, remember this: Either you were a mess, are a mess, or are one dumb decision from becoming a mess.”
  4. “I’ll take the Christian who doesn’t know it all but is committed to doing what he or she knows over the Christian who knows it all and that’s as far
    as it goes.”
  5. “Jesus did not come to strike a balance between grace and truth. He brought the full measure of both.”
  6. “Our ongoing challenge is to make sure we stay in the unchurched people market.”
  7. “As a leader, your responsibility is to make the people in your church discontent with where they are by painting a compelling picture of where
    they could be.”
  8. “One of the primary reasons churches are empty is because church leaders love their models more than they love people.”
  9. “Would you like more people in your community to engage with your  church? Become more engaging.”
  10. “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone, knowing that everyone is not going to be treated the same way.”

 

Orange Conference 2018