I just finished reading the expanded edition of Pastor Andy Stanley’s book entitled, “Deep and Wide—Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend.” Andy Stanley, son of Dr. Charles Stanley, founded North Point Ministries, based in Atlanta, GA. This is one of the largest churches in North America.
As the subtitle of the book implies, this book is devoted to the subject of making the local church a place unchurched people love to attend. The question is, how do you create “irresistible ministry environments” that make it easy for unchurched visitors to feel connected? Moreover, Pastor Stanley says healthy local churches should be both “deep and wide.” That is, the church should be characterized by theological depth and a wide reach; not one at the expense of the other.
North Point Ministries is unique in that from the very onset of its founding, the ministry was committed to reaching unchurched people. This overarching objective became the basis of the church’s approach to ministry. In Deep and Wide, Stanley takes us behind the scene and walks us through North Point’s ministry template.
By contrast, most local churches today tend to focus almost exclusively on the community of believers. Preachers preach as if they are preaching only to other believers. This perspective drives the church’s entire ministry model. Moreover, “The longer you serve in a particular ministry environment, the less aware of it you become,” says Pastor Stanley. This acclimation to “that’s how we have always done it” makes relevant change more difficult.
Some of the key areas addressed in the book:
- How to leverage the “five catalysts” for people to grow strong in their faith
- The filters for gauging the irresistibility of a church’s ministry environment
- Preaching to engage unchurched people in a dual audience of believers and the unchurched
- Creating a ministry culture that embraces rather than resists change
This recent edition of the book also includes appendices providing a team discussion guide, church staff resources, and a Q&A section with Andy Stanley.
I believe Deep and Wide is an excellent resource for pastors and other church leaders who want to be more effective in reaching the unchurched. Pastor Andy says church leaders may not agree with everything done at North Point Ministries (most probably will not). But perhaps they can adjust the template he presents in “Deep and Wide,” and make it their own. You can order your copy of “Deep and Wide—Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend” at Amazon by clicking here.
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.
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Original article: “Deep and Wide” by Andy Stanley Helps Churches Reach the Unchurched.