When I finished reading Andy Stanley’s latest book Deep & Wide (kindle version), my first thought was, “This might be one of the best books I’ve ever read on church ministry or leadership.” It is chock full of wisdom, things churches can learn and ways staff’s can grow together to be effective.
Essentially, this book is everything Andy Stanley has learned in ministry since starting out. Things North Point has done that has worked and things that have not worked.
Over the past week leading up to the release of the book, I’ve shared some of the more impactful or thought provoking thoughts in the book:
- Can a church give too much grace?
- Missional is not the opposite of attractional.
- What is the foundation of Christianity?
- The difference between believing in God and believing God.
- Don’t make salvation difficult.
- Your city doesn’t need another church.
- Churches made up of churched people.
Here are just a handful of highlights from my reading:
- I think every church should be a church irreligious people love to attend.
- We are unapologetically attractional. In our search for common ground with unchurched people, we’ve discovered that, like us, they are consumers. So we leverage their consumer instincts.
- It wasn’t the teaching of Jesus that sent his followers to the streets. It was his resurrection. The men and women who made up the nucleus of the church weren’t simply believers in an abstract philosophy or even faithful followers of a great leader; they were eyewitnesses of an event.
- An ekklesia was simply a gathering or an assembly of people called out for a specific purpose. Ekklesia never referred to a specific place, only a specific gathering.
- Churches designed for saved people are full of hypocrites. You pretty much have to be a hypocrite to participate. Transparency and honesty are dangerous in a church created for church people. Consequently, the casualty in a church for church people is grace. It’s hard to extend grace to people who don’t seem to need it. And it’s hard to admit you need it when you aren’t sure you will receive it.
- Jesus did not come to strike a balance between grace and truth. He brought the full measure of both.
- Grace doesn’t dumb down sin to make it more palatable. Grace doesn’t have to.
- The better approach is to do for one what you wish you could do for everyone, knowing that everyone is not going to be treated the same way.
- The church is most appealing when the message of grace is most apparent.
- God’s grace is only as visible as God’s truth is clear.
- Missional is not the opposite of attractional. Stop trying to pick a side.
- If you want to know what people mean by what they say, watch what they do.
- Churches shouldn’t do anything that makes it unnecessarily difficult for people who are turning to God.
- There’s a monumental difference in believing in God and believing God.
- Classes don’t create mature believers. Classes create smart believers.
- Every leader should have a group they can point to and say, “That’s who I’m pouring my life into.”
- People are far more interested in what works than what’s true.
- Every ministry communicates something.
- The sermon begins in the parking lot.
- Being organized is not enough. You must appear organized.
- It is not enough for your kids ministry to be safe, it must appear safe.
- To seek and save the lost, first, you must capture their attention.
- When people are convinced you want something for them rather than something from them, they are less likely to be offended when you challenge them.