DEEP & WIDE
Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend
By Andy Stanley
I enjoyed Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend by Andy Stanley. Of course, Stanley makes you squirm. That’s kind of his thing. He drops a controversial statement with a twinkle in his eye, but the rhetorical right hooks keep you intellectually engaged and reading.
In Deep & Wide, Stanley addresses some important topics in ministry like environment, excellence, tolerance, and change. In all of this, he urges church leaders to expect guests. That is probably my greatest takeaway: expect guests. Think like an outsider. As you walk in your church, how would an outsider feel? As you drop off your kids at the nursery, would an outsider feel comfortable with the process? As you listen to the sermon, would it be intelligible to a newbie?
Now, I know some of my reformed brothers will balk at Stanley. I know. I get it. You may not agree with everything Stanley believes and practices. Agreed. But you need to read this book.
As a “church kid,” I found many of his punches to be helpful correctives. Will you agree with all his critiques and recommendations? No way! But the whole exercise of wrestling with what you like and don’t like about Stanley’s assertions will stretch you and benefit your church.