Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Book Review: Deep & Wide by Andy Stanley
Hard to sit and write a review of this book because I some mixed emotions. If I had to write a review on the first two chapters, I give this book an A+. As Andy shared the story of how his dad, Charles Stanley, became Pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA, I thought I was reading the latest suspense novel. There was so much intensity, that it made me want to read more. Than we get to the story of how North Point Community Church was started including telling the story of his father's divorce. Felt like the first two chapters were a two part novel that made you look forward to the third part. I think this is how those who read Harry Potter and Twilight felt.
The rest of the book dealt with the church in general which took a drastic turn from what captured your attention to what is he talking about. The subtitle of the book says, "Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend." It was as if Andy wanted his readers to know that the church is suppose to have a service for the unchurched. Last time I checked, this was called a "seeker-sensitive" approach to ministry.
There were a few things Stanley said in the book I agreed with especially when he talked about the Greek word for church, Ekklesia, as to referring to a specific gathering, not a place. However the book is all about how make the church geared more to those who are outside the church. Do I believe the church needs to reach the lost? Yes. Do I believe we need to let the unchurched see what we are all about? Yes. However, we should not water down the Gospel message just so those who are lost can receive Christ and to make the service so appealing that Jesus is somehow forgotten.
To be completely honest, I have been disappointed with the last couple of books Stanley has written. I thought this book might be different because he has great leadership books, but this is not one of them.
Thanks Zondervan for letting me review this book.