“Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend” is the sub-title of this book, which is very practical, easy to read and written with honesty, transparency, humour and candour.
I’m sure I’m not the only person that struggles a bit with the perceived tensions between expressions of Sunday worship that might suit mature Christians, and those trying to be meaningful and helpful to visitors who have little if any experience of church. For those who have grappled with these issues, this book is literally a God-send!
Using as a case study North Point Community Church in Atlanta where he is pastor, and drawing from scripture, Andy Stanley looks afresh at the irresistible nature of this movement called the church. He illustrates how he has focussed on creating a ministry that appeals to many – being very wide in its welcome and acceptance – while at the same time helping people mature into a lifelong and deeply rooted relationship with Jesus, not simply by knowing the Bible better, but by becoming men and women of great faith in God. He then goes on to deal with issues concerning the environment of our churches and asks how we can make these environments so irresistible to unchurched visitors that they leave intending to come back the following week. The final section is a helpful and practical guide for churches that are wanting to transition to being churches that are both ‘Deep and Wide’.
For many churches, Sunday worship remains fundamentally at the centre of church life. For those that see Sundays as a continuing opportunity for reaching out (but without dumbing down), and who wish to be part of a movement that makes a lasting impact in the community, this is a great read!
A. Stanley, Deep and Wide, Zondervan, 2012. ISBN-10: 031049307