Book Review: Deep and Wide
Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend
By Andy Stanley (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)
Is your church all that it can be and should be? Do you ever wonder what’s missing or long for more? Are you serving those who are churched or seeking those who are unchurched? Andy Stanley’s new book, Deep and Wide provides answers to these and other church related questions. His book is part autobiography, part case study, and part teaching—and is fully engaging.
He writes as one who knows, who’s navigated these waters and seen results, affirming the direction he and his team have taken. Deep and Wide, however, is not a step-by-step master plan to promote outreach and generate growth, but instead it’s a narrative. It’s not a look-at-me self-promotion, but an encouraging you-can-do-it-too practicum. Andy doesn’t intend for others to replicate what he did, but “to closely examine what you’re doing,” applying and adapting his lessons to your specific church and situation (page 148).
To guide us on our journey, Andy divides his book into five sections, showing us what to expect: 1) “My Story,” 2) “Our Story,” 3) “Going Deep,” 4) “Going Wide,” and 5) “Becoming Deep and Wide.”
Andy asks, “Are you really content to spend the rest of your life doing church the way you’ve always done it?” (page 311). If not, we need to “do stuff that draws the attention of unbelieving people” so we can point them to Jesus (page 313). To do so, our church needs to spend every dollar “with the one lost person in mind rather than the found ninety-nine” (page 316).
This book is primarily written for ministers, but applies to all church leaders, both paid and volunteer. It’s also for the laity, for all who want to create churches that unchurched people will love to attend.
Read it, apply it, and then do it. Your church will never be the same.
[Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend, by Andy Stanley. Published by Zondervan. 2012; ISBN: 978-0-310-4948-3; 350 pages.]
Read more book reviews by Peter DeHaan.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.