Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend

I recently read Andy Stanley's new book Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend. As I was reading I was thinking about Southwest Community Church - the church i worked at in California. Stanley is clearly the biggest influence in terms of how they "do" church. One of the things I really enjoyed about Southwest was that we had never been a part of a church that was a real partner with us in our efforts to share Jesus with people in our community. We were never more excited and comfortable inviting people who were far from God to come and check out our church.

I very much enjoyed the approach to ministry presented in the book and found it challenging as well as very practical. As with all of these types of books, the approach presented is so much more "doable" when embraced and implemented during the founding of a church or ministry. Indeed, this was Stanley's experience. Although not impossible, introducing such an approach into an existing structure is much more challenging. I was thankful that Stanley took some time in the final section of the book to address issues related to transitions.

The most immediate walkaway I had and that I can bring to our local church immediately are the simple hospitality issues - constantly looking at our facilities, observing our services, and assessing the content of our services through the lens of guests and people who are far from God. It is amazing how the longer we are in a place the less we see and the more things get overlooked. A great book that is a must read for ministry leaders! I would suggest reading it as a team and discussing it.

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