Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend

Andy Stanley’s latest book, Deep & Wide, is the definitive leadership book of this generation.  Simply put, it is the best church leadership book I have ever read.  On Christmas Eve and day, I will be posting its best leadership quotes.

If you happen to get an Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card as a stocking stuffer, I cannot recommend enough that you order this book immediately.  Now onto the quotes:

  • Blessed is the man who gets the opportunity to devote his life to something bigger than himself and who finds himself surrounded by friends who share his passion.
  • As leaders, we are never responsible for filling anyone else’s cup.  Our responsibility is to empty ours.
  • Preachers’ kids who gravitate toward ministry are commodities.  I hire all I can.
  • We genuinely want to be a network of churches that unchurched people find irresistible.  We don’t grade ourselves on size.  We grade ourselves on how attractive we are to our target audience.
  • From day one, I’ve had critics.  I’m fine with that.  All my critics are religious people.  (It may be the only thing I have in common with Jesus).
  • “A pastor has no greater privilege than to baptize his own children.” – Dr. Charles Stanley
  • “Beginning empty handed and alone frightens the best of men.  It also speaks volumes of just how sure they are that God is with them.” – Gene Edwards in his book The Tale of Three Kings
  • My dad turned eighty this year.  It goes without saying that I stand on his shoulders.  Those are two very crowded shoulders.
  • One of the perplexing things we face as church leaders is that most church people don’t know what the church is or why it exists.
  • Say the word church today and very few people think “movement”.
  • Systems fossilize with time.
  • The church needs leaders who are willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure that we hand it off to the next generation in better shape than we found it.
  • Belief in Jesus as the Son of God is about the only thing all churches hold in common.
  • While its amazing that the church survived the persecution of the first century, it may be more amazing that it survived the institutionalization and corruption of the centuries that followed.
  • Churches designed for saved people are full of hypocrites.
  • The casualty in a church for church people is grace…The casualty in liberal churches is truth.
  • Jesus did not come to strike a balance between grace and truth.  He brought the full measure of both.
  • “If we do it for one, we will have to do it for everyone.”  To which I can hear Jesus shouting, “No you don’t!  I didn’t!”…The better approach is to do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.
  • We are not going to spend countless hours creating policies for every eventuality.
  • You can’t get it right every time regardless of your model.  And that’s not an excuse.  That’s the reality of ministry.
  • We put people into leadership roles too early, on purpose.
  • Our doctrinal statement is conservative.  Our approach to ministry is not.
  • I don’t learn much from people who agree with me. 
  • Either you were a mess, are a mess, or are one dumb decision away from becoming a mess.  And when you were your messiest version of you, you weren’t looking for a policy, were you?
  • They (first century Christian leaders) were comfortable with a bit of ambiguity and inconsistency.  We should be as well.
  • If you want to know what people mean by what they say, watch what they do.
  • The Jewish Christians appointed a committee and sent them to Antioch to set things straight.  Which, of course, only made things worse.
  • It is your responsibility to lead the church in the direction Jesus originally intended.  As a leader, your task is to protect the missional integrity of the Jesus gathering to which you have been called.  It is your responsibility to see to it that the church under your care continues to function as a gathering of people in process.
  • Let’s rid our churches of anything that makes it difficult for those who are turning to God.
  • We don’t believe classes create mature believers.
  • Theological education and spiritual maturity can be mutually exclusive.
  • I should always be able to point to a group of men and say, “That’s the group I’m currently pouring my life into.”
  • In most churches spiritual formation was not the driving force behind programming (or budgeting, for that matter).
  • It’s no coincidence that God didn’t give Israel the law until they first learned to trust him and follow him.
  • As a person’s confidence in God grows, he or she matures.
  • Jesus taught for a response.  He taught for life change.
  • People are far more interested in what works that what’s true.
  • Culture is like the wind.  You can’t stop it.  You shouldn’t spit in it.
  • There is a direct correlation between a person’s private devotional life and his or her personal faith.
  • Percentage giving is an invitation for God to get involved in our personal finances.  The percentage isn’t the issue.
  • People who have never given away a percentage of the incomes are not going to begin with 10 percent.
  • I’m inclined to think God hears whatever he wants to hear.
  • The Bible is full of illustrations of God calling and prodding people into service in spite of their overwhelming sense of inadequacy.
  • We are committed to involving as many people as possible, as young as possible, as soon as possible.  Sometimes too young and too soon!  But we intentionally err on the side of too fast rather than too slow.
  • For the most part, adults learn on a need to know basis.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of the quotes from this amazing book. 

For additional resources for Christian leaders, click 13 Books Every Christian Leader Should Read In 2013.

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