Tag Archives: Andy Stanley

The Leadership Journal Book Awards!

Dan KimballThe 2012 Leadership Journal book awards were recently announced. I was thrilled to see a good number of Zondervan ministry titles on the list. If you’ve not read these books, I hope you’ll give them a shot.

 Category: The Leader’s Inner Life 

Short List:

Category: The Leader’s Outer Life

Timothy Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian ChurchBest of the Best: Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City by Timothy Keller 

Short List:

Big eBook sale on Ministry and Leadership books!

Merry Christmas! There’s a big eBook sale going on from now through January 7th. All of the ministry and leadership ebooks listed below are on sale. There are also fiction, kids, and Christian living titles on sale too. You can see the whole list of titles here.

This eBook sale is good across all eBook formats – Nook, Kindle, iPad – everything. So if you’re looking for some good reading to do over Christmas break, or if you’re anticipating having a new eBook reader after Christmas, don’t forget about this sale.



Deep & Wide  by Andy Stanley was $12.99, now $5.99

Barefoot Church by Brandon Hatmaker was $8.99, now $3.99

It’s Personal by Brian & Amy Bloye was $6.99, now $3.99

Adventures in Churchland by  Dan Kimball was $6.99, now $3.99

Humilitas by John Dickson was $10.99, now $3.99

King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight was $10.99, now $3.99

Gospel Coach by Scott Thomas & Tom Wood was $6.99, now $3.99

Sifted  by Wayne Cordeiro, Francis Chan & Larry Osborne was $8.99, now $3.99

Tackling The Blank Page Dilemma: Andy Stanley on Content That Matters for Deep & Wide Ministries

It’s Monday morning and if you’re the lead pastor, or anyone else in ministry, you’re enjoying the day off to rest and recuperate from a packed day of preaching and pastoring.

But then Tuesday rolls around and you’re confronted with the dreaded specter all ministry teachers face: The Blank Page.

If you’re a student pastor then you’d better get to work, because that Blank Page has to be filled pretty quickly in time for Wednesday night festivities—though I’m sure you started that last week, right? If you’re the main teaching pastor then you’ll be living with that Blank Page all week until it’s formed into something that’s punchy, provocative, and preach-worthy. Even if you’re a small group leader who’s teaching through pre-packaged small group material, you still have your own notes to make to fill in the gaps and shape the study to meet your community’s needs—so you have your own Blank Page work to do.

As a person in ministry each week you’ve got a Blank Page Dilemma. That Dilemma isn’t so much how you’re going to fill it, but what you’re going to do it. What are you going to do with that Blank Page to challenge the thinking of your people; to encourage their life through trials and pitfalls; to provoke your people toward becoming active, fully devoted followers of King Jesus?

Do What It Takes: Andy Stanley’s Advice for Creating Engaging Presentations

I’ve been making my way through Andy Stanley’s new book, Deep and Wide, and came across yet another thought provoker by this seasoned pastor. While an earlier post focused on the medium—the space in which the church gathers for any number of reasons—this one’s about the message, the “what” and the “how” of what’s said when the church gathers. Though this post might lean more toward people who regularly teach for a larger gathering, I think there’s something here even for small group and bible study leaders, too.

No only does Stanley urge us leaders to get fresh eyes on our ministry environments, he suggests we need fresh eyes on our ministry messages, too. He challenges teachers to look freshly at both our content and especially our presentation, beginning with quite the statement on presentation: “Churches aren’t empty because preachers are lying. Twentysomethings haven’t abandoned the church because pastors have abandoned the Bible. The church isn’t suffering from a lack of truth-talks. What we are missing is engaging presentations. The reason more people aren’t engaged with the local church is…we aren’t all that engaging!” (174) He suggests that if you want more people in your community to engage with your church or bible study, you should become more engaging.

What do you think about that? Are people avoiding church because it’s boring and unengaging?

What’s Your Space Communicating? Appealing Settings Matters to Creating Churches UnChurched People Love to Attend—From Andy Stanley’s New Book, Deep & Wide

I’ve been thinking a lot about space in the past few months. No not that space, the one Hubble Space Telescope explores every waking minute. I’m talking about the space in which we do ministry—the space in which people encounter God in worship, kids grow in the knowledge of the Lord, small groups explore the Bible.

If I asked you, What’s your space? I would guess an image immediately comes to mind. Perhaps it’s big and open and filled with modern lights, Panera-esque colors, and thousands of theater-style seating. Maybe it’s more modest and ancient, accented by stained glass windows and the residue of yesterday’s incense. Perhaps it’s a cozy living-room or a room that’s been made to look like a living room with plush, comfy chairs.

Regardless, this morning’s question is an important one: “What’s your space communicating?” It’s an important question because creating an appealing setting matters to creating church experiences that unchurched people love to attend.

The reason I’ve been thinking a lot about space the past few months is because I have the privilege of relaunching a church that peaked at a few hundred people and has dropped to 10-15% of that peak. A number of reasons have contributed to that decline, but one of the big ones was where the church was gathering the past 18 months.

You see the church launched in a high school cafeteria and thrived there for sometime until it was forced to relocate to a 900 seat auditorium elsewhere in the school. An intimate, family feel was exchanged for this massive room that created a distance and formalism that killed the vibe big time. They tried different things to compensate until they moved to the location we’ve just moved from: an aged gymnasium at an inner-city, neighborhood church that was difficult to find and even more difficult to enjoy.

When I came to candidate for the position I remember two things: it was hard to find and felt creepy. It wasn’t creepy because of the people or what went on there—we’ve got great, kind people and a wonderful sense of community! It was creepy because it was down and around this dark hallway, in this not-so-clean gym with flickering, buzzing fluorescent lights, and in a space that was too big for our current size.

Now, for a number of reasons I’m thankful God provided this space for our church for a season, but I’m even more grateful God recently provisioned a new space that fits who we are and the message we’re trying to send our community: You are important to us! Let’s face it, an environment goes a long way in sending that message.

Andy Stanley, North Point ChurchIn his new book, Deep and Wide, Andy Stanley makes this exact point:

“Every ministry environment involves a physical setting. It may be a large room or a small room. It may include chairs or circular carpets for seating. It may be a park or living room. Regardless of the type of setting, it needs to be appealing to the target audience. You know from experience the physical and emotional effects a comfortable, inviting environment can have. You’ve walked into offices, homes, and vacation spots and immediately felt at home. You’ve walked into those same environments at other locations and felt just the opposite.” (164)

We’ve all experienced those types of environments, haven’t we? The homey and not-so-homey? How much more important is it to have a comfortable, hospitable, normal environment for people who want to encounter God and explore His Story?

Stanley goes on to say, “Every physical setting communicates something. There are no neutral settings.” (168) So let’s get honest at the beginning of a new ministry week: What’s your space communicating? Is it comfortable? Clean and Tidy? Organized? Safe? Is there design, décor, and attention to detail?

I would encourage you and your team—whether you’re the executive pastor, a youth group leader, or small group leader—to consider these questions that Stanley offers: “What’s distracting? What’s tired? Where do you need to paint? What needs to be thrown away? Replaced? Are your settings appealing?” (172)

No, getting your ministry environment “just right” isn’t a magical pill that will solve your ministry woes. But it will go a long way in creating church environments unchurched people love to attend, not to mention your own people! There are already plenty of barriers in this world between unchurched people and the church. Let’s not let something that we can control—our space, our environment—be the make or break between people exploring and experience Christ or not.


Jeremy Bouma has spent a decade ministering among our postmodern culture, first in Washington D.C. and most recently as a pastor in West Michigan. He is the founder of THEOKLESIA—a content curator dedicated to helping the 21st century church rediscover the historic Christian faith—holds the Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and writes at www.novuslumen.net.

iPhone pictures from the 2012 Catalyst Conference

Of all the things the iPhone can do I think its greatest impact on our culture could be large scale proliferation of bad photography. ;-) As a result of owning an iPhone I take more low-grade pictures now than I ever have before. (This reminds me of a Jim Gaffigan joke from “Mr. Universe.” I’ll leave it to the Gaffigan fans out there to figure out which one I mean…)

All of that said, I thought you might enjoying seeing some of my iPhone pics from the 2012 Catalyst Conference.

Deep and Wide, North Point Church

Here’s a shot of Andy Stanley giving the opening talk to about 14,000 people at Catalyst. He told a pretty compelling story about his old church’s response to a gay pride parade. The story is found in the opening chapters of Deep & Wide, which he told everyone to “just go to the bookstore and read the first two chapters if you don’t want to buy it.” It made me laugh out loud.

Andy Stanley

This is a pic of one of the book store displays of Deep & Wide. As a book marketer it’s always really gratifying to see something like this. With God’s blessing this will be a meaningful, ministry-growing read for a lot of folks who work and volunteer in our churches. It’s exciting to see it out and ready for the public.

Andy Stanley, Deep and Wide book

After his first talk Andy Stanley did a book signing for Deep & Wide. Here’s a publishing trade secret for you: book marketers don’t like author book signings. They’re too unpredictable. We can’t ever guarantee that people will actually show up. What if no one comes and our author ends up sitting there looking foolish?

Fortunately, Andy had no problem attracting a crowd of folks who wanted to meet him and get their books signed. So many people came we had to cut it short and have some books signed later. All in all, the event turned out really well.

Deep & Wide by Andy Stanley

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Author and pastor Andy Stanley draws from Scripture and over 25 years of pastoral experience to communicate to church leaders how they can create a church where believers can have a growing faith in Jesus and at the same time unbelievers can make a vital and lasting connection—a ministry that is both deep and wide. Download a free team discussion guide and learn more at www.DeepandWidebook.com

Video interview with Andy Stanley about “Deep & Wide”

This interview was shot last week at the Catalyst Conference. If you’re curious at all about Andy Stanley’s new book, Deep & Wide, then check out this interview. He talks a lot about why he wrote it and what you’ll find in it. You can also read a sample at www.DeepandWidebook.com


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