Deep and Wide


Author and pastor Andy Stanley draws from Scripture and over 25 years of pastoral experience to bring to life the irresistible nature of this movement known as the Church. Deep and Wide provides church leaders with an in-depth look into North Point Community Church and its strategy for creating churches unchurched people absolutely love to attend. In it, Andy Stanley explains:

  • His strategy for preaching and programming to both mature believers and cynical unbelievers
  • North Point’s spiritual formation model: The Five Faith Catalysts
  • Three essential ingredients for creating irresistible environments
  • How to tackle the challenge of transitioning a local congregation

If your team is more concerned with who you are reaching than who you are keepingDeep & Wide will be more than a book you read; it will be a resource you come back to over and over!

Key Topics or Truths

Church growth
Seeker friendly with solid content
Relevancy of the church

This Book is Good For...

This book is good for the smaller and medium-sized church that wants to reach new people. It is disruptive to the idea that you have to be shallow to gather a crowd of lost people.

How I Use this Book to make disciples

I use this book to disrupt, challenge and create thought vacuums about what a church should look like and what its purpose should be. Deep and Wide is as disruptive as Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Church was in the early 1990s. I make sure that disciples take away the value of a laser-focused vision and strategy to be effective at reaching the lost and making disciples.

I have them read the entire book and talk about it after the read.

I love this book for its raw look at how God began to build a relatable church model and for the insights of a seasoned evangelist and teacher. I love the disruption and need for disciples to think critically and evaluate Stanley’s strategies.

Real Life Story

One former leader writes, “As a layman, I read with great interest Andy’s openness about the brokenness of family issues surrounding his eventual decision to leave his father’s church. It is easy for pew-sitters to place pastors on a pedastal (even above the pulpit) and assume because they are pastors their lives are always rosy. Andy shares some messy family history but it is easy to see God using those messy times for His purpose and greater good. As a layman, former ministry leader/participant, and former small group leader/participant, I also read with great interest Andy’s (and staff) obvious dedication to pastoring a brick & mortar church (and echurch/network church) with one simple message…be a church for the unchurched. A refreshing outlook to be sure. From experience, churches either pastor the flock (deep) or are “seeker” churches (wide). Some “dual role” churches do an OK job at both but usually are better at one than the other. Deep & Wide shares North Point’s formula for unabashedly seeking the unchurched while deeply pastoring the flock. A potentially controversial concept much like Pastor Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church was in the 1990s.”

Know Issues or Controversies

We had one “older guy” decide not to pursue the Sustainable Discipleship model because he saw this book listed as a recommended read for Discipleship Three. “There are other things that Andy has written that I believe are heretical,” he told me. I thought, “Are you throwing the baby out with the bathwater?” I respect people’s right to like, dislike, or even judge (though, that might be pushing it) the work and words of others. However, in this book, I see nothing but heart and help. I reread this after talking to the older guy and I still found no issues with this book.

The reader should beware of trying to mimic Andy’s specific methods. Even Andy clearly states that each church must follow God. However, the big concepts and examples of having a deep church with a wide influence are challenging, disruptive, and valuable.

I would suggest that the disciple maker not get derailed by the positive or negative judgments about this book. Likewise, I would simply leave it out if it is going to create a stumbling block for your church. At the same time, I might just push the envelope and make people uncomfortable to increase critical thinking and see how they handle disruption.

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Andy Stanley
Book Details
Reading Time
Two Weeks
Related Reads

For balance, this book pairs well with The Purpose Driven Church.

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