Just finished Andy Stanley’s book Deep and Wide. (Andy is the pastor at North Point Church in Atlanta.) WOW! What a book for pastors and leaders! I loved every page (even the ones that hurt my feelings!). I highly recommend this book for people who attend North Creek Church as well. So much of our current model of ministry is based off of North Point and it may help you understand why we do what we do and help you be a part of it in a more strategic way.
The best part of the book was simply the reminder of what it takes to lead a church. I think sometimes it’s easy to focus on the warm and fuzzy parts of ministry and wish that was the job description…holding the new babies, hugging necks on Sunday mornings, and watching spiritual “light bulbs” come on in people’s lives. But the other side is what creates those moments and it’s tough…vision casting, correcting course, fighting for your culture, leading change, and changing minds. It’s a weight that is heavy, but it must be carried if we are to raise up churches that do more than sustain the status quo.
Here are some of my favorite excerpts from the book:
“We know that the best performers usually build the biggest churches, but not necessarily the healthiest ones.”
“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.”
“[At North Point Church] we are inconsistent and at times unfair. Not on purpose. We just find that clinging to grace and truth creates tension.”
“Our goal isn’t to create an environment that is ‘set apart from the world.’ We are up to something way more significant than that. We want to change the world.”
“Vision is the place to begin every discussion pertaining to change. You should never begin a conversation about change by addressing where you are now. You should always begin with where you want to be.”
“Watch what happens when a leader who is naive enough to believe that Jesus is still building his church stands up and casts a vision so compelling that it ignites the imaginations of people who were secretly longing to give their lives to something bigger than themselves.”
“Ask [Jesus] to burden you with something worth risking your career for.”
Just those few lines out of the book are enough to challenge the very core of every pastor. I know it challenges me! Good thing I love a challenge…
I believe that North Creek has all the ingredients to reach into the hearts of those who are far from God and watch Him change their lives. And we will stop at nothing less. Would you do us a favor and pray for our pastoral staff? We want to be leaders of a mighty movement of God. The cost of that is high, but so are the rewards. Let’s build a Church that changes the world.