Who knows how many will find their way to peace by what they read here? A more important question to you, dear reader, is this--Will you be one of them?
A certain man placed a fountain by the wayside, and he hung up a cup near to it by a little chain. He was told some time after that a great art-critic had found much fault with its design. "But," said he, "do many thirsty persons drink at it?" Then they told him that thousands of poor people, men, women, and children, slaked their thirst at this fountain; and he smiled and said, that he was little troubled by the critic's observation, only he hoped that on some sultry summer's day the critic himself might fill the cup, and he refreshed, and praise the name of the Lord.
Here is my fountain, and here is my cup: find fault if you please; but do drink of the water of life. I only care for this. I had rather bless the soul of the poorest crossing-sweeper, or rag-gatherer, than please a prince of the blood, and fail to convert him to God.
Reader, do you mean business in reading these pages? If so, we are agreed at the outset; but nothing short of your finding Christ and Heaven is the business aimed at here. Oh that we may seek this together! I do so by dedicating this little book with prayer. Will not you join me by looking up to God, and asking Him to bless you while you read? Providence has put these pages in your way, you have a little spare time in which to read them, and you feel willing to give your attention to them. These are good signs. Who knows but the set time of blessing is come for you? At any rate, "The Holy Ghost saith, Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts."
THE CONTEMPORARY SKETCHES of the life of Spurgeon are an interesting conglomerate of significant facts, but they scarcely give an adequate picture of the man as he lived and laboured with such prodigious energy. It seemed desirable, therefore, that before those who knew him and shared in his ministry had passed away, someone who had the privilege of his friendship should say the things about him that still needed to be said, and place the familiar things in truer perspective than was possible at the time.That pleasant burden has been placed upon me, and in fulfilment of the charge I have allowed to drop out of sight a multitude of particulars which were only interesting at the moment, not chronicling events as in an epoch but presenting the personality as in an epic, although I can only summon common prose in the doing of it.
In the blood of Jesus God speaks peace and love to every sinner that believes; and that same precious blood enables the believer to draw near and keep near to God. The blood of Christ, being the true ground of peace and source of confidence in God, gives rest of conscience in God's presence, where Jesus now is, and fills the heart with praise.
Many believers, however, are in great bondage. They truly look to Christ for salvation, and haveeternal life, though they are scarcely sensible of it. Like Lazarus, when he left the tomb, they really have life, but are unable to walk in liberty, to minister for the Lord, or happily confess His name, because of the grave-clothes which envelop them. They struggle; but they are fettered, and need to be loosed. Some vainly try to get liberty by looking into their own hearts, or are expecting to receive it from some man, instead of looking only to Christ, and believing His Word. It is of the utmost importance that the believer should learn from God's truth his security and standing in Christ; that he is already a child of God, on the other side of death, in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus; not yet with, but in, Christ Jesus. This being realized, the natural inquiry must be, What is my hope? We reply, The Lord's coming. We do not hope to have everlasting life; for he that believeth hath everlasting life. (John 5:24.) We do not hope for forgiveness of sins; this also we have now: "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Eph. 1:7.) We do not hope for righteousness; this too we have now; for "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." (Rom. 10:4.) What, then, do we look for? The inspired reply is, "We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body." (Phil. 3:20, 21.)
With surprising candor and transparency pastor Andy Stanley explains how one of America’s largest churches began with a high-profile divorce and a church split.
But that’s just the beginning...
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. Andy writes,
“Our goal is to create weekend experiences so compelling and helpful that even the most skeptical individuals in our community would walk away with every intention of returning the following week...with a friend!”
Later he says,
“I want people to fall in love with the Author of Scripture. And while we can’t make anyone fall in love, we can certainly arrange a date.”
For the first time, Andy explains his strategy for preaching and programming to “dual audiences”: mature believers and cynical unbelievers. He argues that preaching to dual audiences doesn’t require communicators to “dumb down” the content. According to Stanley, it’s all in the approach.
You’ll be introduced to North Point's spiritual formation model: The Five Faith Catalysts. Leaders responsible for ministry programing and production will no doubt love Andy’s discussion of the three essential ingredients for creating irresistible environments. For pastors willing to tackle the challenge of transitioning a local congregation, Andy includes a section entitled: Becoming Deep and Wide.
If your team is more concerned with who you are reaching than who you are keeping, Deep & Wide will be more than a book you read; it will be a resource you come back to over and over!
“Couldn't be prouder of my son, Andy. And I couldn't be more excited about the content of this book. I wish a resource like this existed when I was starting out in ministry.”
- Dr. Charles Stanley, Founder, In Touch Ministries
“Deep and Wide pulls back the curtain for all of us to see what is required behind the scenes to build a prevailing church. I was both challenged and inspired by this book.”
- Bill Hybels, author of Just Walk Across the Room
“The most common question I get from pastors is, ‘How do I get the people in my church to be open to change?’ From now on my answer will be, ‘Read Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley’. Thanks Andy. Great book!”
- Craig Groeschel, Pastor, LifeChurch.TV, author, It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It
“No one has given me more practical handles for establishing a focused vision than Andy Stanley. Deep and Wide is a rich resource to help all of us stay intentional about the main thing - building a church that reaches people who are far from God.”
- Steven Furtick, Lead Pastor, Elevation Church