HT to Mark Howell for this one… It’s a quote from Andy Stanley on what would really happen if he, his staff, and all the buildings ceased to exist.
Let’s say that something happens to me, all the staff, and all the buildings simultaneously explode. Let’s make it worst case scenario. There’s no staff. There’s no buildings. And there’s no me. Here’s what would happen. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of the following week, thousands and thousands of adults would gather in homes all over the city and pray together, and do Bible study together and take care of whatever family members are left over and the church is going to go on…. Because at the end of the day, circles are better than rows. And from day one, we’ve been committed to creating a culture that’s all about circles and not rows. We are famous for our rows. But the strength of our churches is what happens in circles.
So… how would YOUR church do if you, your staff, and your buildings were instantly blown off the face of the earth?
Would the church continue?
Be honest? What would happen?
OK… see if this intro does not make you want to read the whole article:
Andy Stanley walked into his pastor’s office, filled with dread.
The minister sat in a massive chair behind an enormous desk. He spread his arms across the desk as if he were bracing for battle. His secretary scurried out of the office when she saw Andy coming.
The pastor had baptized Andy when he was 6, and groomed him to be his successor. But a private trauma had gone public. And Andy felt compelled to speak.
The minister stared in silence as Andy gave him the news. The “unspoken dream” both men shared was over.
After Andy finished, the pastor looked at him as tears welled up.
“Andy,” he said, “you have joined my enemies, and I’m your father.”
In this exclusive CNN article, Andy and Charles share what really happened when Andy quit First Baptist Atlanta and started North Point Ministries.
It’s a pretty inside and open look at two of America’s more popular preachers.
I’d love to hear your first impressions after reading it. Please leave a comment.
This makes me angry. Should it?
By making a point, this pastor and church has alienated the very people they should be reaching.
I like how Andy Stanley puts it: I’d rather make a difference than a point.
The town got the point.
But the church has lost it’s chance to make a difference.
Way to rally the base and lose the war.
It’s been seventeen years since Andy Stanley left his father’s First Baptist Church in Atlanta. Seventeen years since Charles Stanley’s controversial divorce, and seventeen years since the rift that caused the father/son ministry team to separate.
Last month, Andy Stanley spoke at First Baptist to honor his father’s 80th birthday. And he opened up to the Atlanta Journal Constitution about the awkward departure from First Baptist, the founding of North Point, and the healing that’s taken place between him and his father:
North Point answered the call of Andy Stanley on Sunday and gave over $1.5 million to the church’s ‘Be Rich’ campaign.
According to 11alive.com:
The idea started at North Point Ministries five years ago and caught on quickly. The message from the pulpit was very simple — you have it, they don’t.
“The reality is by world standards, if we have more than we need, we are rich. So this is an opportunity not to be rich, but to be rich toward others,” said North Point’s director of community services, Bryan Apinis.
From the pulpit, the needs were spelled out — give to support foster care, find shelter for the homeless, rebuild inner city schools and help with health care.
“We help several other organizations,” said congregation member Kenneth Washington. “We go downtown and actually feed the homeless. If you saw that crowd and saw the number of people who show up — kids running around in diapers — you would feel compelled to give every single time. We take out little guys downtown with us so they can appreciate how good they have it.”
This type of giving — with no bounds or strings attached — is adding another dimension to Georgia hospitality. It’s called Georgia generosity.
Just two years ago, North Point Ministries raised a quarter-million dollars in one day. On Sunday, they did it again — raising more than $1.5 million from its congregations in a single day.
Way to go North Point!
Leadership Journal recently interviewed both Tim Keller and Andy Stanley. Both have recently written books on reaching communities.
But Andy and Tim are very different from each other in their approach.
This LJ article shows the differences and the similarities that you might find interesting:
Geographically, New York and Atlanta are less than 900 miles apart. Culturally, they occupy different universes. New York is fast-paced, cutthroat, and secular. Atlanta, by contrast, is southern, faith-friendly, the last big loop on the Bible Belt. • Like the cities in which they minister, Tim Keller and Andy Stanley are markedly different as well. Stanley is a pragmatist, a leader’s leader known for his vision and commitment to creating environments where the unchurched feel welcomed. Keller, on the other hand, is a professorial presence, a skilled theologian who effectively addresses the doubts of intellectual urbanites. • Both have new books explaining their distinctive ministry philosophies. Tim Keller’s tome is Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City (Zondervan, 2012). Andy Stanley’s magnum opus is Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend (Zondervan, 2012). • We spoke with Keller and Stanley about what they’ve written. Their answers uncovered some deep differences—and surprising similarities.
First, the book trailers:
Andy Stanley goes ‘all political’ on his twitter stream yesterday:
Would have been a lot more exciting if he would have switched out ‘wannabe immigrants’ with ‘illegal aliens’, don’t you think?
Andy Stanley has some preaching advice that he shared at the NewSpring Leadership Conference:
“It’s really your approach, and not your content, that determines how well that you engage unchurched people…If we’re not willing to adjust our sails and adjust our approach, you can spend your entire life … telling the truth and driving people away from it at the same time… Non-Christians aren’t supposed to obey the Bible… We’d love for them to … But when you preach broadly and you don’t differentiate, what unchurched people hear is judgment.”
“We do not believe Jesus rose from the dead because Adam and Eve were literal, physical people … The basis of Christianity is not all the difficult to believe parts of the Old Testament, but as long as we present to our children and to our generation it’s all or nothing, that’s almost impossible to defend… You know why I believe in the resurrection? Not because of the B-I-B-L-E. Because Matthew saw it, Mark talked to somebody who saw it, Luke interviewed a whole bunch of people who saw it, John saw it, Peter saw it, James saw it … I don’t know what happened to dinosaurs, and I don’t know anything about Adam and Eve, but I believe Jesus rose from the dead, and when you start believing Jesus rose from the dead, you’re going to take the Old Testament a lot more seriously.”
Catalyst One Day is coming to Atlanta! Make plans to attend on Monday, March 26, at North Point Community Church. Join Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel for a one day leadership event focused on the topic of Creating Healthy Organizational Culture. This practical leadership experience includes 4 sessions of content, Q and A, dynamic music, and a full day of practical insight from two of the principal voices on leadership in the Church today. Visit http://
Interesting. Louie Giglio shares about how he met Andy Stanley in sixth grade during a shaving cream fight, under a bunk bed, hiding from the big guys at church camp.
And Andy Stanley shares how no one showed up for his first-ever sermon.
And how Andy and Louie got in trouble during church for exploding a fake cigarette.
Do you have any stories like this. Did you go to high school with anybody famous? Or sermons that nobody showed up for?
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