Going Deep was an account of a real pastor's real experiences...just fictionalized if that makes any sense. All the specific characters and details of events were basically made up to present his ideas. Now...I hadn't read the author's first book, Who Stole My Church? and that might have been to my detriment in regards to enjoying the book. I think I'd rather hear the accounts of what actually happened when he was going through all this. So sometimes it came across as unrealistic. It was a little slow for me, and not engrossing where I couldn't put it down like I usually do. (Which, where I do love to read fiction and it's easy for me to get lost in the narrative, I also find a lot of nonfiction hard to put down. I thought this would fall in between but it was easy for me to put down when reading it). It does present a good message though just be prepared for it. It think it's a good book for church leaders.
Disclaimer: I received this book as a part of Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.
I just finished reading the book Going Deep Becoming a Person of Influence by Gordon MacDonald. If found this book moved me deeply. As I read I realized that the American Church has been so focused on quaintly rather than quality when it comes to the spiritual issues. For example how big is your Sunday service running, pastors have been in many cases reduced to CEOs rather than shepherds. I found it refreshing that a pastor and congregation was willing to step out of the "normal" church model and return to the model that Jesus gave in the New Testament. I also found the longing in my heart to see this kind of model being repeated over and over again so that we once again begin to grow spiritually deep people, who will be able to change our world for the better. I would recommend this book to every pastor or church leader with the Challenge to grow deep people who will change their city one deep person at a time, for the Kingdom of God.
After finishing this book by Gordon Macdonald, I saw "wow". The book is a bit lengthy and no doubt the point could have been made with fewer words (probably just leaving out some sections). However, the information delivered is still very much worth the read. The book addresses through a fictional story the epidemic of surface level Christians and the inability of church programs to make a difference. It address the importance of discipling and a radical way to approach it. The ideas presented could wholly change the church of today and the responsibilities of pastors today. As a lay person, there were several times I thought this book is meant for pastors. At the same time, as a Bible Study leader it was very motivating and I am so thankful that I took the time to read it. I would strongly suggest that any Christian who desires a "deeper" relationship with Christ or needs information on discipling others take advantage of this resource. There is no reason why any Christian could not apply many of the principles here to their personal journey and their ability to serve God in an effective manner. I do believe that while the story is fiction, the ideas are very real and applicable. I would highly recommend reading this book.
This book is about a fictional town New England town church and the pastor who wants his congregation to "get deep into their faith and the relationship with Jesus." This book was quite boring for me, it had a good meaning and idea, but I just couldn't seem to get through it. I enjoyed reading Who stole my church and thought I would enjoy this book the same way.
I would only recommend this book to those who are not looking to a deep message book and those that can handle the same repitious meaning in each chapter. This book was a let down for me.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Going Deep: becoming a person of influence by Gordon MacDonald
I was inspired to read this book, because I think it is vital that Christians become deep people, strongly rooted in God's Word, eager to become more like Him, and willing to constantly share with others what He has been teaching them. But sadly, this book, in contrast to the seemingly strong title, is actually quite shallow.
The story runs as follows: A pastor is praying for a "great idea" to train future leaders and to grow some influential Christians in the church. The end result is "CDP: Cultivating Deep People." A few people from the church are selected to be a part of the CDP group, and they spend a year of discipleship with the pastor and his wife (meeting every Monday night for 40 weeks). The book follows the formulating of the plan and the first CDP group's experience.
As I began reading, my first disappointment came when I realized the book was written in entirely fictional form with the pastor Gordon MacDonald and his wife being the only â€˜real' characters in the book. I consoled myself with the thought that maybe it was still a very inspirational book, like Charles Sheldon's In His Steps, which is also a fictional work! So I continued reading, an activity which, quite frankly, became more and more tedious. When I say tedious, I don't mean I that was intimidated by the length of the book. Usually three hundred and eighty-three pages is nothing to me, since I love reading. But I found that this book was too simply written, tedious, and very repetitive. The constant use of modern language, phrases and technology exasperated me. It is already obvious that Americans as a whole are losing their rate of literacy and intelligence. Why encourage that by writing and reading books written in the style of conversations and thoughts of the 21st century- badly constructed, with poor vocabulary?
Still, I could have forgiven the writing style if the book had taught me some valuable lessons; if it had inspired to become a deeper person in the Lord. Which I have to admit, it did not.
I feel that the author is coming from a totally wrong angle. Instead of cultivating deep people for God's glory, he tries to train deep people for further use in the church, as if it were a business. Maybe I am misunderstanding the book and the author himself, as I come from a different background. I never had to deal with a large church organization. But even for those in charge of large Christian organizations, or churches, I don't see how this book could teach, help or inspire!
I suggest you stick to the Bible, or the fabulous authors and preachers of past centuries: A.W.Pink, C. Spurgeon, J.Edwards, J. Calvin, etc!
If you are looking for a simple fictional book to inspire you to live more for Jesus, read In His Steps by Charles Sheldon.
Lastly, I do not agree with the rÃ´les women play in the fictitious church in this book. The pastor â€˜'Mac'' finds himself subject to learning from several wise women in the church, women who were either deacons in the church or members. That wasn't right.
And one phrase bothered me: â€˜there are wonderful younger people, but they have a whole different take on church and faith. They resist highly structured organizations. They say they follow Jesus, but they don't like to subscribe to doctrinal statements. They love community, but they dislike authority. They say they believe in the importance of personal salvation, but sometimes they're not sure how salvation happens.'
This is true, and those poor young people need to change! But the pastor â€˜'Mac'' goes on to state that the older people can learn something from these young people, as well as teach them. Hmm_in the above sentence about the young people, I don't see anything good they can impart to their elders. Just a thought.
There ARE true points in this book:
-The future of the Christian faith will not be determined by the number of people who fill the pews but by the spiritual depth of those people.
-"There are plenty of good people, well-meaning people, sincere people â€” but not enough deep people."
-It is TRUE that Christians need to be DEEP, spiritually-minded, and strive for the BEST.
I just wish the book had emphasized that MORE!
By the way, I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review, instead encouraged to write what I think. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." Thanks for reading!