Gordon McDonald's Book, Going Deep was written in a rather slow moving, unique and fictional style. Although his concepts and ideas of cultivating spiritual maturity and exhibiting a life-altering faith leave the reader extremely inspired, he doesn't leave the reader with tangible how-to's, that work in the real live "nitty-gritty" world. One thing that was evident in the fictional CDP (cultivating deep people) initiative in the book, was, to go deep you have got to be hungry! To go deep you have got to be committed! It is one thing to take a fictional group of characters and portray hunger and commitment in order to achieve an end result/desire of Going Deep. It is something that proves much more difficult when dealing with true humanity in the 21st century. Until a second edition comes out that is "real life" tried and true, (I think we call it revival) , I will remain inspired to get more hungry....to get more committed....then and only then....are we GOING DEEP!
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I have read Gordon MacDonald's books since his "Ordering Your Private World" was published back in 1985. MacDonald's latest book, "Going Deep: Becoming a Person of Influence," continues his passion for maturity in the Christian ranks. Frankly I was attracted to the title.
He writes in narrative, about a fictional (but real) church, as a vehicle to communicate his points and recommendations. The subtitle of this book is a bit deceiving since it's really written for church leadership versus the individual who wants to go deep and become a person of influence. MacDonald prescribes a rigorous discipleship/leadership program that he and his wife have developed. It's a program I'd love to lead in our church.
In the Preface, MacDonald reveals his inspiration: "My visit to West Point provoked me with a nagging question. What would happen if the church I served became committed to a high-priority leadership training effort that took its inspiration from the mission of West Point?"
He goes on to say,"In the course of this book I will try to express the idea that leadership is first about character, then about a disciplined charisma and competence. In other words, reshape the spiritual parts of a person, as Jesus did, and a forceful but humble kind of leadership begins to emerge from within."
"What might happen if a church made the development of deep people its highest priority? Let me take that question a step further. What if a church decided that its pastor's greatest responsibility was to lead the effort to produce a continuous flow of deep people?"
MacDonald challenges the reader with great questions, challenging questions (feel free to replace your name for the word church) :
What is your church doing today that would cause anyone to be attracted to it?
How can our church enlarge its core congregation with deep people who are prepared to take us into tomorrow exemplifying the Christ-following life and inspiring us to fulfill the mission God has given us?
The interesting approach he's taken in writing Going Deep, is that it is both memoir, journal, roadmap and instruction. He's done a good bit of the legwork in mapping out a program for the pastor or church leader interested in growing deep people.
Several years ago Gordon MacDonald wrote a book, about a church and the people who didn't realize just how much they needed to and wanted to change the way they were doing things. Going Deep: Becoming a Person of Influence picks up where that book left off.
This is the story of a church that has transitioned over time, and become a relevant entity in its community. But now it's time for the next step. Dr MacDonald, pastor, author, educator, in his role as pastor of this transforming church has a conversation with a neighbor, a neighbor who doesn't go to church, but who has some good ideas. He asks "GMAC" for an elevator story of the church, and the process begins.
Many churches have it down pat when it comes to doing what they need to be doing to further the kingdom today, but MacDonald and his leadership team, the people that are committed to going deep, take it a step further. They become intentional about finding deep people and training them. These people are being trained to train others and to be future leaders.
It's not all easy, and we get a glimpse of the conflicts that arise when certain people aren't chosen. We see the heartbreak when someone drops out, the joy when people are transformed, and we get to experience grace in many different ways.
Seminary still has its place for training church leaders, but this book shows that much of the â€˜nuts and bolts' training can and should be done at the level of the local church.
This book is an enjoyable read, but it lacks some of the enthusiasm of Who Stole My Church.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.
I absolutely LOVED the book, "Going Deep," by Gordon MacDonald! The principles and concepts that MacDonald promotes through this fictional story of a church and the new focus that it takes are very thought provoking.
MacDonald, along with his wife, are the main characters of this book. He is the pastor of a fictional church. As you read this book, you "listen in" on the many emails, notes, and conversations that take place as he and his wife embark on a "great idea" to transform their church by developing "deep" (more like Christ) spiritual leaders. This program is all about finding "growable" people, and cultivating them to become deeper through an intense small group training process.
I love the insight and Biblical wisdom that is promoted throughout this book. Sometimes the writing is a little unrealistic, as I think this new "idea" for a church went over too smoothly to be true; however, when a book makes me think and grow as much as this one does, I can overlook a few lapses in good writing.
My wheels are turning after reading this book. MacDonald's concepts about how to become a "deeper" person could be fleshed out in various programs, relationships, conversations, and ministries. I am challenged by this book to become a deeper Christian, and to seek intentional ways to make that happen. I highly recommend this book to anyway who desires to grow in Christ!
"There are plenty of good people, well-meaning people, sincere people - but not enough deep people."
Dr. Gordon MacDonald wants his church to have deeper leaders with a sense of Christ-like purpose. Using the platform of his previous book, Who Stole My Church?, Dr. MacDonald uses a realistic, yet fictionalized congregation in New England to tell the story of a church seeking to grow into a portion of the Body of Christ that thrives in a world in need of a Savior.
One of the first myths that Dr. MacDonald fights against is the idea that excellent leadership requires excellent numbers. Rather than focusing on a large group of individuals in order to cause change, MacDonald's Deep highlights the importance of the power of a few, dedicated and deep people. Citing an Korean woman that prays fervently for her church family or the elder with a specific gift, MacDonald weaves a story that allows all believers of the risen Lord to be a catalyst for change.
Though MacDonald uses the form of a fictionalized congregation to tell the story of change and growth, perhaps the most powerful advice that he gives is in the preface. Here, MacDonald paints the picture of what a "deep" person looks like. Simply, a deep Christian is one that loves Jesus without restraint, cares for others, and works to extend the Kingdom. Through the rest of his text, MacDonald shows how the points in his preface can be made real in the lives of all Christians. Without a doubt, Going Deep is a creative book that allows one to make his or her life for Christ into one of leadership and servanthood.
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