"Going Deep" by Gordon MacDonald was one of the easiest book I have ever had to review. I read his first book in the series called "Who Stole My Church" so that I would understand the second book and know all of the characters.
"Going Deep" is a fiction about a Pastor who senses that God is leading him to a new great idea that could change the way he does church forever. Pastor Gordon and his wife, Gail explore this great idea and what it means to cultivate deep people. Most of the book is their research and exploration of the idea. The remainder of the book you get to sit in on their meetings with their group of people and watch them grow as they are discipled by Pastor Gordon and Gail. That would be my biggest complaint about the story; it spends too much time in the process of developing a program and not enough time really showing us how to grow deep people.
I loved the term "deep" person. It was intriguing to watch the different people that the Pastor talked with to get information on how to cultivate deep people. He went to a business person, other pastors and even a Jewish rabbi. This book gives great strategies but all in a fiction which makes it easy to read. I just wished there were more strategies. I loved the characters. I loved watching what they were going through and seeing them grow together as a team. This book really made me want to get more involved in discipling the people in my life.
I would highly recommend this book; it was definitely an exciting sequel. I received this book, published by Thomas Nelson as part of the BookSneeze program.
This is a book for those interested the next generation becoming people of influence- deep people. While written in a fiction format, the truths taught through story form a practical, and powerful message. It is appropriate for any high school and up, student of leadership and discipleship
I really enjoyed this book. It deeply connected with the heart of the reader. While it was written in prose, it contained enough solid Biblical and practical content to begin a journey of developping deeper people, which is so desperately needed today. Get this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
In Going Deep, the author (Gordon) is concerned that his small New England church is missing something quite important. Throughout the story, Gordon engages in a series of conversations that help him identify the missing component in their small community of faith, "people of true depth, and people of real influence." As the story progresses, a journey of faith takes place for a group of individuals who are identified as "growable", people who are respected, influential, and would be willing to take their faith to the next level.
This story is fictional, but is written in a way that pulls the reader in and engages them at each part of the journey. The story made me think deeper about my own "church experience" and helped me see the depth of people that we are longing for in our world today. The author wrote as himself in the first person, so the reader gets a glimpse into his thoughts and emotions throughout the story. Each chapter was a different day and started out with a short email, journal entry, or handwritten note that give the reader a glimpse into the daily character interactions.
The overall message was inspiring and caused me to have conversations with others about what it looks like to cultivate spiritual maturity and how that could happen in my own life. I will tell others about this book, because I think this message is critically important for the Christian church today. Anyone who has a sense that there is a lack of depth of "deep people" in our churches, or anyone who is concerned for the next generations of young people in their faith journeys should read this book. Expect to be inspired to grow in your faith and to be challenged to become a person with a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ.
I waited with eager anticipation for my review copy of Gordon MacDonald's latest book, "Going Deep" (published by Thomas Nelson) to arrive. The content of the book was supposed to be on a subject matter I consider to be critical to today's church, so I was excited someone had written on the topic.
Unfortunately, "Going Deep" only offers a nugget on the topic of the vital need for the church to disciple Christians to maturity --- to take them "deep" --- which is a great failure of the church today.
The "nugget" is found on the first page of the book. You don't even have to read through the preface or acknowledgements to get it. It's a quote by Richard Foster, stating, "The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people."
MacDonald must have found the quote to be profound (which, I think, it is) because he wrote a book around it. Unfortunately, instead of applying the message of the quote, he didn't "go deep" on the need for "going deep." MacDonald doesn't give a "deep" reasoning for the critical need to disciple believers to a depth of real maturity, or address why the church isn't doing that, or discuss how it could be done today. Instead, he picks up from his previous book, "Who Stole My Church?" and writes a fictional story about a pastor who is moved by a question and Foster's quote to develop a discipleship group aimed at "cultivating deep people."
Perhaps MacDonald thought he could provide a deeper understanding of the need for "going deep" by telling a fictional story of a church actually doing it. I can understand the thinking behind such action, but it misses going deep on something that needs much greater depth.
While I greatly appreciate MacDonald bringing attention to Richard Foster's great insight by sharing his quote, their are some things MacDonald puts into his fictitious story that are minor distractions.
For example, he has the pastor of this fictional church react to Foster's quote as if he had never considered the need to disciple people to full maturity (depth), and suggests that's not really the job of today's church leaders. It's true too many church leaders are failing to "cultivate deep people," but being responsible for discipling believers to maturity is hardly a novel idea for a pastor.
Other distractions include an obvious preference (based on numerous references) of viewing the church as a "community" instead of a body (Christ's body) or family (God's family). If you're really going to "go deep," you'll understand that the Bible does not teach that God adopted us to be a part of His "community," but, rather, to be His own adopted children. There's a vast difference between being a part of a community and being a brother or sister in a family or being a connected part of a body. The biblical view of the church is significantly more intimate than the concept of "community."
MacDonald almost seems to see mentoring and discipling as different names for the same thing. Again, there is a marked difference between mentoring and discipling. To take people "deep" spiritually, we must disciple them (at least, if we're going to follow the biblical mandate for doing so).
MacDonald's fictional pastor is also quite comfortable going outside the church for discipleship techniques, turning to a business executive and a rabbi for ideas. Perhaps if MacDonald would have focused on a deep look at the need for "going deep" he would have noted that the church's proclivity to copy business or cultural methods is a contributing reason why the church is failing at developing spiritually "deep people."
MacDonald also flirts with the controversial by subtly suggesting women should be able to serve as elders. Many of his potential readers belong to churches or denominations that believe scripture teaches the position of pastor and elder are to be held by men. Tossing in this aspect of controversy is just a distraction to his subject matter.
Finally, MacDonald's fictional pastor views being part of the "cultivating deep people" group as something that only select people should be invited to. The approach to discipleship or mentoring in this book is offered only to potential leaders. Yet every Christian, whether a leader or a follower, needs to be discipled to maturity.
MacDonald does a helpful thing in stirring our thoughts regarding the need to cultivate deep people. The problem is, once he offers that nugget, the remainder of the book is shallow territory.
Disclosure of Material Connection: 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. 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."
How does someone summarize a book that is written like a novel but is technically non-fiction? That is what makes Going Deep by Gordon MacDonald a great book. He writes about the topic of making disciples and what the discipleship process could look like. As Gordon states in the beginning of the book, most of the characters are imaginary except for his wife Gail and himself. The book goes through the process of developing an elevator story for a church to creating a discipleship program that cultivates deep people to seeing the fruit of that first year of the program.
The book is very interesting. The way Gordon wrote the book keeps the reader's attention. The book was very hard to put down. The author challenges the reader to think about the benefits of discipleship as well as the need to have a discipleship process in place. The author used the book to inspire me to pass the book on to my pastor. We have both read books dealing with the topic of discipleship. However, this is the first one that I have read that gives an idea how a discipleship model may be implemented in a church complete with potential issues that arise. The book also enlightens the reader to be observant of others' actions and to realize what characteristics show in a person who is ready to be discipled into a deeper relationship with Jesus that in turn produces other deep disciples keeping the process repeating. The author did make me think with how the book is written. I keep thinking about the possibilities of having something similar implemented at my home church. The information that Gordon provides in the book is very cohesive. Gordon also conveyed Biblical truth in a relatively easy to understand manner. My copy of the book I already have planned to recommend to my pastor. Anyone that is in a leadership position at a church or para-church organization should read the book to see how the information can be applied to develop deeper people both Biblically and in terms of service to the organization.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 FCR, Part 255.