Friday, December 2, 2011

Going Deep

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. As a pastor's wife with a passion for discipleship, I was interested in hearing what MacDonald had to say on the topic.

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.

(Note: This book was provided by Thomas Nelson as part of it's blogger review program.)

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