What does it mean to go deep in the Christian faith? What does it look like? The title alone of Gordon MacDonald’s book grabbed my attention. Starting with Richard Foster’s quote, “The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.” I agree, but how?
Answering that question is why Going Deep is a great book to read. Using a fictional style that tells the story of one pastor, his wife and his church’s progress in going deep, MacDonald writes in a style that grabs my attention. Instead of simply saying do this, he shows how the good deep process developed over 2 years in the story of his fictional church.
He readily admits he bases the pastor and his wife, on his own life and his own wife, but the rest of the characters come alive in their interaction. The secret in going deep is going deep with a small group of people on a definite path of study, but even more doing life over a year’s period and beyond. Lifting up the power of prayer, the power of God’s Word, and the power of community in that mix, MacDonald lays out how the story of faith and going deep can develop.
Going Deep affirms how congregations must grow smaller to grow larger. The idea as Andy Stanley puts it that the best teaching doesn’t happen in rows, but in circles. Those who lead small groups, huddles or missional communities will appreciate and be encouraged in the story MacDonald tells and the truth this books teaches. They will also appreciate the support he brings from others for the group he meets with weekly.
One change I would have made is the Patrick Lencioni style of writing. He too often tells a business related story, and then in the end draws out the principles in a synopsis. It would have been a nice addition to the book. I was especially intrigued to learn more about the teaching materials. Though the ultimate teaching opportunities the book affirms is when the truths of the Bible interact with the reality of our lives and people desire to learn, there is an opportunity to go deep.
I give the book 5 out of 5 stars. I read it while flying home from Florida, it was a great airplane read. Even more it challenges me to build a church where people (and especially me) go deep with Christ.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://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