“Going Deep” by Gordon MacDonald. This newest book by MacDonald is a continuation of the story of a fictional church going through growth. Rather than the typical book on how to grow your church MacDonald uses a novel approach, so it is a bit easier to read. He uses real characters with names and personalities to illustrate his principles of church growth. This makes the story come to life and kept my interest.
That said, it was a bit hard to keep reading, there was a lot of detail and even more characters, so sometimes I got confused or just bogged down. There are 384 pages, so a little longer than some books. If you are in a place to influence your church leadership, then this is definitely a book to consider. MacDonald illustrates a program that he calls Cultivating Deep People (CDP) and it is modeled after the rabbinic disciplining method. He shares the entire process from idea to completion of the group of “deep people”.
Downsides: The story stops with the conclusion of the first session, so there is no information of long-term effects or subsequent groups. And with a couple of small exceptions, there is little negative information of what happened (one guy dropped out, one couple left the church). And the book is a bit long.
Upside: Principals can be used for any church or sub group within a church (youth, young adult, etc) While there are no check lists, there is enough specific information to quickly develop your own plan to implement the program in your own location. In our ultra modern age, it is wonderful to see ancient learning practices making a come back.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of “Going Deep” from Thomas Nelson Publishers as a member of their Book Sneeze program. All opinions expressed are my own.