Thursday, November 17, 2011

book review: going deep

title: going deep: becoming a person of influence
author: gordon macdonald
publisher: thomas nelson
date: 2011

The frontpiece of "Going Deep" is a quote from Richard Foster: "The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people."

In "Going Deep" Gordon MacDonald revisits the fictional congregation from his book, "Who Stole My Church". While I have read some of MacDonld's other books, I have not read that book. The description is intriguing: "The future of the Christian faith will not be determined by the number of people who fill the pews but by the spiritual depth of those people.

The basic story line is that of a pastor who is drawing close to retirement who is challenged to consider what his legacy will be in terms of leaving the church healthy and in a position to experience long-term health and growth. Based on his interaction with several people, MacDonald, begins to develop what is known as the "big idea" at first and which later becomes known as CDP, "Cultivating Deep People." What is the "big idea" or CDP? Basically it is a year-long small group mentoring program. 

The book's concept is good: write a story rather than an academic book to describe cultivating people of depth. However, I found the plot line to be very slow in developing. And the "big idea" is not really all that big - small group ministry has always been at the forefront of deep churches. 

Another aspect I struggled with in the book is that MacDonald's narrative is too perfect. I have never been in a situation where everything falls into place as neatly as it does here, even the conflict gets neatly resolved. That does not resonnate with me. This is not how real people, real ministry and real life works. This book could have been much stronger and would have moved along at a faster pace if some more realistic pushback was in the plot.

In summary: it's OK, but not highly recommended.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

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