The more I listen and read of Andy Stanley the more I love his heart for the church. In many ways he is the person to succeed and develop Bill Hybel’s mantle of application of business and management techniques to the church.
This book was straightforward to read. The first half uses a narrative to look at the seven principles that are behind the seven practices. I enjoyed the story, and it gave me a chance to get my head more fully around the seven practices, which are:
- Clarify the Win | Define what is important at every level of the organization
- Think Steps, Not Programs | Before you start anything, make sure it takes you where you need to go
- Narrow the Focus | Do fewer things in order to make a greater impact
- Teach Less For More | Say only what you need to say to the people who need to hear it
- Listen to Outsiders | Focus on who you’re trying to reach, not who you’re trying to keep
- Replace Yourself | Learn to hand off what you do
- Work On It | Take time to evaluate your work – and to celebrate your wins
The second half digs through the seven practices and how they are applied in to a church setting, with wonderful examples from Granger Community Church’s history itself.
As I read this book I found several really helpful questions or suggestions, here’s just a few:
When is the last time you won at church? (p. 32)
A good step has to be easy, obvious, and strategic. (p. 37)
If you really want to make a lasting impact, then you need to eliminate what you do well for the sake of what you can potentially do best. (p. 100)
In one sense this book says nothing new, especially if you’ve ever read any business books. But, and this is the key point, it very clearly applies them into the church setting, something very few others do.