The combination of title and author drew me to this book. I’ve enjoyed and been challenged by Gordon’s writing over the years. This book is written in the same style as ‘Who Stole My Church‘, which is fictional, written in conversational, easy style with the only two ‘real’ characters, Gordon and his wife Gail. Gordon leads a small church in New England and the books spans two years of church life.
Gordon is challenged by various situations and people, particularly his unchurched neighbour, Hank Soriano, to look to the future church and ‘an idea’ is birthed. Gordon is nearing retirement and concerned for the church stating “We seem to know how to get unchurched people to visit our buildings. We even seem to know how to draw them across the line into a declaration of personal faith in Jesus. But what we do not seem to know is how to cultivate spiritually deep people. Tomorrow’s church could be headed for trouble.”
With this in mind, ‘the big idea’ is birthed, an intensive mentoring program for a hand picked 14-18 ‘growable’ people who will meet with Gordon and Gail at their home forty times over a year, a type of rabbinical contract. The program is given the title ‘Cultivating Deep People’ or CDP. The purpose, to grow the chosen people into effective leaders of today and tomorrow. Acheived through various means such as – understanding self through personality tests, recognising gifts, ability to share life stories (really share…) understanding scripture, in-depth bible studies, examining heroes of the faith.
The way forward has to be deep people in our churches, whatever your church might look like. Deep people who know what community really looks like, how it functions, people who know themselves well, are thankful for the gifts they have been given and are able to live them.
There is no doubt that small (care, cell, house:) groups are fundamental to church life.
I am challenged to consider how a ‘CDP’ group would work in my church setting of 4 communities and 1500 people.
I am excited to consider that this is more than a cell group but an intentional mentoring program for our potential leaders.
My final thought would be in addition to a work of fiction to teach us the ‘Going Deep’ principles I would love to see real life case studies portrayed, maybe that is what Pastor Mac will write next. ‘The CDP mentoring program for churches’
Sounds good to me!
The book begins with a couple of classic quotes, first from Richard Foster: “The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people” and secondly from Oswald Chambers “Disciples (deep people) are not manufactured wholesale. They are produced one by one, because someone has taken the pains to discipline, to instruct and enlighten, to nurture and train one that is younger”
Time to Dig.
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