There’s no one in ministry I admire more than Andy Stanley. I recently read two things, one by him and one about him, that brought me great encouragement. I first read a CNN article about Andy and his dad. Then, I read the first two chapters of Andy’s latest book, “Deep and Wide.”
The article and the first two chapters of the book tell about Andy’s relationship with his father Charles following Charles’ divorce from Andy’s mother. In the book, Andy is remarkably candid. He writes about knock down, drag out fights he had with his father, counseling sessions that were a result of those fights, and a church split.
You might be wondering, “How could that bring great encouragement?” Well, I’ll tell you.
From a distance, it appears as if Andy Stanley was destined for greatness from birth. After all, he’s the son of an internationally known mega church pastor. He founded and leads one of the largest, most innovative churches in the world. He speaks at conferences, writes books, and gives interviews.
So, why were the article and the first two chapters of “Deep and Wide” so encouraging? It reminded me that I have something in common with Andy Stanley and so do you. God shapes my character when I endure difficult circumstances faithfully. The same is true for me, for you, and even for the greats like Andy Stanley.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4