Geographically, New York and Atlanta are less than 900 miles apart. Culturally, they occupy different universes. New York is fast-paced, cutthroat, and secular. Atlanta, by contrast, is southern, faith-friendly, the last big loop on the Bible Belt. • Like the cities in which they minister, Tim Keller and Andy Stanley are markedly different as well. Stanley is a pragmatist, a leader's leader known for his vision and commitment to creating environments where the unchurched feel welcomed. Keller, on the other hand, is a professorial presence, a skilled theologian who effectively addresses the doubts of intellectual urbanites. • Both have new books explaining their distinctive ministry philosophies. Tim Keller's tome is Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City (Zondervan, 2012). Andy Stanley's magnum opus is Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend (Zondervan, 2012). • We spoke with Keller and Stanley about what they've written. Their answers uncovered some deep differences—and surprising similarities.
In the title of your book, what does "deep" refer to? And "wide"?
It addresses a tension a lot of people see with large churches. People think you can't be deep and wide. And since megachurches are wide (as in big), they assume they must be shallow. That's a misperception this book addresses. You can not only be both; you must be both. It's a false dichotomy, a false tension. We don't skimp on theology or content. We've been successful in capturing the imagination of unchurched people not in spite of depth but because of it.