If you grew up going to Sunday School a few decades ago (as I did), you probably sang the kids' song Deep and Wide. I had no idea what the song meant back then. But even if I couldn't make sense of that line about a "fountain flowing deep and wide," I enjoyed the hand motions. Wide gave me the opportunity to throw both arms spread-eagle, smacking buddies on either side of me. Cool!
Today, the expression deep and wide carries far greater significance for me. It sums up my approach to ministry as lead pastor of a multi-site church. I planted Christ Community Church (CCC) about thirty years ago in a far western suburb of Chicago. Our initial strategy, which continues to this day, was to be a church that reached "seekers" (whom we now refer to as "explorers"). We aspired to be wide a la Willow Creek. In fact, Bill Hybels was my youth pastor back in the days before he launched Willow. His passion for reaching spiritually lost people has had a huge impact ...1