Posts tagged ‘Andy Stanley’

March 19, 2012

Louie Giglio, Andy Stanley, Perry Noble And Other Pastors Share How They Prepare Their Messages



How do preachers, particularly megachurch pastors, prepare for sermons every week? Where do they get their ideas? Do they ever get nervous? And how do they deal with both criticism and praise?

Those are some of the questions that a group of well-known pastors responded to during a webcast Thursday that was designed to help pastors across the country preach better sermons.

According to Casey Graham, founder of, which led the event, 90 percent of unchurched people choose a church based on the pastor or preaching. And 92 percent of people return to a church because of a sermon.

With that, the event was launched to provide insights into the way some of the country’s most influential pastors do what they do and to provide a community in the lonely world of preparing and preaching sermons.

Ideas and Sermon Preparation

NewSpring Church Pastor Perry Noble advised the thousands of pastors watching online to begin with the Word of God and not a VH1 video or popular song.

“Let the text, the Bible drive the sermon. Don’t say I saw a video on VH1 and I want to establish a sermon around that,” the South Carolina megachurch pastor exhorted. “The Word of God has to be where it starts. I’m so passionate about that.”

Noble, whose church is getting ready to launch its eighth campus, said nearly every idea that he has preached on for the past five years came out of his quiet time. He made it clear, however, that his quiet time with the Lord is not sermon prep time.

“But while I’m reading the Bible to try my best to hear the voice of God, if something pops in my mind, I write it down,” he explained.

“A preacher preaches best when he preaches out of the overflow of his heart. I really want to try my best to communicate that idea that God set my heart on fire with.”

Already, he has enough thoughts written down that he can create sermons for the next year and a half, he said.

For Charles Stanley, who has been preaching for 55 years, his ideas come from asking “What’s the need of the people who are going to be listening?”

The veteran pastor, whose sermons are broadcast around the world through In Touch Ministries, developed a little saying that some, including his son Andy Stanley, cite: “Until a preacher has as burden for the message, he’s not ready to preach.”

“I realized I needed to have on my shoulder – spiritually – the weight of what God has in mind. What does He want to accomplish in this message? … I’m preaching for an impact, not to impress anybody but just impact. I want to see their life change,” he explained.

Essentially, the feeling a pastor should have is: “I must preach this message, I have to preach it, I can’t wait to preach it,” he described.

While Stanley typically begins preparing for his sermon a week ahead and makes sure that is the only thing on his mind between Saturday and Sunday, Noble likes to plan much farther ahead – by several months.

With his sermons consisting not only of preaching but also of videos, illustrations and other elements, Noble likes to give his Creative Team time to prepare.

“One of the things I’ve discovered about preaching is … preaching is relatively easy if all I’ve got to do is read a text and apply it. But today … there’s so many creative elements around it,” he said during the “Preach Better Sermons” webcast.

“We all serve each other. The way I serve our Creative Team, Worship Team, and Video Team, is try my best to plan as far ahead as possible … Then everybody can give their best effort possible. They don’t serve me, we serve each other.”

Andy Stanley, lead pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., also chooses to prepare his sermons more than a week in advance.

“I can’t live that way,” he said of last-minute preparations.

Do Megachurch Pastors Get Nervous?

When it comes to getting up in front of thousands of people on a large stage every week, Stanley of North Point doesn’t believe nerves should be in play.

“When a preacher or teacher is nervous, it’s all about them,” he stated. “I can’t be concerned about me … and be concerned about them. I’m going to walk out there concerned about that group … or about me. [It] can’t be both.”

“If you’re nervous … you’re really not ready,” he stressed.

Rather than evaluating success based on how well the congregation applies what is preached, the pastor who is concerned and nervous ends up basing success on how well he or she did, Stanley noted.

“Don’t get up there so you can feel like you did a good job … don’t just cover the material,” he advised. “Walk out there with that person in mind.”

That person may be a teen who’s giving church a try one last time or (for Stanley) a middle-aged man who was dragged to church by his wife.

“Make sure it’s about them and not about you,” he exhorted.

The elder Stanley, Charles, also said he never gets nervous on Sunday morning. Rather, he’s more excited to preach what God wants him to say.

Dealing With Criticism

Citing Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll, Noble said pastors have many foes, fans and then very few friends.

“He said you’ve got people that think you’re worse than you really are, [those who think] you’re better than you really are, and some people who will tell you the truth.”

Noble chooses not to listen to the “foes.”

He also doesn’t listen to the “fans” – who will always tell the pastor “great job.”

Instead, he listens to friends – who love Jesus first, the church second and the pastor third.

“They’re willing to speak the truth to you so … ultimately it’ll edify the church,” he noted.

Other speakers featured in the webcast included Louie Giglio of the Passion movement, Judd Wilhite of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, Dan Cathy, president and COO of Chick-fil-A, and Pastor Vanable H. Moody II of The Worship Center Christian Church in Birmingham, Ala.

June 17, 2011

Incredible Andy Stanley Quote On What To Do If You Ever Want Your Kids To Abandon Church When They’re Older

Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel at Catalyst

“If you want your kids to abandon church when they are older, force them to attend a church you secretly wish you could abandon now!”

All I can say is wow. wow. wow.

I know there are many Christians who believe that the way to raise kids are to force them to go to Church every week, which usually just means they’ll bail at the earliest opportunity in life to stop going.  And, worst of all, that horrible experience of Church will remain with them.  That’s why I love this quote.  But more than anything this quote is a massive charge to pastors saying, “you should create the kind of churches that families (especially children) would want to attend, and can’t wait to attend each week.”

February 6, 2011

North Point Community Church Atlanta, GA Through The Eyes Of A Visitor – Pomomuzings Blog


North Point Community Church



Interesting thoughts by Adam Walker Cleaveland after he visited North Point Community Church in Atlanta for the first time.  I may not agree with everything but I thought he was right on the money with all the seat-saving.  It’s my biggest pet peeve about North Point.


Adam In His Own Words:

While in Atlanta last weekend, Mark, Sarah and I went to North Point Community Church, where Andy Stanley is the pastor. It was definitely my first megachurch experience. Sarah actually didn’t think the sermon was all that bad, and…it wasn’t. But, I just know I couldn’t attend a church like that. It was pretty hard to find a good seat because everyone just had rows and rows of seats saved (any theological thoughts on seat-saving in worship?). It’s hard to have any type of community there, unless you’re actively involved in one of the community/small groups. I didn’t really like going to church and having it feel like I was going to a concert or huge convention (complete with the parking lot attendants, orange vests and everything). We were in the auditorium that Andy was preaching in, but…there were a few more thousand people in the opposite auditorium where Andy’s sermon was fed into. Again, just not the type of interaction I want with my pastor (or, if I was the pastor, with the body in the church).

I’m not going to get into some “Megachurches suck and they’re a complete waste of time and space!” type of rant. I just know that for myself…yah, definitely not a megachurch kind of guy. There is no way that I could handle pastoring a church that big, and I most definitely would not want to be a member of a church that large…

Definitely an interesting experience though. Anyone else been there? Anyone else have any megachurch experiences that were bad…good…neutral?


February 4, 2011



My bet is that if you’re reading this blog post with this title, you’re probably a big Andy Stanley fan.  For many pastors and Christian leaders throughout America, Andy stands as one of the most inspiring and exemplary models of leadership excellence – and rightly so.  So given his position as a great leadership model, wouldn’t it be cool if you could personally ask him what books have had the biggest influence on his development both as a leader and as a pastor of one of the nation’s largest and most influential Churches?  Well if you’d ever thought that, take heart and be of good cheer, for I bring good tidings of great joy.

Not too long ago I noticed in the NorthPoint Church bookstore that they have this special bookshelf over in the corner with a sign that reads “Books Recommended By Andy Stanley and NorthPoint Leadership” so I figured you’d love to know what books were on that shelf – and I took the liberty to compile those books into a list for you.

Here’s why I think this list is a big deal: it’s clear that Andy is an avid reader and student of leadership.  So when someone like Andy – who’s arguably read hundreds even thousands of the best leadership books over a lifetime of successful leadership – stands back and looks at the heap of books he’s spent thousands of hours reading, and walks over to that pile and picks out a few carefully selected books and says, “of all the many books I’ve read, here are the ones I would say you should definitely read” – that’s when I run to know which books he singled out.

The books are in no particular order.  Enjoy.

1.  Courageous Leadership – Bill Hybels

2.  Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney – Lee Cockerell

3.  E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It – Michael E. Gerber

4. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (and When to Stick) – Seth Godin

5.  The Creative Habit: Learn It and use It for Life – Twyla Tharp

6.  Be Our Guest: Perfecting The Art of Customer Service – Ted Kinni and Disney Institute

7.  Built To Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies – Jim Collins

8.  The 80/20 Principle: The Secret To Success by Achieving More with Less– Richard Koch

9.  The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization – Peter M. Senge

10.  The Five  Dysfunctions of A Team: A Leadership Fable – Patrick Lencioni

11.  The Five Temptations of A CEO: A Leadership Fable – Patrick Lencioni

12. Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It – Al Ries

13.  Killing Cockroaches: And Other Scattered Musings on Leadership – Tony Morgan

14. Influencer: The Power To Change Anything – Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny et al.

15.  Integrity: The Courage To Meet the Demands of Reality – Henry Cloud

16.  Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box – The Arbinger Institute

17. Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die – Chip and Dan Heath

18. The Leadership Challenge – James M. Kouzes

19.  The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company – Joseph Michelli

20.  The One Thing You Need To Know:… About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success – Marcus Buckingham

21.  Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace – Gordon MacKenzie

22.  The Contrarian’s Guide To Leadership – Steven B. Sample

23.  Rules of The Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain Your Life’s Work – Kevin Carroll

24.  Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors – Patrick Lencioni

25.  Thinking for a Living: Creating Ideas That Revitalize Your Business, Career, and Life – Joey Reiman

26.  Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us – Seth Godin

27.  What The Best CEO’s Know: 7 Exceptional Leaders and Their Lessons for Transforming Any Business – Jeffery A. Krames


Looking For A Christian Speaker Like Francis Chan & Louie Giglio To Speak At Your Church Or Event?

If you’re a pastor, Church staff member or event organizer looking for a great Christian speaker I want to let you know I’m a speaker who’s available for speaking engagements at Churches and other Christian events.  I speak mainly to college students and twenty-somethings and up.  My topics are mainly centered on living for the glory of God and I use a lot of humor.  For the past 10 years I’ve spoken at various camps, youth groups, conferences, Churches etc. etc.  I’m a speaker more in the vein of Francis Chan and Louie Giglio.  If you love them, chances are you’ll enjoy my talks too.  Some of my topics include, “Who Am I That I Should Go” & “Glorious Rescue” (A message on grace based on the life of David).

I’ve been a youth leader and singles minister at a various Churches including a 9,000-member megachurch.  Usually my fee is upwards of  $1,000, but for 2011 I am offering Churches and event organizers a discount of more than 80% off my regular fee, at a special price of only $200, plus travel.  Yep, only two hundred dollars plus travel to anywhere in the U.S.  In some cases I’d be more than happy to speak for free, just drop me line and we can talk about it.

If you’re interested and would like more information feel free to contact me at:

Thanks for stopping by the “210 LIFE//: Awaken Generation Blog”.  Hope you enjoy the posts.


February 4, 2011




Speaking at Catalyst One Day recently Andy Stanley introduced a great axiom that says,



“whatever gets celebrated, gets repeated”


And then he added something along the lines of “think potty training . . .” to which the audience burst out laughing. But bathroom humor aside, to me this is a truly brilliant statement, because of the great lifestyle wisdom it contains in a few words.  And here’s why: in our lives as people we can never grow if we do not change.  Which means that in order for us to grow in any area of our lives we need to change.  And there in lies the dark and dreaded challenge. Why?  Because as people we hate change – and we’ll often go to great lengths to resist it or put it off.  But it gets even more challenging than that (and here’s the real kicker): sometimes as people whether in marriage, parenting, friendship, as co-workers and even as leaders, we are often called upon to be an important part of helping those around us change and grow.  And so then the next big question becomes, “how can I as a spouse, father/mother, friend, co-worker, or leader help or inspire those around me to change when I know they hate change and resist it at every turn?” And it’s here that Andy’s statement offers us hope :



“whatever gets celebrated, gets repeated”


In other words, one of the best and non-pushy ways we can encourage and even assist people in changing is to celebrate the things we want them to continue doing or the areas we want them to keep growing in.  This seemly simple axiom can spare us hours of awkward confrontations and conversations.  So that instead of awkward direct talk moments you just celebrate the little things those people are doing in the direction that they need to keep growing in.

Now back to the potty training analogy for a second, imagine a mom standing over her little toddler telling her what to do and how to do it and getting frustrated, and then compare that with a couple who gently shows their toddler how to use the potty and then erupting in celebration and adulation when their baby angel gets it even partially right.  Who would you want as a parent ? In the same way we can assist those around us to change and grow if we just celebrated their little improvements and attempts. Because not only is it true that ‘what gets celebrated, gets repeated,’ but the converse is also true: what gets ignored, does not get repeated. And your response will determine which one they choose to do.



February 4, 2011







What is the key ingredient that separates world-class leaders from everyone else?  Or let me ask it another way: What made Jack Welch such a master CEO compared to the thousands of other CEO’s working in America during the 1990′s?  According to 3 researchers who study expert performance, the key ingredient is only one main thing; knowledge.  Not knowledge in the general sense, but as in Jack Welch’s case, a certain kind of knowledge – detailed, thorough, specialized knowledge about GE’s work and industries, and organizational leadership.  In other words, Jack Welch simply knew more than other CEO’s working in the 1990′s.

“The most important ingredient in any expert system is knowledge,” says the research team of Bruce G. Buchanan, Randall Davis, and Edward A. Feigenbaum.  In other words, according to the researchers, what makes a leader like, say, Andy Stanley brilliant, is not so much his general ‘gift of leadership’ or his charisma, but “the most important ingredient in [Andy Stanley’s] expert system is his knowledge.”  And again, as with Jack Welch- a certain kind of knowledge.  Not just general knowledge about Church leadership, but  a certain kind of knowledge: specialized, detailed knowledge about organizational and Church leadership.   According to these researchers, what makes Andy Stanley a world-class leader is his in-depth knowledge about his -Church leadership- work that he has cultivated over years, through both acquired learning (books etc.) and personal experience.  In other words, like Jack Welch, Andy Stanley simplyknows more than other leaders.

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense:  As anyone who’s ever heard Andy Stanley speak at a leadership conference can testify – his knowledgeabout leadership is simply outstanding.  It includes everything from organizational systems, moral influence, team dynamics, playing to one’s strengths, open-handed leadership, his ability to communicate complex ideas easily, his understanding of how pride can undermine one’s own leadership potential, to understanding the role vision plays in an organization, working with his Church staff through leadership training materials, and empowering and unleashing other leaders in one’s organization.

So according to these researchers, all Andy Stanley’s superior leadership ability through the success of North Point Community Church, is the fruit of his knowledge:  Now where did he get all his knowledge you may ask? From his time at seminary, reading books, attending conferences, his research for the books he writes, developing staff training programs, his personal leadership experience, his nurturing relationships with remarkable leaders like his dad, Charles Stanley, and John C. Maxwell, and others.  All of these resources have allowed him to cultivate his extensive body of knowledge. And, according to the researchers, all this knowledge has enabled him to become a world-class leader.  The researchers summarized their finding by saying it appears that, “In the knowledge resides the power.”


So what knowledge have you accumulated today?  For remember: in your knowledge resides your power.



courtesy of Colvin.


February 2, 2011

Andy Stanley: ‘First Lady Michelle Obama To Speak At North Point Community Church,’ Wednesday, February 9, 2011 4 p.m.


North Point Community Church announced to their volunteers today that First Lady Michelle Obama will make a special appearance at the Alpharetta Campus on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011.  It will be a ticketed event where the First Lady will address the issue of childhood obesity.  Andy Stanley shared with the staff a few days ago that the White House had called to request permission to have North Point host the event.  The White House staffers will arrive on Friday, February 4, 2011 to start preparations.  No details were provided about how to obtain tickets.