Book Notes: Interview with Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley is one of my favorite authors. I listen to his leadership podcast religiously. We also had the privilege of publishing his new book, The Principle of the Path: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be [affiliate link]. In a few minutes, I’ll tell you how to get a copy FREE, along with a few other cool gifts.

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I was recently able to interview Andy at North Point Community Church where he serves as the pastor. Each Sunday, over 20,000 adults attend worship services at one of North Point’s three campuses in the Atlanta area.

In the interview, Andy says that whether you know it or not, “the principle of the path” is working in your life. As a pastor, Andy has heard countless stories of regret: bankruptcy, divorce, custody battles, lawsuits, kids gone wild, and more. Many of the people who come to him had good intentions, and they can’t quite understand how they got to such bad places.

Andy claims that there’s a simple, but powerful, principle at work: Direction, not intention, determines your destination. This principle is operating every time you look at a map or fire up your GPS. The same road leads to the same place—every time. “What’s true geographically is true relationally, financially, physically, and professionally.”

One of my favorite parts of the interview is his response to my question about Proverbs 27:12: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”. Prudent people ask what he calls “the best question ever”: In light of my past experience, my present circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams, what’s the wise thing to do?

I loved reading this book. As is often the case with a truly great book, I couldn’t put it down. I read it through in two sittings. My daughter, Marissa (age 18), who is freshman in college, also read it and loved it. As a dad and a publisher, I have no greater joy than when my children read good books—especially ones that we published!

In order to seed the market, I am giving away 200 copies of the book. In addition, Brad Lomenick at Catalyst has agreed to give away two tickets to the Catalyst Conference, October 7–8, 2009 in Atlanta. (This is a $836 value.) Andy will be one of the featured speakers.

Also—as if that weren’t enough—Brad is making available four copies each of:

  • The Best of Catalyst: Andy Stanley on Leadership CD Set. This includes Andy’s best six talks over the years at Catalyst, plus notes on each talk
    ($50 retail).
  • Systems DVD Set, featuring Andy Stanley. This includes Andy’s talk on Systems from Catalyst 2007, plus behind the scenes interviews with staff at North Point and with Andy validating the things he talks about ($25 retail).

How do you qualify to get some of this loot? Pay careful attention: you must take two actions:

  1. Leave a comment on this post below. Tell me why you want this book, the tickets to Catalyst, or one of the CD or DVD sets. Be creative.
  2. Fill out your shipping information in the special form. Do NOT leave your address in the comment itself.

On Thursday, based solely on my arbitrary and subjective evaluation of their comments, I will select winners. If you are one of those selected, I will notify you via email. If you don’t hear from me, you can assume you didn’t make the cut.

Question: Why do you like Andy? Why do you want to get his new book, a chance to hear him live at Catalyst, or one of the CD or DVD series?
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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Thomas L

    Wow what a review. I chanced upon your blog via a friend's status on facebook, and I thought, "this Michael Hyatt guy might have some good points on organization".

    Well, I've only ever heard Andy Stanley teach/preach at Catalyst several years ago, and thought he was (and still is) quite the gifted communicator and well-experienced in leadership. I would like to get a hold of the book to really digest what he has to say about getting to where I want to be, or should I say, where I feel God is leading me to.

    It would be really nice to attend Catalyst again. It would also be wonderful if the accompanying resources mentioned were also available for me to process and go through as I continue to improve in my leadership and organizational abilities.

  • Andrew Mercer

    Andy Stanley has a way of making God's words relevant to my life. It's as if he's inside my head listening to my daily challenges. Whether I'm trying to be a better father, husband, boss, employee, son, brother, friend, or minister, his guidance makes almost perfect sense each time I hear it! I will never forget listening to the message series on personal finance, called "Lost." I loaded it on my Ipod and went for a run. I literally had to stop running and pray with him for the stregnth to change my attitude about money. It was a turning point in my life. I'm sure that Andy's works hard to ensure he connects with people. I am truly grateful for his hard work.

  • Uzo

    Why do you like Andy? Why do you want to get his new book, a chance to hear him live at Catalyst, or one of the CD or DVD series?

    I like Andy simply because he is a Man of God who understands the idea of applying the principles of the bible to every day life. To be honest, this is my first time hearing of Andy Stanley. After listening to what Mr. Stanley had to say on your website, I researched him online and from what I have read and heard so far, I believe that getting a copy of his book will aid me in my aim of finding my purpose (THE PURPOSE) of my life in God. I desire for God to be focal point of everything I do, and I know that only in God can I fulfill my destiny.

    I am 27 years old and I am headed in the direction of the live I am destined to live. It is an extra-ordinary life, one that demands the ability to think for myself and not simply follow where the flocks go. I need FAITH to do this. I need GOD to achieve this because without him I WILL BE LOST. Andy understands that deep need and desire to have God in your life, to walk with God in the "right" way (because I do believe that there is a right way and a wrong way to walk with God). And because the right way is alwasy the hardest way, I need to be prepared and stay prepared always. I believe that having my own personal copy of Mr. Stanley's book – one that I can refer to time and time again + make notes on – will be an invaluable gift and addition to my life.

    After having worked in the nonprofit world for a while, I am swallowing the bill and applying for a dual degree program at Carnegie Mellon University. This is a turning point in my life, one where it is more important than ever that I always stop to ask God "what he wants me to do at every junction in my life" and also that I ask myself "In light of my past experience, my present circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams, what’s the wise thing to do?". The opportunity to hear Mr. Stanley at the Catalyst Life Conference will allow me to meet like-minded people – people who are dedicated to living a successful life of purpose in God. I know you will be there and I would like the opportunity to meet you too because the 1st post I read on your blog was the "Creating a Life Plan" post and that post continues to inspire me and serve as a guideline for my own Life Plan … I know that a lot of the folks at the conference will think very much in the same way and I desire greatly to build relationships with people who approach live in the same vein and live an earthy life that God would be proud of.

    Getting a copy of Andy's book, winning the chance to see him life, and one of the CD or DVD series will go a VERY long way in helping me prepare to not only meet the challenges ahead but also to get up each time I fall/fail. It will definitely be a blessing to win any one the prices.

    Thank you again for always thinking of your readers. Remind Blessed.

  • Drew Hyun

    The first I heard from Andy Stanley was last week when I listened to the Catalyst Podcast. I found his insights and manner of speaking to be quite refreshing, especially the portion when he outlined his weekly routine and personal habits. As a 30 year-old pastor in New York City, I'm incredibly grateful for seasoned pastors like Andy who are sharing some of the principles that have allowed them to have a healthy inner life and family in the midst of leadership pressures. Our culture seems so driven (even the Evangelical church culture) that I'm really drawn to messages that deal with having our ministries flow out of a life with God, and the book (and Andy's podcast interview last week) seem to espouse the kind of ministry life I'd like to live.

    I'd really be thrilled to receive anything from Andy, whether a DVD or a book. As for Catalyst, I plan on being there in a couple of weeks! This will be my first trip to Atlanta =)

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  • InAsia

    As a college student, I was a member of First Baptist Atlanta. Andy was a youth pastor. Ever now and again, he would teach in his father's place. "What's right and what's wrong is not our cue, but rather, what's the wisest thing to do," was a principle that he taught one Sunday. Not only do I still remember it to this day (20 some years later), I've taught it again and again to many others. Today, I ministry to adults in East Asia, helping them lead ministry to reach the cities they live in. I am particularly interested in helping families more clearly reflect Christ. I believe that the ideas Andy is sharing could benefit some many millions of people here. I'd love a copy of the book to read and share with others.

  • Nathan Martin

    I appreciate you sharing some of Andy's podcasts a while back. I've been listening and learning from Andy since.

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  • BJuma

    Thank you for the copy of "The Principle of the Path". I appreciated Mr. Stanley's persitence in the "driving home" of his central tenet: "direction, not intention, determines our destination". At first, I beagan to think "okay, okay, I get it already", but as I read on, and applied this premise to my own life, I realized how a subtle waver (especially if unconscious) can lead me away from where I want to be headed! Two of my favorite parts of this book were:
    1. The review of David NOT taking Saul's life into his own hands–and Andy's reminder that "one never accomplishes the will of God by breaking the law of God, violating the principles of God, or ignoring the wisdom of God".
    2. The review of David's responses to disappointment in his life. I enjoyedthis from the literal, historical view, and the "Jerusalem moment" connection was a beautiful, valuable reminder to me of "God's will, not mine, be done"–in a huge way!
    I have passed this book on and will recommend it to many. Thank you, BJuma

  • Donetta Kruse

    I am just now getting to know Andy as an author as I read Visioneering. At 42, I am more familiar with his father. However, I have seen people so inspired to action by reading his information that my greatest desire (and the thing I think would make the biggest difference for my family, hence that would be WHY it's my desire I guess!) would be for my husband to find vision and inspiration and be able to relate it to God. His outward actions demonstrate the commitment of a Christian man but his ability to believe in himself and catch sight of a vision for him, us or our five children hinders our family daily and long term. Twice I have had vision and purpose like Andy describes and twice he has stood in the way of that coming to fruition. Being a Christian wife I chose him despite that. He wants things of a material nature and wants others to take responsibility for bringing that about. I desire for him to know what the Lord would have him do and I don't think he asks that questions, or if he does, he may be scared of the answer. He is a gifted craftsman (carpenter) like our Lord's earthly father, yet Joseph had an intune relationship with God and knew when and how to lead the family with which God had entrusted him. The book, CD and/or DVD series could possibly help my husband and my family and we are in our 40's so if we want to see this bear fruit time is of the essence so our children may learn. Thanks.

  • LK Pendleton

    I am reading this way late. I am a pastor of a small urban church and I have hit a snag in the road and need direction. I have read visioneering by Andy Stanley which was enlightening but I need more focused, hands on assistance. Our resources are nil, and I am at an impasse for this ministry. I need help. Our church is on the brink and I do not believe in a day like today, it is God's will that churches closed. People need Christ, and the small church needs people and financial resources to make her healthy and productive. I pray that you would seed our ministry with persons capable of helping us administratively, help to teach and train a few to reproduce. Please help me. Thank you.

  • BLF

    Hi, when requesting a copy of the book I said"In case the book is as good as it seemed I'd promise to volunteer to prepare its Polish translation."
    I think it might be worth publishing in Poland (please drop me an email if you are interested).
    BTW, I have published the review on my blog at: – you'd need to use Google Translate to grab some meaning of the text.

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  • Cathy Oz

    As a very reluctantly new single mom, I feel I need some help in getting myself and my children “back on the right track”. We’ve been devastated and could really use some moral comfort as well as a strong moral compass. This book sounds like just the ticket and I would very much like to receive a copy.

  • Cathy Oz

    Sorry, I guess this post is about 3 years old… Way too late :(  Really would have loved a copy…

  • John Okoronkwo

    Andy and his father Charles Stanley I salute you, back in California in the year 2008 , I was living a wasteful life, drinking alcohol everyday, but shopping for cloth at a thrift store in Livermore , San Francisco Bay Area , I saw a little magazine called ( Intouch Magazine ) , the monthly Magazine of Intouch Ministry , I pick it up and began to read, before I know what’s up, I have subcribe to receive the free magazine every month, and ever since then the fires is still burning, and I’m a better man today than ever.
    Thanks to Jesus .
    John O.