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.

  • Jerome Coleman, Jr

    I am a 24 year old youth pastor who feels called to challenge a generation to live for God. I believe this would be a great resource to help me guide the students I have been entrusted with to watch the direction of their lives. It would be cool to get a book and such because I have never won anything before. Another reason is because I try to read and learn as much as I can.( Leaders are Learners.) I would love to receive a copy of this book and the other materials. Thank you so much for believing in people like me that you would be willing to invest this great resource into our lives.

  • http://www.cross-point.org Todd Johnson

    I’ve enjoyed listening to Andy’s AND the Catalyst podcasts. Our church is in the midst of a restructuring – a change in becoming more lay-led than staff led. In addition, we are desiring to make more of an impact in our local community. There’s a lot going on, but good things are happening.

    As chairman of our elder board, I’d love to share this book and/or the CD’s of Andy with the other guys. None of us will be getting down to Atlanta. It’s a bit of a hike from MN.

    Thanks for the chance!

  • Jim Whitaker

    Andy is a breath of fresh air in a world that is pulled in several different directions. Communication for Change, changed (no pun intended, or maybe so), the way that I understand communication, not only in my work as a seminarian, but also in my work that I do day in and day out. Right now I am a in my fourth year as a seminary and I am in the process of trying to find the intersection of my calling with the world. I believe that Andy’s new book may be powerful and helpful to me in that endeavor as I work out my calling that God has given me through my education. At the same time, I recognize that this is not my father’s religion anymore. The Catalyst conference is a great way to see where we are going in the Christian faith instead of where we have been. I have been fortunate to have seen some of the record conferences in the past through some friends who have purchased the CDs and I read and watch the Catalyst podcast, but I can only image how wonderful the experience would be in person to get to be alongside other like-minded Christians looking for ways to be a catalyst in the world we live in.

  • El Homy

    I should would love a copy of Andy's new book. I'm stuck in a Y right now and truely don't know what to do. I can't wait read this book! Andy always has great wisdom. PLEASE PICK ME!!!!!

  • Adam McEntyre

    Michael,

    Andy Stanley is one of the best communicators of this generation. I do not know one pastor who wouldn't cite him as "the man" of this time. I am currently in the process of becoming a leader at my church, and Andy's books are by far the best. I have heard great reviews of "The Principle of the Path," and expect to learn many great things from it, as well as Andy's future writings. Getting a free copy of "Principle" would be just fantastic in these times. Thanks so much Michael and Andy.

  • Barbara Wilder

    I would love to have a copy of Andy's new book to give to a young man (young Christian) who graduated from Fuqua Business school in May and is now in the business field. I am familiar with the concept from listening to Andy's sermons and it's a great one for all of us to hear, but especially those just getting started down the road of choices. Thank you for this opportunity. I have just *found* you, but I will be back!

  • http://twitter.com/Buehlerbuehler @Buehlerbuehler

    As a leader, I need to be able to choose the right path myself so that I can show those I am leading to head in the right direction. While Andy's book isn't specifically targeted for youth, I think I could easily adapt the core points of it to the group I minister to. Andy's amazing. I can't get enough of his teaching!

  • http://www.greenbriarchurch.net Mike Brooks

    Wow! 23 pages worth of responses, haha. Feel like I'm writing into an abyss.

    Anyway, I would love to be able to go to Catalyst Conference. Right now I am on the executive staff at a one-year-old church plant in south Georgia. A lot of weeks it feels like we fight larger battles than – "Who's going to be here?" and "Are the greeters in the right place?" Our staff is full of forward-thinkers. Because of that it feels like almost everything we do is challenging the "church system" in the southern part of our state. We've watched and been a part of making church/spirituality a "checklist" in our area for quite a few years now and, quite frankly, are sick of it.

    I remember right out of highschool, I left to attend college in the Atlanta area. While there a church invited me to come to Catalyst with them. It blew my mind. Not the lights and sound, but the pure passion for moving forward. Never had I gotten the opportunity to step outside of the mundane, day-after-day. "barely hanging on" mindset of Christianity and church. I didn't just step out that day, I jumped out- with both feet and I haven't looked back yet. Much of what happened in the Gwinnett Arena that October has affected my decision-making today as I help follow God's lead in the church planting scene.

    I think Catalyst is appropriately named for the sheer amount of encouragement and motivation the conference brings to "upstart" ministries. We'll never be able to put into words all that has stirred our hearts because of the conference, but we do know we'd like to be back. Our resources currently are spread then, but I feel like Catalyst takes our dreams, wards off the criticism, and brings them alive in us again.

  • Chad McSwain

    I just dropped by this site after listening to Catalyst interview and want to take a shot at the amazing giveaways!

    I would love a copy of the book and it is a dream to attend Catalyst. I am a 29 year old Small Groups Pastor and recently started a College aged Small Group for our church. Earlier today, I got a call from one of my young adults and he expressed a desire to better equip those in our group. I left him with some questions for us to exam that might lead us to new ways to approach discipleship beyond merely relaying facts and hoping people make the right decisions.

    After watching the interview with Andy, it is clear that one of the central components of formation is the difference between intention and destination. I can see it reflected in my life, the young adults, and the "older" adults I work with.

    Thanks for hosting a great discussion!

  • Carolina M.

    Hi Michael,

    I have to admit that up until not too long ago I didn't know much about Andy Stanley. I have had a fair bit of straggles both in my personal life and in my business life. I found Andy's podcast one day searching thru itunes for motivational and self-growth podcast and started listening to it and it really made me feel inspired and motivated to get back on my feet and get my life together again (I'm doing better everyday). It's kind of the same way I found your on Twitter. I guess once you find one valuable person to follow and learn from, a lot more people of the same value come into your life. You, Andy and John Maxwell are probably the people I look forward the most for new material (blogs, podcast, books, etc…) these days. It will be nice to get a copy of the new book, but even if I don't I'm still happy I got to share this with you.

  • Joni Hubbard

    In the past 2 years, the Lord has opened up many different ways for my husband and I to be involved heavily in college ministries. As of this summer, we were asked to take on the college ministry at our church on a voluntary basis. We are looking for as many ways as we can afford to help us understand how to truly connect with these students and disciple them to live lives committed to Christ, especially during these college years when it is so easy for them to go in a different direction. We have dreamed of going to Catalyst someday and would love to have that privilege, but we also would really love a copy of this book as a resource to help train us for our new ministry at our church. Thank you for what you do to train leaders!

  • david morris

    Why do I like Andy? He takes profound truths and teaches them in simple ways. Its easy to confuse people, but it is obvious Andy Stanley knows what he is talking about.

    I would like to receive Andy’s CD set on leadership from Catalyst because all leaders are learners, and as Rick Warren has put it, I want to “learn as much as I can as often as I can.”

    Also, a virus is attached to this post, and the only way I can reverse its damage is to get the CD set.

    Thanks!

  • Mark Blake

    I would like a copy of Andy's new book.

    I am 19 – 20 in February – and I've made my share of poor choices: Poor money management, poor exercise choices, poor this, poor that. In the last few months, though, I've really turned over a new leaf and I'm getting on track with doing the right thing.

    I believe that there's something that God has called me to do, and I need to get my own life in order before I can begin to impact the lives of others. That is why I'd like the book. I have been listening to Andy Stanley for a while now, and at every turn he tells me something through his sermons or through his leadership podcast that I need to apply to keep improving.

    Its like he said in the leadership podcast: There's something God has called us to do, and if we don't do it, it won't get done.

    Leaders can't lead until they've got themselves together, and that is exactly what I am doing in this period of my life – getting myself together so that I can do what I am called to do.

  • elmer mcdaniel

    Brother Stanley has blessed me with his outpouring of resources. I am blessed to serve as senior pastor of a 108 year old congregation. I have cast vision this year and we are well on the way. I value every resource that can assist us on staying focus on the journey. I look forward to reading his book. Bless all you do…..

  • BLBC

    Andy knows the heartbeat of God. It is a gift to be able to communicate, but for the person who is listening/reading the words/message and apply that truth, it is the breathe of the Holy Spirit.
    Three summers ago I "stumbled upon" the North Point Church on line services and "soaked" up the teachings; while a Christian and faithul in my walk, these messages have enriched my life.
    Working in a college library, I have the means to discuss books and recommend works to students. Andy's open and honest approach to life and Bibical applications create a "Wanting More …" hunger for what really matters in the daily agenda of life.

    YES … I can hardly wait to read the latest book!
    BLBC

  • Jonathan Milligan

    I have been a big fan of Andy Stanley for the past two years. His book Visioneering gave me the courage to step out and begin to follow the dream God has placed on my heart. I also enjoyed reading "The Greatest Question Ever Asked." So simple but so profound. I am very interested in this book because the preaching series he did on the about a year ago impacted my life in a great way. I even wrote on a plastic wristband "Direction Determines Destination" as a reminder for me in my daily activities. I would really love to get this book! Jonathan

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/MattMusteric MattMusteric

    I am intrigued by Stanley's premise, especially given that the earliest Christians were called followers of The Way. Jesus' initial invitation to the disciples was clearly directional: "Follow me." And the classical understanding of repentance has been "turning" or "turning around." I'd like to hear what Stanley adds to the great ongoing Christian conversation about the way of discipleship and Christian formation.

  • rcullins

    Mike — I just discovered your blog recently in the blogroll of one of your authors, and am really enjoying it.

    I am a professional in the software industry, and am working toward a career as a book illustrator–trying to re-visit the plan I had back when I went to art school and before life 'crept in'. I've been chipping away at this goal for years, and yet don't seem much closer to it, for all of my efforts. There just never seems to be enough time or energy to go around. Though I feel like I'm running as fast as I can, I'm just keeping up, rather than getting ahead.

    I don't know how to get where I want to be without neglecting my health or family. Any resource which could help me achieve my life goals would quite literally be a God-send.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.myspace.com/unleashedfl Donnie Mainellis

    A year ago, God gave me a vision for a ministry geared toward college and career age that we began in the living room of my home. I went off to school and returned with that vision continually burning to restart it again. I shared this with a pastor that provided us a covering and we are holding services outside the church in a coffee shop bringing in from the start approximately 130 people weekly on a Thursday night, (this is the biggest club night in our city). I'm 19 and need all the leadership resources available and recently friends turned me onto the Catalyst Conference that after researching would desperately love to attend. The struggle is doing what we know God called us to do … and sustaining it! The ministry is called "Unleashed" – Ur3 – Reedemed..Raised..Released. Thank you for considering me for the resources and tickets to attend Catalyst. – Donnie Mainellis

  • http://www.ampforlife.org Andy

    Why do I like Andy Stanley? Because, in the words of both Steven Furtick and Perry Noble at two different Catalyst Conferences: "It's Andy fricken Stanley!" But seriously, Andy always talks and writes about principles. They are transferable to your situation, every time. Conceptually brilliant, AND practically applicable. It doesn't get any better. I can't go to catalyst this year, I already have the book, so the DVD's would be great. Thanks for all you're doing.

  • http://livingthebiblios.blogspot.com Ted

    What I like about Andy's writing–and why I'd like a book–is his ability to anticipate and answer objections in the reader's mind. By the time he's finished with you, you're out of excuses. You must adopt his point of view and give up your slacker ways.

  • David Locke

    Andy Stanley speaks with clarity to people and they understand what God is calling them to do. I have been an Andy follower for the last ten years and with the church I serve now, I am trying to be as clear and understanding as I see Andy. Since these are simple country churches (serve 2) they seem to appreciate the down to earth sermons and really feed off the Holy Spirit energy that fills them.
    It would thrill me to no end to receive any of these unbelievable gifts, however I know that there are others out there that probably could use them for God's glory as well. I appreciate that you are promoting God's Kingdom growth and helping others achieve their potential to do the same. Love and God's blessings.

  • http://www.milestoneleaders.com Julie Piepho

    Mike – I just met you at the BCE last week in Oregon. I loved both of your sessions and am looking forward to reading your blog. I’d love to have one of the books as I am unfamiliar with him, would like to have concrete principles to help coach the loan officers I coach and to help lead the employees I interact with in my daily life. Thanks and have a FUN and wonderful day!

  • William Flanagan

    Gravity works whether you believe it, know about it, can communicate it or not. Sounds a lot like Mr. Stanley's Path Principle. As one who has fallen far and hard too often (ouch), I would welcome more of Mr. Stanley's insight.

  • Tracy Atcheson

    I respect Andy Stanley and his teaching and writing. He is a an awesome Christ-centered communicator. I appreciate your interview with him on the new book. I would sincerely appreciate a copy of the book to learn more about "direction determining destination." It would be a resource I would like to share with the prayer group I am in for future discussions. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/BLF BLF

    Hi Mike, this post was the first place and the first time in my life I heard the name Andy Stanley. After the interview and after reading the Amazon's customers reviews I know I will read the book. If you'd be able to send me a copy I'd be grateful. If I don't get it from you I'd buy it from Amazon. I am OK with that. I thought that might be fair to offer something in return. In case the book is as good as it seemed I'd promise to volunteer to prepare its Polish translation. I am a Pole living nearby Warsaw. I am a busy businessman and would spend my evenings and weekends for something extraordinary only. So why I thought "The Principle of the Path…" might be worth my time and energy? I am planning my career turn and will become a Teens Coach (being the father of 2 teens already). I am focused on the idea that every teen was born with very unique talents and the adolescent years are perfect times to discover those talents and follow them. I see the approach of Stanley might be very much complementary to Covey's, Canfield's and Buckingham's concepts I studied. I am so glad I learnt about the Stanley's book from your blog. BTW, thanks for keeping your site alive I love your way of writing!

  • Curtis

    Last year I read Andy’s book The Seven Principles of Effective Ministry. I then went to Catalyst 2008 and afterward I visited with some friends who go to Northpoint. It was amazing as they shared their passion for their church and their community. I went to Northpoint with them on Sunday and had them take me around the inside of everything, and what I saw was amazing. What I had read in the book was actually happening in a local church! What was written about was being done and people understood and were walking it, impacting their community.
    Since then, I have enjoyed listening to Andy Stanley’s Northpoint podcasts as well as his leadership podcast. Helps me to understand the whole idea of principles and how we can be effective in ministry in our day to day lives.
    I would love to get a copy of Andy Stanley’s new book, and I haven’t purchased my Catalyst tickets for 2009 because I’m looking for work. I’d love to have receive anything from this package. Thanks for the opportunity to share.

  • http://www.raincitypastor.blogspot.com richard dahlstrom

    I have questions – lots of them, and Andy appears to have the answers. I am the lead pastor of a rapidly growing church in Seattle, having moved from 300 people to 2000 over the past years. Since my previous experience, prior to moving here, was focused on leading a house church and a program that blended Bible teaching with rock climbing and backpacking, I’m devouring leadership material all the time.

    There’s a lot of writing about leadership out there though, and so I need to focus. What makes Andy’s writing strategic for me is:

    1. He’s dealing with a rapidly growing urban church – so am I, but I’ve a long way to go to before I could say I’m doing it right
    2. He’s working hard at serving his staff well in the midst of growth – so am I, but I have boatloads to learn about developing leaders
    3. He’s a writer – so am I, but I’m wrestling with both the writing craft and the promotional side of this equation, and am impressed with Andy’s way of walking this path
    4. He’s a Bible teacher – so am I, but I love listening to Andy and want to learn how to improve my communication skills
    5. He’s shepherding his congregation well, helping people overcome their issues, and this is an arena where I’ve a great deal to learn

    In a sea of leadership material, Andy’s material seems perfectly suited to my situation. Thus I’d be honored to receive a copy of his new book, and even more honored to travel, with my executive pastor, to the conference in Atlanta so that I could play my part in bringing the light to the great city of Seattle.

  • BCS

    I'd love to have a copy of Andy's new book! I'm in a stage in my life were I'm trying to follow Jesus closer and change some old tracks in my life. God is challenging me to truly trust him and make daily decisions that normally I wouldn't make due to fear, but are necessary in order for me to end up where I know God wants me!!! I am working on overcoming the disconnect between intention and direction in my life right now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dustin.o.pringle Dustin Pringle

    I am actually a member at one of NP's strategic partnerships. We recently did Andy's sermon series on "the principle of the path," and I am staring at the verse that Andy used (Proverbs 27:12), as well as the prayer he mentioned in the series (help me to see trouble coming…); they both sit just above my computer monitor at my desk at work. I am at a place in my life and career where I believe God is going to use these principles to help me make some major decisions; obtaining this book would truly help during this pivotal moment.

    I have also been trying to figure out how to get to Catalyst. I have asked friends I know that are going (and go regularly) if they have any pointers on how to sneak in through the back door (I'm also open to some other legal angles as well). So far I haven't been able to figure anything out, so perhaps free tickets? Then I will just need to see if Brad, or perhaps you, Mr. Hyatt, have any free square footage on the floor of your hotel room for me to crash on.

    I'll be expecting your call. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/StevenEric Steve

    I have most of the things by Andy because I have followed many of the things he has been involved with for some time . . . I already have his books and his Best of CD.

    I would LOVE a free trip to Catalyst, but I know I wouldn’t be able to leave my church those days to go to it :(

    So If I could make a plea for one thing, it would be the Systems DVD with behind the scenes interviews. I have been struggling to implement this idea. I have read many of the books he has referenced that has influenced his thinking on this. However, I still struggle with the idea, partly out of the culture where I am and partly out of not being able to think through it with many people. So having his perspective along with interviews sounds like an amazing gift!!!

    Did I mentioned how much I love reading books published by Thomas Nelson Publishers? Thanks for all you do Michael.

    *I figured a little honest encouragement couldn’t hurt my chances*

  • Clint Roberson

    Love Andy Stanley… His modern, relevant approach is a breath of fresh air in the Christian community. I try to get hold of everything he produces… It is very inspiring and thought provoking. I would definitely love to receive a free copy of this newest venture of his. Thanks for the opportunity…

  • Kayla Arndt

    I first heard Andy Stanley, when I attended Buckhead Church 2 years ago as a freshman in college. I loved his practical and Biblical messages and my favorite part was how applicable I found them to be to my life even as a college student. Since then, I have gotten connected within the church, serving in the nursery each Sunday and joining a college small group. Buckhead Church and Andy Stanley have been a huge part of my spiritual growth, helping me stay on the right path through college. As a junior in college, I would love to get a copy of his book, dvd, or tickets to the Catalyst conference. I have taken on leadership roles on campus as a resident advisor and within my sorority this year and I would love to learn about leadership and direction from Andy Stanley so that I can apply it at college. I would love to hear about leadership and direction with a Biblical perspective, and be able to use the lessons I learn throughout the rest of my life. I think college is one of the best times to learn these important principles, and I would love to have the opportunity. Thanks for your consideration!

  • Aloha

    Listening to Andy Stanley's sermons always give me a renewed sense of purpose that helps me to grow deeper in Christ. He is so gifted in teaching the Bible. (Definitely a gift from God!! and hours and hours of studying, fellowshipping with God). His insights are so keen, honest, and on-the-spot. Plus, he has a great sense of humor!

  • Barrett Myers

    Mike, I would love a copy of the book because I work with college students and see the principle Andy talks about play itself out every day. I'd like to gain a better understanding of the disconnect between direction/intention in my own life so that I'm freed up to serve others. Too often my intentions of serving others remain only intentions because of fear or the desire to please everyone.

    Thanks for the opportunity.

  • http://wheresmygps.blogspot.com/ Dominic Stanley

    I like Andy for many reasons one being we share the same last name. We do but that is not the real reason I enjoy hearing his teachings because he is authentic and it is seen in his actions and heard in words. I am in a place in my life where my purpose is starting reveal itself and his works would add to that. As for the conference it would be a great place to be a part such a wonderful experience being surround by a group with such convection and devotion to purpose that it is contagious. That is an experience I would love to be a part of.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Liv4Him Liv4Him

    I would be pleased to receive a copy of Andy Stanley's new book. I would like this book because I'm at a place in my life where I'm evaluating my previous decisions that contributed to the end of my 20+ year marriage due to domestic violence by a Christian husband.

    As I listened to your interview of Andy, the content of this book spoke to my heart as I seek to learn and know how to live my best life for Christ in the future. I believe this book would be a great tool to help me gain further insights and healing for moving forward to Live 4 Him.

    Thank you for making this offer.

  • sry

    Andy Stanley is new to me, but your interview with him piqued my interest– the basic concepts make sense I and would like to see it fleshed out in his book.

    I'm interested in the book for two reasons– 1) at 43 years old I, God willing, have about half of my life before me. I'm struggling a bit with with where I'm at in life and where I go from here. 2) I have a high school freshman girl and 3 boys behind her and want to pass along wisdom and guidance. I also am interested if the book could be used for a series with our youth group at church.

  • http://www.thevelvettrunk.blogspot.com/ Mel McGaughey

    Hi Michael, I'd LOVE a ticket to Catalyst! I just discovered Catalyst from your blog about a month ago and since then I've been working my way through all of their podcasts from the last three years. Seriously…lol…=) Why do I want to go? Because I run my own business and I want the Lord to use me as a photographer to reach my generation by running an incredibly successful and powerful business that shouts about the Lord (even if only in pictures). That's my prayer for my business and that's why I'd like to go to Catalyst- to learn from those who've run this race with excellence and whose lives are nothing short of brilliant in the darkness that surrounds them. More than anything I want to run (and shine) like that! =)

  • Traveller

    I do not lead a huge organization with 400+ gifted and qualified employees like you do. But my leading, and learning to lead better, influences hundreds of people.

    While I can inspire and cast vision, I'm not 'gifted' in organization and administration, but it falls to me to figure out how to administer and organize, because our task is requires it. So I must learn! If you choose to give me a copy of the book and the systems DVD –I will do my best to read, watch, and put it to good use. Andy Stanley’s messages (podcasts, leadership podcasts, articles) have been very helpful in my life and work.

    I am a Canadian, leading a very SMALL team–just 4 others right now–of national staff in a rural part of one of the poorest provinces of China. We run a SMALL (~110 high school students right now) sponsorship program that seeks to develop character and skills (and just add a whole lot of lovin!!) in students who have been lacking much of these. Their grades may (or may not) be good. But they are very poor, often struggling and disadvantaged in other ways. About 1/3 have lost at least one parent through death or divorce. Often if dad dies, mom also leaves–we have quite a few students in this situation. Many have experienced family violence. Some have been abused.

    My gifting is in the "heart stuff." I love to walk with the students one-on-one. I love working with the staff, helping them grow, and then developing sessions and activities that will inspire and encourage the students. I love to see students gain courage to admit their struggles, or past failings. I love to see student's learn to live with confidence in relationships. I love it when they realize they have intrinsic worth.

    But I am not an administrator, and our lack of systems bogs us down. I keep asking the questions about "processes' at our meetings. I have a vague sense that better work processes might help us. But…I don't know what these should be. Is this the situation Andy Stanley is talking about in his systems DVD? Would this DVD give me practical help to see things I don't yet see and make changes? If this is what the DVD is about, I'd be so thankful if you gave me a copy. If it is about something quite irrelevant to the situation I have described, please give the set to someone who would make better use of it.

    Andy Stanley has a wonderful knack for making incredibly important and useful concepts clear.
    –In December 2008 it was his "Trust vs. Suspicion" podcast that helped me gain clarity with a staff and "broken trust" situation–he gave me a clear "path" to set out for the employee in question, and also a path for myself. I could give clear expectations for their behaviour, but also realize that if untrustworthy people come into and stay in my organization, I have no one to blame but myself.

    –His talks and articles about living with uncertainty have also been incredibly helpful to me. I struggle with making decisions in the face of uncertainty. I thought my circumstances were unique and I just needed to tough it out and hope for the circumstances to change. Nope, Stanley says uncertainty is a part of the leadership landscape–I need to learn to thrive in it. I'm changing my perspective, and behaviour, in this.

    –The principle of the Path–I heard one of his messages on this. I want to hear it again, read the book, think on it and analyze for myself any things I might be overlooking and THEN pass this on to our students. "Getting" this concept would be life changing for them.

    While I dream of someday going to Catalyst, I'm usually on the other side of the world–I would love to hear the messages.
    (I included my China address–but I could provide a Canadian one–if you would like to save money and ship to there–I should be able to receive things sent there within a few months.)

    Btw, Michael–I've also benefitted much from your blog, since being introduced to it via another blog just a few months ago. I appreciate especially the articles about leading teams, cutting hours out of your week, learning to deal with email. I have much to learn to apply, but I'm reading, and re-reading, and starting to put some of these things into action. Thanks!

    (please excuse the Canadian spelling)

  • mgrissom

    as a student pastor, teacher, father, husband, christian i feel lost sometimes. i feel the weight of having to provide direction for others, and the fear of being unsure of my own. how can i lead securely when every step seems a question? i know that i do have a path but wonder at times if its forged for me, or is that my job too.

  • Shelly Riker

    Hey Mike,
    I don’t know if this is against the rules or not…but I’m going to give it a shot anyways…
    I would absolutely LOVE to go to the catalyst conference or receive any of the leadership material listed above. However, I am not writing for me, I am writing for some very good friends and two of the best leaders I know (they don’t know that I am doing this). I have had the opportunity to know and serve with Keith and Amy Adkins for approximately six years. They have a great calling on their lives, a huge heart for leadership, and creativity and passion to reach this world for Christ.
    Keith and Amy are in their early thirties and are parents to two of the greatest children (Ages 7 and 4). They recently moved to Madison, Alabama where they have begun the journey of a church plant. Their church is called Vision of Hope and their goal is to be the strongest influence in their city…an influence that brings the amazing hope of God’s love to this lost generation.

  • Shelly Riker

    I have watched their ministry, have humbly served beside them, and have witnessed God move powerfully in their lives. They have an intense heart for leadership and for empowering others. I served with them in Tampa, Florida where they were the youth and children’s pastors at our church. I watched as they began to pour into the lives of young people, teach leadership lessons, give students opportunities, and coach them every step of the way. I’ve never seen anyone make such a great impact on a group of people the way they did. Many of these student leaders are now ministry leaders within the church and the community.
    As with any great anointing comes great conflict; I have seen them in situations that seemed completely unfair. However, in the mist of those situations I have seen such Godly character radiate from their lives. And even when it seemed that the road was too rough, I have seen them continually pour into the lives of others with transparency and compassion. Even when they were hurting, they constantly encouraged others to influence this world for Christ.

  • Shelly Riker

    I could not think of anyone better that you could chose to give tickets to for the Catalyst Conference (or any of the resources you have available for that matter). After all they have invested in others and all they have yet to do, allowing them to have a weekend to be refreshed, encouraged, and to be among the most amazing leaders in the world would be one of the best investments you could offer this generation; Keith and Amy will not only soak up and apply the principals and techniques they learn that weekend but they will share it with every leader that will have the privilege of serving beside them in the ministry.
    Please consider sponsoring these dynamic leaders for the Catalyst conference. They are exactly the people this conference was designed for.
    Thanks you so much,

    Shelly Riker

  • Ben Weaver

    Hi Michael,
    I would love to tell you why I want to go to Catalyst this year, but for 2 minutes of your time, I can just show you. Thank you for your time, and thank you for the wonderful opportunity. Click on the link below to watch:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS6lR-2ArC8

    Ben Weaver
    @b_weave

  • Larry Lakey

    I am the pastor of a growing church of about 200, and have really benefitted from the GTD and time management disciplines you've offered in your blog. Applying these principles and practices has allowed me to begin focusing on a very needed task that I had difficulty prioritizing: designing systems in the life of our church. I would very much love to have Andy Stanley's DVD on this topic, as I found his book "Visioneering" to be very helpful. Not only would this DVD set have a direct impact on our leadership and ministry effectiveness, it would no doubt help streamline the discovery process and help make time for something else I need to do: Ask you for advice on how to raise my three girls!

  • Ben Weaver

    I would like to add to my comment listed just above, that this is an ORIGINAL short film made specifically for this task. Thanks again for the opportunity : ).

    Ben Weaver

  • http://honestdeceiver.org Marc Buxton

    I would love to read Andy's newest book – he is one of my favorite authors. I listen to his leadership podcast, Northpoint podcasts, and have read his other books. His book "Communicating for Change" shaped my preaching style, and he continues to shape my ministry philosophy. I would also LOVE the chance to hear him live at Catalyst as I was unable to purchase tickets this year. My wife and I are missionaries on deputation, and the conference didn't fit into our travel budget :) Regardless of whether I win anything or not, everyone should read and listen to everything that Andy puts out – he is a true man of God….

    thanks

    -Marc

  • http://www.ordinarilyextraordinary.com/ Amy

    I've heard great things about Andy Stanley's teaching as well as his books, but have never heard him or read any of his books. This book sounds like it could apply to many areas of my life right now.

  • http://betterthingsahead.blogspot.com N.A. Winter

    "Direction not intention determines destination" – this is a great concept for leaders, but also for those that are preparing to lead. As I think about my undergraduate business students and the struggles that they face figuring out what they want to do upon graduation, I believe that an understanding of this principle would be so beneficial. It's easy to have a dream, but moving in the direction of that dream is what matters. In the clip above, Andy conveys this message so clearly and so personably that I would love to hear more about it directing from him or have the chance to read his book.