Leadership

Andy Stanley’s New Book: For Leaders & the Local Church

Disagreement about hot topic issues are breaking apart communities and dividing the church. Andy Stanley’s new book–Not In It To Win It: Why Choosing Sides Sidelines the Church–is about how to approach this crisis as a leader following Jesus.

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

It’s a challenging time to be a church leader. Disagreement about hot topic issues are breaking apart communities and dividing the church. Andy Stanley’s new book–Not In It To Win It: Why Choosing Sides Sidelines the Church–is about how to approach this crisis as a leader following Jesus. 

The basic premise of Andy Stanley’s Not In It To Win It?

Following Christ is not about winning an argument. 

Tithe.ly founder Frank Barry recently had the chance to talk to the author and megachurch pastor about Not In It To Win It: Why Choosing Sides Sidelines the Church.

In this honest conversation, Frank and Andy talked about how leaders can:

  • Pastor their churches in a time of division and political tension
  • Help their children to know and follow Jesus
  • Have healthy conversations with church members who want to leave the church

In the following article, we’ll give you a review of what we learned from our conversation with Andy–and why Not In It to Win It may be one of the most important books for leaders to read in 2022. 

“Not In It to Win It” is for Leaders

From what we gathered from our conversation, Not In It to Win It is a key read for any Christian in 2022. 

But Andy Stanley’s new book may be especially important for leaders to read. 

While it’s never been easy or simple to be a leader in the church, the global upheaval of 2020-present has made it extremely challenging. Leaders are trying to shepherd their people through a global health crisis, political division, and economic downturn. And–surprise, surprise–followers of Christ don’t always agree on these issues. 

That leaves pastors in a difficult place. While many have taken extreme stances that position them to “win” political arguments, Andy’s advice is a bit different. 

“Whenever a leader or a pastor leader has to have an enemy in order to lead, it's illegitimate leadership,” says Andy. “Just because someone considers you their enemy, you do not have to return the favor. In fact, if you're a Jesus follower, you don't return the favor.”

Ultimately, Andy’s advice is to consider the story you want to tell as a leader…especially in light of 2020. 

“We write the story of our lives one decision at a time,” says Andy. “What story do you want to tell? A story of faithfulness, fidelity, generosity, of not giving into fear?”

Andy continues: “Or do you want to tell a story that says you panicked and ran to your own political corner?”

Andy’s point isn’t that we shouldn’t have opinions as leaders. He’s simply advising leaders to react and respond as Christ-followers.

“Not In It to Win It” is for Followers of Jesus

As followers of Jesus, do we get to choose how we respond to things? Or has that been prescribed for us?

“When it comes to following Jesus, we don't get to decide what that looks like, what it sounds like, what it acts like, or what it reacts like,” said Andy.

He continued, “I don't get to choose my tone. I don't get to choose my posture. I don't get to choose my approach. All of that has been prescribed for me.”

In other words, Jesus modeled how we respond to offense, conflict, and disagreement. From Andy’s perspective, he didn’t always take sides. 

“He went home with Zacchaeus instead of just looking up at the tree and telling him off,” explained Andy. “He allowed Matthew to become part of his posse instead of making a statement about over taxation.”

The bottom line is that Jesus listened to others, and sought to understand them…no matter how different they were. 

“Not In It to Win It” is for the Local Church 

In 2020, many people left their local churches–and not just because of concerns about exposure to COVID. 

In fact, Andy’s observation was that many left because they didn’t agree with their leader’s approach to politics. 

The frustration, of course, was that many pastors were expected to do something they had never done before–which was to take a strong political stance.

Andy’s advice?

“Stay the course.”

“You’ve got to remain true to your own conscience….your own calling,” said Andy. “in the end, you'll have a story you'll be proud to tell. You remained faithful to God's call in your life to have an actual church, not a church that's back and forth with the winds of culture." 

“Not In it To Win It” is for Parents

Most believing parents ask the same question about raising kids in 2022: how do we do it right? 

And most importantly, how do we teach our kids to follow Jesus?

Andy’s answer to that question isn’t formulaic. He points out the fact that parents can’t control whether their children make a choice to follow Jesus. But they can control how they model their own behavior to Jesus. 

As parents, our reactions to what's happening in culture says so much to our kids about how solid our faith is….This is a good opportunity to model that for kids, as they're navigating the complexities of growing up in this crazy world.”

“Not In it To Win It” is for the Body of Christ

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23)

“Unity is mission critical,” said Andy. 

“If we can't be mature enough to have relationships with people who don't see the world the same way we do, we're never going to learn anything,” says Andy. 

The Body of Christ is always going to disagree about certain things. 

At the end of the day, being able to engage, empathize with, and listen to those who disagree with you is Biblical. 

“We're allowing debatable issues to divide families or specifically divide Christians from Christians, which is the very thing Jesus prayed in John 17,” said Andy. “His biggest concern was for the future church–that we would be one in purpose as He and the Father were one.”

Life in the Middle

If it makes some Christians feel uncomfortable to “live in the middle” in a time of division and crisis, Andy’s words may be encouraging. 

“I'm not going to listen to the extremes because people live in the middle, problems are solved in the middle, real life happens in the middle.”

Ultimately, it’s not about winning a fight–it’s about being like Jesus. 

“Our gospel is that God came into this sin-filled world. He had nothing in common with us, but His son showed up and people liked Him even though they were nothing like Him,” said Andy. 

“If we can't posture ourself in that way and model that, then there's something wrong with our Christianity, regardless of whether or not our politics are right.”

To learn more about Andy’s book, and to watch the full interview on YouTube and read the transcript, click here

podcast transcript

(Scroll for more)

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Special Offer

Blog

Andy Stanley’s New Book: For Leaders & the Local Church

Andy Stanley’s New Book: For Leaders & the Local Church

Disagreement about hot topic issues are breaking apart communities and dividing the church. Andy Stanley’s new book–Not In It To Win It: Why Choosing Sides Sidelines the Church–is about how to approach this crisis as a leader following Jesus.

Show notes

It’s a challenging time to be a church leader. Disagreement about hot topic issues are breaking apart communities and dividing the church. Andy Stanley’s new book–Not In It To Win It: Why Choosing Sides Sidelines the Church–is about how to approach this crisis as a leader following Jesus. 

The basic premise of Andy Stanley’s Not In It To Win It?

Following Christ is not about winning an argument. 

Tithe.ly founder Frank Barry recently had the chance to talk to the author and megachurch pastor about Not In It To Win It: Why Choosing Sides Sidelines the Church.

In this honest conversation, Frank and Andy talked about how leaders can:

  • Pastor their churches in a time of division and political tension
  • Help their children to know and follow Jesus
  • Have healthy conversations with church members who want to leave the church

In the following article, we’ll give you a review of what we learned from our conversation with Andy–and why Not In It to Win It may be one of the most important books for leaders to read in 2022. 

“Not In It to Win It” is for Leaders

From what we gathered from our conversation, Not In It to Win It is a key read for any Christian in 2022. 

But Andy Stanley’s new book may be especially important for leaders to read. 

While it’s never been easy or simple to be a leader in the church, the global upheaval of 2020-present has made it extremely challenging. Leaders are trying to shepherd their people through a global health crisis, political division, and economic downturn. And–surprise, surprise–followers of Christ don’t always agree on these issues. 

That leaves pastors in a difficult place. While many have taken extreme stances that position them to “win” political arguments, Andy’s advice is a bit different. 

“Whenever a leader or a pastor leader has to have an enemy in order to lead, it's illegitimate leadership,” says Andy. “Just because someone considers you their enemy, you do not have to return the favor. In fact, if you're a Jesus follower, you don't return the favor.”

Ultimately, Andy’s advice is to consider the story you want to tell as a leader…especially in light of 2020. 

“We write the story of our lives one decision at a time,” says Andy. “What story do you want to tell? A story of faithfulness, fidelity, generosity, of not giving into fear?”

Andy continues: “Or do you want to tell a story that says you panicked and ran to your own political corner?”

Andy’s point isn’t that we shouldn’t have opinions as leaders. He’s simply advising leaders to react and respond as Christ-followers.

“Not In It to Win It” is for Followers of Jesus

As followers of Jesus, do we get to choose how we respond to things? Or has that been prescribed for us?

“When it comes to following Jesus, we don't get to decide what that looks like, what it sounds like, what it acts like, or what it reacts like,” said Andy.

He continued, “I don't get to choose my tone. I don't get to choose my posture. I don't get to choose my approach. All of that has been prescribed for me.”

In other words, Jesus modeled how we respond to offense, conflict, and disagreement. From Andy’s perspective, he didn’t always take sides. 

“He went home with Zacchaeus instead of just looking up at the tree and telling him off,” explained Andy. “He allowed Matthew to become part of his posse instead of making a statement about over taxation.”

The bottom line is that Jesus listened to others, and sought to understand them…no matter how different they were. 

“Not In It to Win It” is for the Local Church 

In 2020, many people left their local churches–and not just because of concerns about exposure to COVID. 

In fact, Andy’s observation was that many left because they didn’t agree with their leader’s approach to politics. 

The frustration, of course, was that many pastors were expected to do something they had never done before–which was to take a strong political stance.

Andy’s advice?

“Stay the course.”

“You’ve got to remain true to your own conscience….your own calling,” said Andy. “in the end, you'll have a story you'll be proud to tell. You remained faithful to God's call in your life to have an actual church, not a church that's back and forth with the winds of culture." 

“Not In it To Win It” is for Parents

Most believing parents ask the same question about raising kids in 2022: how do we do it right? 

And most importantly, how do we teach our kids to follow Jesus?

Andy’s answer to that question isn’t formulaic. He points out the fact that parents can’t control whether their children make a choice to follow Jesus. But they can control how they model their own behavior to Jesus. 

As parents, our reactions to what's happening in culture says so much to our kids about how solid our faith is….This is a good opportunity to model that for kids, as they're navigating the complexities of growing up in this crazy world.”

“Not In it To Win It” is for the Body of Christ

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23)

“Unity is mission critical,” said Andy. 

“If we can't be mature enough to have relationships with people who don't see the world the same way we do, we're never going to learn anything,” says Andy. 

The Body of Christ is always going to disagree about certain things. 

At the end of the day, being able to engage, empathize with, and listen to those who disagree with you is Biblical. 

“We're allowing debatable issues to divide families or specifically divide Christians from Christians, which is the very thing Jesus prayed in John 17,” said Andy. “His biggest concern was for the future church–that we would be one in purpose as He and the Father were one.”

Life in the Middle

If it makes some Christians feel uncomfortable to “live in the middle” in a time of division and crisis, Andy’s words may be encouraging. 

“I'm not going to listen to the extremes because people live in the middle, problems are solved in the middle, real life happens in the middle.”

Ultimately, it’s not about winning a fight–it’s about being like Jesus. 

“Our gospel is that God came into this sin-filled world. He had nothing in common with us, but His son showed up and people liked Him even though they were nothing like Him,” said Andy. 

“If we can't posture ourself in that way and model that, then there's something wrong with our Christianity, regardless of whether or not our politics are right.”

To learn more about Andy’s book, and to watch the full interview on YouTube and read the transcript, click here

video transcript

(Scroll for more)