As one who was involved at First Baptist Atlanta and North Point Community Church during the earliest days of North Point, I sometimes am asked about the start up of the church. Some assume–incorrectly–that North Point was an easy, simple, gift on a silver platter that didn’t require any great effort on the part of the founders. Others who know better want to know more salacious details I always decline to discuss. It’s a question I almost never answer on a topic I’d rather not discuss for various reasons. Now, many years later, Andy Stanley and Charles Stanley are publicly discussing those days and what transpired at the North Point start up that strained their relationship almost to the point of breaking. As one who was there, I’m glad they are. In an excellent article from CNN, Andy and Charles Stanley talk openly about the broken relationship that developed out of the split. And Andy’s new book, Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend, explains even further.
Here’s a quote from the extensive article at CNN:
Andy Stanley is the founder of North Point Ministries, one of the largest Christian organizations in the nation. A lanky man with close-cropped hair and an “aw-shucks” demeanor, he is alone as he steps out of his office to greet a visitor to his ministry’s sprawling office complex in suburban Atlanta.
At least 33,000 people attend one of Andy’s seven churches each Sunday. Fans watch him on television or flock to his leadership seminars; pastors study his DVDs for preaching tips; his ministries’ website gets at least a million downloads per month.
“I tell my staff everything has a season,” he says, leaning back in an office chair while wearing a flannel shirt, faded jeans and tan hiking boots. “One day we’re not going to be the coolest church. Nothing is forever. As soon as somebody thinks forever, that’s when they close their hand,” he says, slowly clenching his fist. “Now they have to control, maintain and protect it. … Things get weird.”
At 54, Andy knows something about weirdness. He was swept up in a struggle against another famous televangelist — his father, the Rev. Charles Stanley, a Southern Baptist megachurch pastor and founder of In Touch Ministries, a global evangelistic organization. The experience enraged Andy so much it scared him:
“I understand drive-by shootings,” he told his wife one day. “I was so angry at my dad. I was trying to do the right thing.”
The experience wounded his father as well.
“I felt like this was a huge battle, and if Andy had been in a huge battle … you’d have to crawl over me to get to him,” Charles Stanley, now 80, says.” I would have stood by him, no matter what. I didn’t feel like he did that.”
There’s no father-son preaching duo quite like the Stanleys. Imagine if Steve Jobs had a son, who created a company that rivaled Apple in size and innovation — and they barely spoke to one another.
That was the Stanleys. Neither man has ever fully explained the events that tore them apart 19 years ago — until now.
Read the full text at Two preaching giants and the ‘betrayal’ that tore them apart – CNN.com.