Andy Stanley and Lane Jones. Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication. Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books, 2006. 208 pp. $13.59.
I probably would not have chosen to read an Andy Stanley book on preaching, but as part of the ChristianAudio.com reviewers program, I took a chance. To be honest, I found exactly what I expected: a well-written book with some very helpful advice, but with a philosophy of preaching with which I do not agree.
Stanley and Jones are effective at writing in a winning style. For the most part, their points are clear and thought-provoking. I think that anyone who regularly communicates publically can find nuggets of wisdom and truth in this book.
However, as a passionate believer in expository preaching, I do not agree with some of the conclusions, recommendations, and statements in Communicating for a Change. I do not recommend a one-point message, or a three-point-message for that matter, but instead believe that we should allow the text of Scripture to communicate exactly as many points as the author of the passage intends. It seems that Stanly and Jones at times caricature preaching styles with which they do not agree, arguing that those who follow other methods are more interested in “teaching the Bible” than “teaching people.” If a reader does not have a strong understanding of the reasoning behind a particular preaching methodology, he or she might too easily assume that Stanley is the only person out there who really wants to see lives changed by the message of the Scriptures.
I would not recommend that most people read Stanley and Jones on the topic of preaching. The only people I would recommend this book to are those who are already solidly grounded in preaching who might find helpful advice. I would not want to see someone build their philosophy of preaching based on this book.
I was given a free audio copy of this book to review as a part of ChristianAudio.com’s reviewers program. The book is very well-read, and the recording quality is excellent.