Communicating for a Change (Andy Stanley and Lane Jones) Book Review

3/5 Paper Movement Stars

Loved it but….

I really enjoyed this book. Yes, the first half of the book is a fictional story about a pastor getting insights from a trucker. Was it a little far-fetched? Ya, probably. Did I enjoy the story and learn from it? Absolutely.

This is a book written to help communicators learn how to say things in a way that will stick with their audience. The book is geared towards Christian leaders, and that’s where I feel what Andy has to say falls a little short.

In terms of communication in and of itself, Andy’s passion for one big idea with each talk seems excellent. It’s effective. It works. It makes sense. He unpacks the concepts he sets up with his story in the first, fictional half of the book very well. His book has one big point. Have one point.

So if I loved the book, why only 3 stars? If this were a general book on effective communication I’d give it 5 stars. It’s full of great human wisdom. He’s a smart man. However, Andy is targeting Christian leaders, and Christianity is about Jesus.

Church is about Jesus. Preaching is about Jesus. We exist to glorify Jesus. Although Andy wants to see people learn the Bible, as far as I could tell he neglected to tell us that the only way to have true, lasting impact on people – point them to Jesus.

There’s lots of great tips on motivating people, and even driving home a Biblical truth, but a one-point message that’s clear as a bell that forgets to talk about Jesus falls short.

There were 3 other concerns with this book.

#1, his statement about removing from circulation a message on homosexuality he preached when he was a young preacher. I’m not exactly sure why he did this, or what he said in it, and if he’s just trying to be seeker friendly.

#2, he references Rob Bell a couple times as a Christian pastor. From a biblical standpoint the little I’ve heard of Bell shows quite clearly that he’s strayed far from orthodoxy. He’s for fidelity in marriage, whether it’s man-woman, man-man, women-woman? Love wins and hell might not be real? While Bell may be an extremely gifted communicator that people can learn from, Stanley goes so far as to call him someone committed to Biblical truth. That is a scary statement to hear,

#3  Was Jesus not the greatest communicator we’ll ever know? Look at what he did. Some Bible verses would seem fitting coming from a Christian- to Christians. There’s not much (any?) Bible verses in this book!

So go ahead, read the book and learn. You will learn, you will be challenged. But don’t forget it’s about Jesus, not your brainy idea that you drive home so skillfully.


I received a free audiobook of this book for review purposes from

Communicating for a Change (Andy Stanley and Lane Jones) Book Review

2 thoughts on “Communicating for a Change (Andy Stanley and Lane Jones) Book Review

  1. Steve says:

    Good review. Just remember this book is a few years old. Prior to Bell coming out with some of his off the wall theology.

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