Monday, October 22, 2012

Andy in the AJC

Thorough AJC cover story about Andy and Charles Stanley. Came CLOSE to capturing “the real Andy” but could’ve gone a lot further. Sandra’s quotes about Andy were perhaps the most meaningful. Monday morning it was hard to find the article on, but the photos were listed under “Andy Stanley’s Megachurch.” That phrase is laughable to me, because of how many other people are involved, and how Andy makes a point to talk about how decisions are made by the entire Leadership Team. Often Andy is opposed to decisions are made, but he follows along.

I thought there would be tons of comments, since the liberal AJC loves to allow comments on stories where religion can be attacked. But for the longest time Sunday night there were only 23 (when the article was prominently displayed on the website), and Monday morning only 29 comments. Many of the comments were by people with an agenda, who obviously hadn’t read the article. They focused on the million dollar house, not the two million raised this past Christmas to minister in needy neighborhoods around the church (an annual event). In addition to that two million, North Point gives a greater percentage (and amount) to missions than most all other churches.  

The commenters also would have been interested to know that Andy prayed at Obama’s post-Inauguration service. And that Sandra refused to spend big bucks on a fancy dress for the occasion (at the mall). Her quote: “That money could feed so many starving children.” Also not mentioned was how Andy gave away all his beloved musical equipment, that would’ve only taken Andy away from spending time with his family.

The bogus “$100,000 car” comment was not defined enough. For years (2000-2010) Andy talked about driving his old SUV until it fell apart. It’s doubtful someone as grounded financially as Andy would have been driving a luxury car around the time he quit his only job, with young children in the house.

Gary Neibur, the Tech tennis coach quoted on how Andy met Sandra, is the father of Anna’s good friend Lily. Lily went to prom with Anna’s gang, and is the girl who took the slingshot to Living Science and shot Mary-Clayton’s brother in the forehead. These days Gary has a lucrative job with adidas. The Neiburs spent the summer in England for Wimbledon and the Olympics.

Interesting AJC photos. All the Catalyst Conference photos didn’t really capture the day to day Andy. The photos at his house were better…hugging his 16 year old daughter and the “PRAY BIG” sign in the kitchen. Note that Andy and Sandra weren’t wearing fancy clothes…just jeans. I’m sure Andy thought it hilarious that the awful teen Andy and Louie picture was published.

The story didn’t mention that Andy took the Alaskan cruise only as a favor to his father. It was a working vacation for Andy, delivering sermons to the passengers who’d signed up for the Charles Stanley cruise. Andy didn’t need the money, and surely would’ve rather vacationed somewhere else. Though I haven’t been to North Point in several months, I’m pretty sure Andy would be fine without any media coverage.

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