On The Verge
Authors: Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson
Paperback: 350 pages
This is the third book of the Exponential series I have had the pleasure to review and, in my opinion, is the best of the three that I have read.
Just a bit of background here, I recently worked for a church that was having some visioning and growth problems. I recommended another book in the Exponential series be read by the Vision Committee about a year ago. Needless to say, the Vision Committee met once since that recommendation. The church is currently in a period of turbulent transition. As I read this book, there were several times that I found myself thinking something along the lines of:
- “That would have been nice to know a year ago.”
- “That’s why change didn’t happen.”
The book is divided into four sections: Imagine, Shift, Innovate, and Move. These four sections correspond to the four phases of the process to move towards an apostolic movement.
Each chapter is followed by a set of discussion questions. These question are geared towards the church leadership as they work towards moving from an institutional church to an apostolic movement. It’s important to note that doing the discussion questions won’t make this magically happen. As the authors state several times, for real change to happen, there needs to be a paradigm shift within the hearts of the people involved. That is something that this or any other book cannot promise to do.
I think that one of the greatest strengths of the book is the authors use their own voices. Alan wrote the first two sections and Dave wrote the last two. In the sections that Alan wrote, Dave would respond to and vice versa. I thought this was a great way to have multiple voices show through in a book where a singular voice might not be as effective.
Over the course of reading this book, I gleaned some very insightful pieces of information, things that I had not thought of or considered before.
I’m interested to see the process that is laid out in the book being utilized. Fortunately, I live relatively close to one of the communities listed in the book: Soma Communities in Tacoma and Renton, Washington. I now have ample opportunity to see an established community. But, I also want to see a church struggling as they work through the process of becoming an apostolic movement. Not because I want to see the struggle, but because I want to see the process in action.
I highly recommend this book for all church leaders looking to make a paradigm shift within their own contexts. This this a great book for those involved in the visioning/re-visioning process of a congregation.
I received this book free from SpeakEasy Blog Network. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”