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On the Verge: A Journey Into the Apostolic Future of the Church (Exponential Series) [Kindle Edition]

Alan Hirsch , Dave Ferguson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.99
Kindle Price: $6.99
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing

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Book Description

The church is on the verge of massive, category shifting, change.
Contemporary church growth, despite its many blessings, has failed to
stem the decline of Christianity in the West. We are now facing the fact
that more of the same will not produce different results. Our times
require a different kind of church---an apostolic, reproducing, movement
where every person is living a mission-sent life.
Many of the best and brightest leaders in the contemporary church are
now making the shift in the way they think, lead, and organize.
Motivated partly by a vision of the church as ancient as it is new, and
with a driving desire to see Biblical Christianity establish itself in
Western cultural contexts, we are indeed seeing a new form of the church
emerge in our day. Hirsch and Ferguson call this 'apostolic movement'
because it is more resonant with the form of church that we witness in
the pages of the New Testament and in the great missional movements of

In this book, Hirsch and Ferguson share a rich array of theology,
theory, and best practices, along with inspiring stories about leaders
who have rightly diagnosed their churches' failure to embrace a biblical
model of mission and have moved toward a fuller expression of the
gospel. On the Verge will help church leaders discover how these
forerunners and their insights are launching a new apostolic
movement---and how any church can get involved.

Editorial Reviews


On the Verge is one of those pace-setting books that will cause you to think, rethink and change your paradigm for what the church can become.  This is a must read if you want to transition your church into the future.
- Craig Groeschel - Lead Pastor, Life Church

This book does more than provide solutions: it gives hope that the Church's best days are yet to come.
- Greg Surratt, Lead Pastor - Seacoast Church

There can never be a timelier conversation than the one God wants to have! And there could never be two more qualified voices to further the dialogue.
- Reggie McNeal (from the foreword) Author of Missional Renaissance

A spot on approach for the mega and church growth churches of the last decades to reframe ourselves as high impact, exponentially reproducing, missional movements.
- Mike Slaughter, Ginghamsburg Church and author of Change the World

Finally, a book of that not only connects you to the possibilities of apostolic movement, but gives you practitioner-based principles and stories that will help you live and lead in God's Gospel wave for the future."
- Hugh Halter, Author of The Tangible Kingdom, TK Primer, AND, & Sacrilege.

Hirsch and Ferguson point the way towards an exquisitely hopeful future for the church...and they show how the church united can be the church ignited. Brilliant.
- Linda Bergquist, church planting strategist with the North American Mission Board and co-author of Church Turned Inside Out

As you read this book, I'm sure you will find that the voices of these two great leaders become one and you hear the voice of Jesus inviting you to join his mission and love the church he is building.
- Mike Breen, (from the foreword) Director of 3DM and founder of the Order of Mission


There is a desperate need around the world for established churches to become more effective missional ventures into their local communities. Alan and Dave are passionate about this cause and On the Verge is an outstanding resource packed full of lessons for those serious about engaging in this exciting yet challenging adventure. I highly recommend it! - Mark Conner, CityLife Church – Australia -- Mark Conner

Product Details

  • File Size: 5602 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 3, 2011)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004X7B8L6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,098 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Critical questions for the church May 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The church needs to recover her most ancient, potent and beautiful form, that of the apostolic movement, according to Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson in this book. The book represents an attempt by the authors to articulate a dynamic learning journey called Future Travelers which is being undertaken by a group of large US churches that are reframing themselves as high-impact exponentially reproducing missional movements.

Readers who are not familiar with Alan's previous books will quickly discover that there is a whole new vocabulary to learn. The new paradigm of apostolic movements arises from the convergence of church growth theory, exponential thinking, and incarnational missiology. The new paradigm, which is referred to as "Apostolic Genius", encompasses mDNA which has six elements:

* Jesus is Lord
* Disciple-making
* Apostolic environment
* Missional-incarnational impulse
* Organic systems
* Communitas

Alan's perspective as a missional strategist and apostolic theologian is communicated in chapters 2 to 6, with Dave providing a short response to each chapter, and then Dave's perspective as an apostolic practitioner is communicated in chapters 7 to 10, with Alan providing a short response to each chapter. The two authors have distinctly different writing styles, but it is helpful to get the interposed theoretical and practical perspectives.

Most readers will find this a challenging book to read, partly because of the new vocabulary and partly because many of the ideas raised are likely to be unfamiliar to the typical church leader. However, in my view the book is well worth the struggle because of the importance of considering and thinking through the issues raised.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On the Verge--An Engaging Conversation July 1, 2011
The book, On the Verge, is like an engaging conversation between dinner guests that you overhear. Once the conversation is underway, you lean in closer to get in on it all because its so fascinating.

Authors Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson--respected missiologists in different contexts--carry on a lively conversation about the Great Commission and how to reach people with the gospel in the 21st Century. Acknowledging that the institutional church is not reaching approximately 60% of people in the Western context, the authors call church planters and church leaders to re-imagine the future. They are convinced that by reactivating the 'Apostolic Genius' of every believer thereby we will create a movement ethos. Hirsch and Ferguson are convinced we are on the verge of seeing it happen.

Calling on the reader to engage with the material, the authors have divided the book into a simple triad of: Imagine, Shift, and Innovate, a process they see as a means to moving the church to movement. They invite church planters and missional leaders to re-imagine this new future, shift their current thinking, and innovate in their context in order to fuel a verge movement.

At once theoretical and practical (and always inspirational) On the Verge is worth reading on your own and with your team.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
I wanted to like the book on the verge by Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson, I really did. (My first clue should have been the cutesy capitalization of their book cover, they are not e.e. cummings.) The ideas in the book, whatever they are, might transform churches. But until the authors learn to abandon jargon, no one will be able to figure out what they are saying. Is it really that bad you might ask? Here is an example from page 43:

So when exponential/viral/networked thinking informs church growth savvy, which in turn is being reframed around missional-incarnational theology, then history is in the making.

This may be true, whatever it means. The Venn diagram that followed this jargon fest was somewhat helpful, but if the terms remain undefined, communication is lacking. If I really wanted a church like this, I would just join Amway.

The authors reference a lot of interesting books. I am reading one right now that they praise--Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. If they had understood the book they praise they would have written a book without jargon. Stick's main point that I have gotten so far is to NOT "bury your lead." Wikipedia describes burying your lead this way:

In journalism, the failure to mention the most interesting or attention grabbing elements of a story in the first paragraph is sometimes called "burying the lead."

In other words, make what you are saying crystal clear right from the start. on the verge miserably fails this standard. If they do not understand one of the books they praise, I have to wonder if they also do not understand the other books they talk about.

Mega Churches have a big problem trying to form a community. Most of the attendees do not become active in the congregation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope for the future of the Church! July 13, 2011
By Keifer
This honestly is one of the best books on the topic of the future of the church that I have read to date- it goes beyond theory and actually lays out practical examples of people that are doing it.The authors recognize that God is moving and we are in fact "on the verge" of a major movement of the church! This is a must read for anyone who is ready to reclaim church as identity and movement centered around the core truth "Jesus is Lord".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Sometimes this book is difficult to understand.
Published 1 month ago by csb
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book. It's full of great information and is ...
Great book. It's full of great information and is motivational for a church that has been stuck for a while.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks like new and in very good shape this book
The book came on time and is in very good shape. I have no complains. I enjoyed shopping with your company and I will recommend it to others.
Published 8 months ago by tigerr
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource
On the Verge will help any pastor lead their church forward to living the mission that Jesus Christ gave His Church. Read more
Published 9 months ago by David Bennett
1.0 out of 5 stars Do we have time to wait?
I hope that there is a mental shift among the traditional church establishment. However, again another book about methods and formula. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Julie B
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Verge Review.
Great Book, will recommend it to all that want to know a bit more where God is moving the church of the future.
Published 12 months ago by pierre
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it.
This book is all the craze. They even have VERGE conferences now -- I think I would like the conferences better than book but the book was good- If you want more of an intro or... Read more
Published 14 months ago by joy
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, thought-provoking and interesting
Interesting resource. It really inspired me to re-think what I know of church culture and the changing shape of society.
Published 15 months ago by Daniel L Poole
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
As advertized and on time. The content of yhe book is not yey read. Looking forward to time yo reaf it.
Published 16 months ago by bigbear2
5.0 out of 5 stars movements take time...
We always want a quick fix.
But nothing grows overnight, not plants, not kids, not disciples, not churches. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Caleb Hastings
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