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On the Verge: A Journey Into the Apostolic Future of the Church (Exponential Series) Paperback


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On the Verge: A Journey Into the Apostolic Future of the Church (Exponential Series) + The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church + The Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century Church
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Product Details

  • Series: Exponential Series
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310331005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310331001
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'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. Dave Ferguson and Alan Hirsch share a great blend of theory and practice that will help you re-envision the way you do church with practical ways to make it a reality. This is a must read if you want to transition your church into the future.' -- Craig Groeschel, Lead Pastor, Life Church <br><br>

From the Back Cover

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

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Customer Reviews

This book is an absolutely must read for Church Planters and Church Leaders.
Joe in Siberia
A shorter way this is described in the book is, "Multiplication Church planting + the Mission of all people everywhere = Apostolic Movement."
Matt Boyd
The book is a conversation - with Hirsch and Ferguson writing different chapters with subsequent comments from the other.
Darren Cronshaw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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 By Keifer on July 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patrick O'Connell on July 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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