On the Verge

Just wrapped up reading On the Verge by Dave Ferguson and Alan Hirsch.

If you want to read a book that will tell you to keep doing the same thing, hoping your church will change or reach more people. If you want someone to tell you to keep pushing for the status quo in your church and not change anything. This is not the book to read.

But, if you want to read a book on the future of the church, our world, how to take your church into the future to reach the world around us, this is the book to read.

The premise of the book is to look at how the world has changed and what the church needs to do in response to that to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. It definitely is a book that will push your thinking, but also give you practical ideas on what to do. It is a book that will take you from the safety of your world into the unknown. And that is what it scary for many pastor’s. Unfortunately, most pastor’s do not do unknown, even though we live in the unknown (but that is another post).

As Mike Breen points out in the foreword, “If we are to build strong centers of mission-churches that resource networks of missional congregations and communities, we need the strongest attractional forces and the most vibrant missional impulses to be present.” That is what this book presents.

One of the things that drives the book in its point of how to build a movement of churches is that every person in your church can be a church planter/missionary and your church has everything you need to do what God has called you to. Many pastor’s say they believe this, but I wonder if we actually live this out in our leadership. One of the things that has me excited about the future of Revolution is some fo the things we are putting into place to make this happen, some simple training ideas we will be using to train our people to be missionaries in their world.

At the center of this idea of movement is discipleship. I remember Jeff Vanderstelt asking me “how many people could leave Revolution and plant a church.” The answer to that question shows you the level of discipleship in your church. My answer was, “not many.” That was a year ago and that has pushed our leadership to figure out how to change that answer to “many.”

One of the things I appreciated in the book was the back and forth between Dave and Alan’s voice. They have different perspectives, but want the same thing. It made the book move along and keep your attention.

I was reminded while reading, why we are giving our lives to building a movement in Tucson. We are not playing at church planting. Lives, marriages, families, careers, and eternities are at stake. We need to get it right.

5 thoughts on “On the Verge

  1. Thank you for posting this review. This may be the next book I read, as I am currently working on a series of paintings on “The Church”.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the true mission of the church… to make disciples and advance God’s Kingdom. In what ways are we effective and ineffective at achieving that mission? What are the problems, obstacles, and concerns that church leaders are facing? What are the solutions?

    I’ve been studying the churches in Revelation and the different conditions churches can be in. This inspired the first 7 paintings in the series. What are some positive and negative conditions that churches in America can be in? How did they get in those conditions?

    As you see, I have more questions than answers, but my goal with this series is to inspire and encourage church leaders to BE the church and to effectively achieve her mission for the glory of God.

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