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A great book that can change our view of church if we allow it to challenge our perspectives and embrace what we learn from it.

I finished my reading of “On the Verge: a journey into the apostolic future of the church” today and really enjoyed it. The book discusses from the start a strategic problem and missional problem that the church today in America faces. The strategic problem is that the way we traditionally “do” church will only reach at best 40% and that is only possible by what can be considered the most innovative churches. We can view this from the perspective that all churches are basically in “competition” for the 40% while mostly ignoring the 60%.

I liked Hirsch’s model of mDNA and apostolic genius which was first introduced in his book “The Forgotten Ways”. Apostolic genius begins with Jesus is Lord. This is vitally important for us to remember if we are to be effective in not only the mission of Jesus but following Him as well. The book brings the church back to the beginning of the apostolic movement of the church and focuses on the “priesthood of all believers.” I feel this aspect is vitally important for our vision of what the “church” as the body of Christ should be focused on.

I agree that there are paradigm shifts that we today need to make to be effective in reaching people far from God. I enjoyed my reading of the book and would recommend it to others who would like to challenge the way they think of church and “do” church, especially to church leaders. We should engage in the 60% blue ocean potential which is untapped in the current church growth model we generally undertake.

“Verge churches” is a term introduced in this book. According to the author:

“Verge churches are essentially reproducing churches that are now beginning to reframe church around the missional/apostolic function (and not just evangelistic) and are beginning to restructure organize to exponential movement. Even grassroots dimensions are being factored into the equation as churches seek to empower all believers as agents of the King. But structural components of the established churches now serve as platforms to launch movement into every sphere and domain of society, as well as birthing grounds for new churches and ecclesial experiments. The Verge church thinks and acts like a translocal/regional movement. Micro and macro forms of church are employed in the process. The big difference between this and the missional-incarnational is that, true to its inclusive both/and approach, it is much more organized and is likely to include hybrid forms of organization.”
To accomplish this we should form missional groups, missional communities, and continue to plant churches and multiply at every level. Our challenge is to become people on mission in every sphere of our lives and empower others to do the same, focus on the power of multiplication rather than addition and return to our apostolic calling- all believers- everywhere!

 

There are many concepts in this book which I plan to refer back to as I move forward. And at the rate I am going I will need a new copy before long from all the marking in my existing copy!

Pick up your copy here

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