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On the Verge: A Journey Into the Apostolic Future of the Church
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On the Verge: A Journey Into the Apostolic Future of the Church

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  12 reviews
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 livin ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Zondervan (first published April 19th 2011)
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  141 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some helpful stuff here, especially for thinking about the church as organic system.
Ryan Gustason
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book has some good insights into mission of the church, but I would caution about using everything in this book. If you are not a fan of social gospel, this book will rub you wrong. The main thrust of the book is to try new approaches to church that take the individual outside of the four walls to reach the 60% who our unchurched. The book also bounces back and forth between the two authors, with one writing a chapter and the other critiquing it.
Amy Jacobsen
I have enjoyed the book and in general the philosophy of ministry discussed in this and other books in the Exponential series. As a leader in a parachurch campus ministry there is much that applies to our context. Some helpful tips in leading culture change will be good to reference in the future.
Aaron J Smith
this book has given me a ton to think about and wrestle with in my own thinking about the church, the Church, and how we Christians go about engaging mission. I am hoping to pump out a couple more posts interacting with specific parts of this book. But for now, a review:

Buy and read this book.

The primary focus of On the Verge is about a paradigm shift. Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson assert that the true core of Christianity is understanding that it is a people movement, not an institution. We hav
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up-on
this is a non-fiction Christian book version of the the poem Jabberwocky. lots of impressive sounding words that when looked at closely mean nothing.

on page 25 there is a list of twelve churches the authors hold up as examples of whatever they're trying to say. pastors from five of those churches are blurbed in the front of the book reccommending it. probably just a coincidence
i slogged trough p. 76, my pastor chose this for our book group this month, i'll be interested to see what people got

Every time I got excited about a key component of their vision and purpose, I got buried with cyclical teaching. But that isn't my greatest fault with the book. In all their talk of getting out of the box, they insisted it had to be controlled within the box. Plus they at one point claimed this method is what will turn the church around. It is a tool, not the tool. A tool can help, direct, or hinder change. It is the Holy Spirit that will bring real change. I like the tools in the book so
Freddy Lam
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: missional
Forgotten Ways + some new information from Dave. Best part are the practitioners information. It encourages me to no have an overly ideal assumption this comes easily, which it hasn't in my church. But these movements are everywhere and will prevail!
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: church-planting
Great read! Some good perspective on the American church culture.
Daniel Wells
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is another gem from guys like Hirsch and Ferguson. Somewhat lengthy, but well worth your time. Would be helpful to take your church leaders and other key people through this book.
Apr 20, 2013 rated it liked it
A lot of good concepts, but sometimes difficult to fully grasp. It was somewhat complex.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Very challenging, but after a while it became repetitive. A great resource for any church leadership team desiring to re-examine its mission and ethos.
Sam Schmitt
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  • AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church
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  • Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens
  • Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America
  • The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World
  • Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World
  • Stalking the Divine
  • The Colors of Hope: Becoming People of Mercy, Justice, and Love
  • Exponential: How to Accomplish the Jesus Mission
  • Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love
  • Building a Discipling Culture, 2nd Edition
  • Breaking the Missional Code: When Churches Become Missionaries in Their Communities
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  • Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture, and Create Movement
  • The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission: Promoting the Gospel with More Than Our Lips
  • The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West . . . Again
Alan Hirsch is the founding director of Forge Mission Training Network. Currently he co-leads Future Travelers, an innovative learning program helping megachurches become missional movements. Known for his innovative approach to mission, Alan is considered to be a thought-leader and key mission strategist for churches across the Western world. Hirsch is the author of The Forgotten Ways; co-author ...more
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. — ABRAHAM LINCOLN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES” 0 likes
“globalization, climate change, technological breakthroughs, international terrorism, geopolitical shifts, economic crises, the digitalization of information, social networks, the rise of bottom-up people-movements, the rise of new religious movements, even the New Atheism, and others. These all conspire together to further accelerate the marginalization of the church as we know it, forcing us to rethink our previously privileged relationship to broader culture around us.” 0 likes
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