On the Verge

My heart leaped for joy as I read On the Verge by missional guru, Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson.  They speak directly to the situation my congregation is facing.

In recent years, there has been a growing disconnect between those using an attractional model of church ministry, and those advocating an incarnational model.

The missional proponents often criticize those following the attractional model as caving into contemporary consumerism.  On the opposite end of the specrum are church leaders who accuse the incarnational folks of small thinking and ineffectiveness.

Hirsch (guru of the missional community movement) and Ferguson (champion of ministry multiplication) have joined forces to offer a third way.  Verge Churches, they explain, harness the very best of
1)  Church growth practices
2)  Exponential systems and
3)  Missional incarnational approaches.

This convergence leads to an Apostolic Movement -- where all members of a church are engaged in the mission of multiplying disciples and faith communities.

Hirsch and Ferguson note that 60% of Americans are unchurched.  These folks are not likely to find Christ by attending a traditional/contemporary/program-based church.  Instead, the church needs to go to them!  Each congregation should ask this question:  How can we bring Christ's love to those who won't come to us? 

Rather than rejecting solid congregations as "irrelevent" and "consumeristic", why not leverage them for maximum mission?  Why not transform them into sending agencies -- multiplying disciples in missional communities.

On the Verge blends theory with practical application.  Hirsch gives the theory and Ferguson follows along and tells how this can work on the ground.

I plan to rely heavily on this book as we steer Hayward Wesleyan Church into the uncharted waters of full throttle mission engagement.  As Buzz Lightyear says,  "To infinity and beyond!"

For a deeper look at this movement -- check our The Verge Network.


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