On the Verge is a book that combines some rather deep and strategic thinking on the church of the future along with content of great interest to practitioners as well. This is due in part to the passions of the two authors. Alan is a missiologist encouraging the church to return to its roots and create a high-impact apostolic Jesus movement. Dave has roots as a church planter and is now the pastor of Community Christian Church, a mega-church in Chicago.
The authors lay out a model for apostolic movement which they refer to as movementum: imagine - shift - innovate - move. They attempt to "reimagine the church in apostolic perspective". A key discussion is that of the missional DNA called "The Apostolic Genius. Verge churches combine exponential thinking, church-growth practices, and incarnational mission approaches. Throughout the book a 'both-and' approach is taken.
The core mDNA, or the Apostolic Genius, is a their paradigmatic center comprised of:
- Jesus is Lord
- Missional-incarnational impulse
- Apostolic environment
- Organic systems
I don't want to sound too negative - there really is some excellent material, and church planters and thought leaders in the church would do well to struggle through it. And Ferguson and others in these kinds of movements are seeing fruit. If you were a fan of Alan's "Forgotten Ways," embrace postmodern paradigms and long to see fresh apostolic reexpressions of church, chances are very good you will love On the Verge. Modern thinkers, church leaders wondering how to help their congregation take first steps towards more missional living, and those who eschew neologisms are not likely to connect well with this book.
Check out an excerpt of On the Verge for yourself, or get a copy at Amazon or other retailers.