This week is the blog tour for On the Verge: a Journey into the Apostolic Future of the Church by Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson. You can find the list of everyone else's reviews on the Engaging Church blog.
On the Verge was a very hard read for me. I believe that the church's primary function is to glorify God and to do the work of Christ, no matter what that means for growth and numbers. When I cracked the book open and began to read, I realized this book wasn't really about that at all.
I felt like the mission of this book (and I could be wrong) was to teach small churches how to become mega churches or get on board with the mega church movement. I'm sure people like me are the ones they are talking about who can't see the real future of the church and where it is going. I tried to. I spent 5 years in a super giant mega church. There were some really great things about it. But overall, we truly missed being at a church where people would ask if everything's ok if we were AWOL for a couple of weeks. We were searching for quality of community, not quantity of ministries and people. It only takes two or three people, why do we feel the need to make it two or three thousand?
It is, in essence, a business manual for churches. It's complete with all the popular Christianese that is starting to sound more and more like the stuff you see on the bottoms of those posters in business offices. You know: these ones. I am sure that if you have a very large church or a church you would like to grow into a very large church, this book would have some very helpful information for you. I'm just not sure making all of our churches very large is an appropriate use of our energy and resources, nor do I believe it's where God wants the church headed. I am not sure this movement is something I want to be "on the verge" of (again, they mention people like me in the book).
As always, I appreciate Zondervan affording the opportunity to review this book for free and for asking for honest reviews.