On The Verge by Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson is a book that explores ways to grow churches. Unfortunately, many of their ideas have already been stated by a plethora of other authors and speakers. Plus, their basic paradigm is still based on the idea that self-reproducing mega-churches are the wave of the future. Therefore much of this book felt like reading warmed-over church growth theories from the 1990s. It felt very dated. To make matters worse, the authors made their points by using pop theology, corporate slogans, circumstantial evidence, generalized theories, cheesy charts, lists of lists, and an onslaught of out-of-context quotations. All of this made the book difficult to enjoy reading. Was there redeeming value in the book? Sure. There were nuggets of wisdom throughout the book. Unfortunately, these nuggets are buried in a bog of distracting neologisms, graphs, and stories. Clearly this is a negative review. Clearly there are positive things I must have missed. Clearly I have found other books to be more helpful.
Here are 5 related books that are much more helpful:
(1) Transforming Christian Theology by Philip Clayton
(2) I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church by Paul Nixon
(3) Unbinding The Gospel by Martha Grace Reese
(4) Transforming Congregational Culture by Anthony Robinson
(5) The Future of Faith by Harvey Cox