I’m a little late with my review of Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement by Dave Ferguson and Jon Ferguson but I’ve just loved slowly reading this book.  Each year I write a summary of my favourite books (2009 in review: Books) and I would expect this book to make it onto my 2010 list.

Dave and Jon Ferguson lead Community Christian Church which is an innovative multisite missional church with eleven locations in Chicago.  They are also co-leaders of New Thing (https://www.newthing.org/) an international network of intentionally reproducing churches.

This books takes on the theme of how you can help create missional churches through four parts:

  • Movements start with 1
  • Reproducing tribes of 10-100
  • Reproducing communities of 110-1,000
  • Reproducing movements of 10,000s

The real big theme throughout the book is high quality simple thinking leading to more people being given opportunity to have a life changing encounter with Jesus.  So much of the way they work is broken down into simple steps, for example: following Jesus, the way leaders are developed, small group development, seven moves to reproducing a site/campus.

The concept that resonated most with me is how they are intentionally attempting to reproduce leaders all the time.  They are very deliberate that as many leaders as possible have an apprentice who can either take over from the present leader – constantly allowing young talent to come through, or allowing teams to divide providing capacity for growth, or allowing the present leader to be promoted to a bigger role without any fear for their present role.  Every apprentice leader has a path they can take that leads them from being an apprentice all the way through to being a network leader, and as they learn they all use the same model:

  1. I do. You watch. We talk.
  2. I do. You help. We talk.
  3. You do. I help. We talk.
  4. You do. I watch. We talk.
  5. You do. Someone else watches.

This has really challenged me as we’ve seen our youth ministry grow fast this year we’ve been stretched at times, and we need to invest more into developing new leaders, not always being reactive to positions needing someone to fill them.  I was appointed with the title Youth Team Leader – my theme at the moment is stepping out of some of the face-to-face youth ministry and allowing others to step up to the plate, and being more intentional in supporting them, and then developing the next set of apprentices below them so we can continue to expand and grow.

I loved this book and would recommend it to, if you need some convincing go read a sample chapter of Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement here.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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