Exponential Book Review
Exponential, by Dave and Jon Ferguson, is a how-to book on beginning a missional church movement. Writing from their own experiences in church planting, Dave and Jon outline a proven model for starting and building a missional church movement. The authors state that a missional church can only begin if we follow Jesus and seek his guidance. They said, “Being spirit led is the most critical quality in the life of an apprentice of Jesus.” Following Jesus also requires sacrifice and risk on our part. Dave and Jon said that we, “must be prepared to die for his [Jesus’] mission.”
With apprenticeship as the foundation, the authors outline a strategy for building a missional church movement consisting of reproducing tribes of 10-100, reproducing communities of 100-1000, and reproducing movements of 10,000’s. The authors emphasize three “C’s” that every tribe must practice: celebrate, connect, and contribute. Celebrate is an emphasis on our relationship with God; connect is the ongoing emphasis on building community with others in the tribe; and contribute is the emphasis on serving those outside the tribe. The authors state, “We find that groups who come together without an external “contribute” component or missional focus often fail to experience the same depth of community as do the groups who seek out opportunities to contribute to a particular cause and work together.”
Dave and Jon also focus on developing leaders. They discuss a step-by-step plan to move someone from an apprentice to a leader, a leader to a coach, a coach to a director, a director to a church planter/campus pastor, and from a planter/pastor to a network leader. The ultimate goal, according to the authors, is to become a reproducing movement that influences neighborhoods, cities, states, countries and the rest of the world.
Beginning a missional church movement is not for the faint of heart or for those who are not totally committed to making disciples, but it is something we can all accomplish with the power of God. Dave and Jon remind us that God is saying, “You can do it!”