Book Review – Exponential by Ferguson & Ferguson

Exponential

Exponential – Ferguson & Ferguson

Just like its name suggests, Exponential is a book about church growth (or to put in a better way – about effective Kingdom growth strategies).  Ferguson and Ferguson walk the readers step by step through processes that achieve church growth on every level – starting with the individual and ending with massive multi-site ministries.  The book is 1 part theology, 1 part motivation, and 3 parts of something that looks remarkably similar to an intro to business text book.  Exponential proved incredibly helpful, had a wealthy of  easily understood information (the diagrams and illustrations go a long way) , and gave our staff clear and straightforward ideas about how to implement small group strategies and apprentice training.
I remember reading a quote once that said ‘systems create what they’re designed to create’.  As simple as it sounds, those words pack a punch.  Exponential is a book to help your community get in place the systems designed to create a culture of disciple-making and Kingdom growth.
Of course this, like every book, is not without its faults.  There’s no mention of the need for the church to tackle injustices, to stand with the oppressed, to care for those on the margins of society, or to be willing to take unpopular positions to stand on the side of Justice.  None of that is in the scope of the book.  If our communities are making ‘disciples’ with the utmost efficiency but now transforming the world around us in any noticeable way, the ‘disciples’ we’re making end up looking remarkably different from the Jesus the gospel writers portray. My hope is that Ferguson and Ferguson realized that their book is only a small part of the large and rich body of work about who the Church is called to be in the world…that it should be read not as the end all and be all of church development books, but seen as just a small piece in the beautiful tapestry of information and dreams about what the Church is, and hopes to become.
Here are my notes on Ferguson and Ferguson’s  5 Reproducing Principals which I shared with our Drive Team.  If you like these, you should definitely check out the rest of the book.

5 Reproducing Principals

1. Everyone MUST have an apprentice
2. reproducing is PROACTIVE, not reactive
  • “as long as we were Prepared to care for those new people, in our reproducing small groups, we believed God would send us people woh needed to find their way back to Him”
  • “We would make room for people while anticipating that growth would happen”
  • “To start a new location you don’t need large numbers of people, but the right people”
3. Reproducing is not about size but about LEADER READINESS
4.  Reproducing isn’t our our kingdom but God’s Kingdom
5. Reproducing happens at the edge and the center

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