When I was given a copy of Exponential at the Exponential conference in Orlando I added it to my stack and figured I’d get to it when I got to it. When I finally got to it…I found myself captivated by a great story!
Exponential is the very inspirational and at the same time extremely practical story of how Community Christian Church in suburban Chicago became a leading influence in the reproducing church movement. When I say inspirational, you need to read packed with great stories, real life stories about people at Community who have been seized by the idea of stepping into ministry. When I say practical, you need to read packed with immediately implementable practices that will help your church move in the direction of becoming a reproducing ministry.
Exponential at its core is the best practical explanation of how to implement the concept of apprenticing at every level. If you’ve been along for any length of time you know what I think about apprenticing (if not, you can check here and here). This is not that. Really, what the Fergusons do a great job of illustrating is how to leverage an apprenticing strategy to reproduce leaders systemwide. Very cool and an essential practice if you want your ministry to move beyond you in impact.
I really have to say that Exponential by Dave and Jon Ferguson fits in a pretty exclusive category of game-breaking books for me. Let me qualify that statement. I read continually and have a library full of books I’ve actually read. I’ve been reading this way for over 25 years. I’ve forgotten most of the books. There are a few that refer to all the time. Exponential is in that category.
This is not a tough read. It’s not challenging to understand (like Hirsch’s The Forgotten Ways) or to do (like Chan’s Crazy Love). At the same time, it is challenging because we can easily understand it and even better, we can do it. We just have to want to be a reproducing church and begin to do what we learn in Exponential.