Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Externally Focused Church

I first heard about The Externally Focused Church at a clergy meeting and was intrigued by the idea of congregations that are focused not on themselves, but on the communities surrounding them. So I tracked down a copy and, in my down-time post-Christmas, I took a swing through this text.

It was eye-opening to say the least. Authors Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson make the very persuasive argument that the Church has to get out of her four walls and into the community, acting as servants that do as well as tell. That means finding and targeting specific needs in the community around them, working to meet those needs, motivating members to serve in the community, and engaging people where they are, not necessarily to "win them for Christ" (although that would be a great thing should it happen) but to serve them out of Christian love and devotion because that's what God seeks in His people.

To put it bluntly, it's given me a lot to think about. And that's always a good thing.

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