I have seen The Externally Focused Church promoted a lot through Leadership Network, but I hadn’t talked to anyone who had actually read it. The book was of particular interest to me because one of the authors pastors the church I grew up in. As one who has now actually read it, I can recommend it for those looking to help their church look outside of itself. For those with a wish list as long as mine, here are a few bits I found interesting for you to process in the meantime:
- “Recognizing that most people want to give to ministries outside the church, CCC (Colorado Community Church) employs what they call their “5+5″ missions strategy. They ask their members to give 5 percent of their incomes to ministries outside of the church.” – pg 72
- “Erwin McManus has this to say about spiritual growth and service: ‘Some people believe that growth is like a series of steps–first you teach them for several months, then you put them in a training program for a while, then finally you give them some service opportunities. I don’t believe that. I believe that as every baby is born with everything it will need as an adult, except in a smaller form, so, too, every child of God is reborn with everything he or she needs to grow and serve Christ. So from day one, and sometimes even before a person becomes a Christina, we get them serving in the community.
‘I may not know much about discipleship, but I do know this: Discipleship is not what happens inside the four walls of this church. We’ve also discovered that the biggest factor in our church’s retaining people is not personal follow-up or joining a small group; it is being involved in the very beginning in service to others in the community. It is mobilization that equals assimilation. We actually have people who get upset with Mosaic at times and would like to leave, but they decide to stay because Mosaic is their connection to community ministry.'” – pg 79
- “When recruiting volunteers, one of the best things we can do is give people accurate, practical information about how and when they can get involved. Many good hearted people in your church would love to serve and minister, but they lack a mechanism to turn desire into action. They need to know how many are needed, when they are needed, and how long they will be needed. Biblical encouragement is good, but it is not sufficient to engage people in service. Encouragement must be accompanied by many, many opportuntities. Service only happens when inclination meets opportunity.” – pg 209