Lessons from The Externally Focused Church

September 15, 2011

 

 Although everyone outside the Church is a potential ministry focus, the Externally Focused  Church moves intentionally toward two groups:

  1. Those on the margins
  2. The City

– from Externally Focused Church 

These are important points to remember when designing an outreach strategy for the local church.  The first, people on the margins of society, probably needs no explanation.  The second, while in some ways obvious, may be helpful to explain, at least a little. 

The focus on the city does not necessarily mean our focus must be on the mega metropolitan areas throughout the country and around the world.  While no doubt those places are important, when you think of “city” think simply of “places where people gather”.  Externally Focused Churches work to benefit the common good more than create places to which Christians withdraw from others.  (Jeremiah 29.7)

2 Responses to “Lessons from The Externally Focused Church”

  1. David Says:

    Dennis, It’s not been my experience that externally focused Churches look to the margins of society nor to only the city.

    I’ve seen a lot of Churches and most all the externally focused Churchs I’ve seen, have a good balance. That is, they seek those who need Jesus no matter who or where they may be.

    I have always thought our efforts to build relationships in order to be able to evanglise and help socially starts at home in our own neighborhoods, towns and cities and then moves out from there. ( Acts 1:8 )

    Seems to me many churches go to different places other than their own neighbors & towns to help others and evanglise.

    I know there are many different reasons, but at the same time I think it’s a sad commentary and maybe just one result of not having a heart for the effort, time and preperation for true disciple making.

  2. Dennis Griffith Says:

    I do not see this as a call to exclusive ministry to the margins or to urban areas. This is a point of ministry that is lacking in many Seeker or Attractional churches, though. When congregations are self-focued, primarily concerned with their own growth and only secondarily (at best) Kingdom Advancement, they tend to ignore the people on the margins of society and the city – unless, of couse, this would seem cool and attract other middle class members.

    The point here is to note that these are two areas of ministry in churches that are truly focused more on the Kingdom than on themselves. There are likely other ministries, but these two cannot be neglected if we are to be Outwardly Focused. Further, please note that I defined city in its broader sense: the place where people are. This is open-ended in possible ministries and outreaches.

    In short, I would liken this idea to the encouragement the other Apostles gave to Paul and Barnabus to “not forget the poor”. (Galatians 2.10) This was not to limit Paul’s ministry but to reinforce a particular, oft neglected, emphasis.


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