Are You Outwardly Focused?

Eric Swanson wrote a book called the Outwardly Focused Church. In it he pointed out how so many of our churches were inwardly focused, that is they mainly took care of their own needs as a church. His challenge was that we needed to be more like Jesus and care for the needs of those who do not go to church. We are to be a witness to the world and we cannot do that if we are not engaged with them.

The real test is to look at our budget and see what % of the income is spent on programs, staff, and equipment reaching those that do not know Christ. We can also look at our allocation of time. How many volunteer hours are spent on ministry inside the church versus the hours spent outside the church?

How outwardly focused are you? Answer the questions on this easy to do survey.

*HOW OUTWARDLY FOCUSED ARE YOU?
I am involved in a ministry.
 regularly
 often
 sometimes
 no
I volunteer when needed for extra duties at church.
 regularly
 often
 sometimes
 no
I meet the needs of the needy when called upon.
 regularly
 often
 sometimes
 no
I invite people to church services and activities.
 regularly
 often
 sometimes
 no
I share literature and other witnessing tools with people outside the church.
 regularly
 often
 sometimes
 no
I share my own testimony of God’s active role in my life with others.
 regularly
 often
 sometimes
 no
I share the gospel message with those that do not know it.
 regularly
 often
 sometimes
 no
I have led someone to the Lord in the last two years.
 regularly
 often
 sometimes
 no

*Taken from the book, Five Signs of a Healthy Christian by Ronald Ovitt

How did you do? The truth is that the majority of those in the church do not do well on this survey. The main cause is that we don’t have much training on being outwardly focused with our Christianity. But that can easily change.

Here are some materials you can study to help you be more of a witness of your faith.

Outwardly Focused Church – by Eric Swans

Evangelism Outside the Box – by Rick Richardson

The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door – by Jay Pathak, Dave Runyon

The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World – by Rosaria Butterfield

Wired For Ministry – by Ron Ovitt

 

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