“Externally focused church are internally strong, but they are oriented externally. Their external focus is reflected in those things for which they staff and budget. Because they engage their communities with good works and good news of Jesus Christ, their communities are better places in which to live. These churches look for ways to be useful to their communities, to be a part of their hopes and dreams. They build bridges to their communities instead of walls around themselves. They don’t shout at the dirty stream; they get in the water and begin cleaning it up. They determine their effectiveness not only by internal measures – such as attendance, worship, teaching, and small groups – but also by external measures: the spiritual and societal effects they are having on the communities around them. Externally focused churches measure not only what can be counted but also what matters most – the impact they are having outside the four walls of the church. They ask, “Who lives are different because of this church?”
“Forgiveness is both an event and a process. Making the four promises of forgiveness (found earlier in the book) is an event that knocks down a wall that stands between you and the person who has wronged you. Then a process begins. After you demolish an obstruction, you usually have to clear away debris and do repair work. The Bible calls this ‘reconciliation,’ a process involving a change of attitude that leads to a change in the relationship.”
“The problem today is that churches are striving to win their world to Christ without having first been revived themselves. The result is spiritually comatose church members going door-to-door asking unbelievers if they would like to have what they have – spiritual anemia! Such an invitation is patently unappealing. It explains the high dropout rate in churches today. Newborn spiritual babes are being placed into churches filled with spiritually lethargic people. It is a recipe for disillusionment.”
–Henry and Richard Blackaby, with Claude King, Fresh Encounter: God’s Pattern for Spiritual Awakening (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2009), 18
“Why did God create and choose this institution called ‘church’? What is this gift that God has given us, and how does it impact our lives? The church is one of the few organizations in the world that does not exist for the benefit of its members. The church exists because God in his infinite wisdom and infinite mercy, chose the church as his instrument to make known his manifold wisdom in the world.”
Ed Stetzer and David Putman, Breaking the Missional Code: Your Chuch Can Become a Missionary in Your Community (Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 2006), 200.