The Externally Focused Church

I had the opportunity to hangout with Eric Swanson on a recent trip to Leadership Network.  Eric is Leadership Community Director and LN and the author of The Externally Focused Church.  He also has a new release coming out in March titled The Externally Focused Quest .  In this video Eric talks about the measures of an externally focused church.  See my Take Aways below.


  • Externally focused church measures their effectiveness not by how many people they have on Sunday morning but by the transformational effect they have on their community.
  • In Matthew 22 when no one showed up at his son’s wedding banquet the king augmented his strategy from an “invite” strategy to a “go to” strategy. 
  • When you ask a pastor how his church is doing he typically answers in terms of INPUTS (size of budget, staff, etc), ACTIVITIES (number of services, specific programs, etc) and OUTPUTS (# attending, # serving etc) .  But we can’t stop there we have to move on to OUTCOMES (measured in terms of changed lives)  and IMPACT (the collective result of multiple changed lives over time)
  • Who’s life is different because your church is in the community?
  • “Every non-profit exists for one purpose, that’s to bring about changed lives”  Peter Drucker
  • Outcomes and Impact answer the “so what” question.
  • Don’t try to be the best church in your community, become the best church for your community.

What Outcomes and Impacts does your church need to begin to measure?

One Reply to “The Externally Focused Church”

  1. Thanks for the reminder and the refocusing.

    The whole early church focus was “go tell” not “come see”. The vast percentage of the people in our community will never come through our church building doors but that percentage sky-rockets if “the church” goes with God’s Heart to where they live.

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