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?