From the Inside Flap
The externally Focused Quest
The attractional church is about getting the community into the church. The missional, externally focused church is about getting the church into the community. Incarnational ministry, at its heart, is taking church to people by helping believers live out their calling among people who do not yet believe and follow Jesus.
From the Foreword by Alan Hirsch
Most churches, blatantly or subtly, have an unspoken objective"How can we be the 'best church in our community?'"and they staff, budget, and plan accordingly. How a church answers that question determines its entire approach to its members, staff, prayers, finances, time, technology, and facilities. Becoming an externally focused church is not about becoming the best church in the community. The externally focused church asks, "How can we be the best church for our community?" That one little preposition changes everything. And that is the big question this new book from the authors of The Externally Focused Church seeks to answer.
In The Externally Focused Quest, Eric Swanson and Rick Rusaw show church leaders how to transform their churches from being internally focused to being more oriented to the community around them. They use nine big missional concepts that need to be addressed in the quest to become the best church for the community: focus, purpose, scope, missions, partnering, evangelism, systems, creativity, and outcomes. Understanding and applying the truths of each concept will provide many of the tools leaders need to take their churches on the externally focused quest. Written by the cofounders of the Externally Focused Network, this book presents a highly practical approach that gives step-by-step guidance for churches to become truly externally focused without giving up the programs that serve their members.
From the Back Cover
Praise for The Externally Focused Quest
"Swanson and Rusaw are unmatched in their grasp of church and culture! This book contains the information and insight that will resource my preaching, refine my strategy, and reignite my passion as a pastor."
[ Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor, Northland A Church Distributed, Longwood, Florida]
"The Externally Focused Quest is a must-read for every follower of Christ today. Like me, you will come away with a heart bursting with fresh vision for the world outside the four walls of your church. I am making this book required reading for students in the colleges I oversee. It will challenge and dismantle your excuses; then it will inspire you, instruct you, and compel you to action. I am different for having read this book."
[Dr. Wayne Cordeiro, founding and senior pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship and chancellor of Pacific Rim Christian College Consortium]
"Eric Swanson and Rick Rusaw continue to challenge the church to look outwardto join Jesus on his mission in a hurting world, and to show and share the love of Christ. If you are serious about being the church for your community, this book will help provide the insight and tools you need to make it happen."
[Ed Stetzer, president, LifeWay Research]
"Wake up, Church, and read the challenges of our world as opportunities for the church. We are called to serve, and at no time in history has the church had such amazing opportunities to be a transformative presence in the world. In The Externally Focused Quest, Swanson and Rusaw set our hearts on fire for becoming the church that will change the world and then provide concrete examples of how to begin wherever you are in the church and the world. Swanson and Rusaw are redefining the church to be not simply a group of people who believe the same things, but a group of people who are on a mission together as big as the world we are called to serve."
[Diana Garland, dean, School of Social Work, Baylor University]
"I am a big fan of Swanson and Rusaw. They are helping the church become what she has been destined forto be outwardly focused. This is another great book that will help you get beyond yourself."
[Steve Sjogren, president, ServeCoach.com]