Externally Focused Quest by G0Vys0


									                       Externally Focused Quest
Eric Swanson & Rick Rusaw, 2010, Jossey Bass Publishers, San Francisco CA
                        Reviewed by Stan Rowland

The Externally Focused Quest is all about what is happening through the myriad of
churches that are practicing being externally focused. This is a follow-on to their 2003
book, The Externally Focused Church. Swanson has a good way with words and uses
diagrams very well to get key points across. Each chapter has key learning points
which are showcased by multiple short stories related to the point. He has a couple
hundred vignettes that show what External Focused Churches are doing.

In the forward he identifies the Attractional Church is all about getting the community
into the church while the Missional Church is externally focused and is all about
getting the church into the community.

What Kind of Day is Today
He says ministry effectiveness, changing the trajectory of the church, will come from
understanding the times and hitching a ride on the wave where God is moving. He
asks, ‘What if being the largest, fastest growing and most innovative church are the
wrong measure of a good church. Is there something else to working towards? The
best measure is how can we be the best church FOR our community? A key question
which they ask continually is, “If your church disappeared, would your community

Future studies are not about prediction but about imagining plausible and possible
scenarios for the future so that we can plan accordingly. Predicting the future is not
the book’s goal but discovering what today’s trends and patterns are.

Swanson uses an anachronism, STEEPR, to guide leadership:
   S is for Society. We need to know our society today. Societies are no longer
     defined solely as nation-states but can also be defined by generations.
   T is for Technology. He described four dimensions on technology. Today we
     live in a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of
     all knowledge. Technology is how we access and customize life.
   E is for Economics. Globalization is the interconnectedness of people, goods
     and services of the world. China in twenty years has experienced the same
     degree of industrialization, urbanization and social transformation that took
     Europe 200 years to accomplish.
   E is Environment. Environmental issues don’t just affect the quality of life but
     threaten life itself. Too many Christians stand against such scientific data of
     global warming which is alienating the scientific community.
   P is for Political. In years past our goal was to stop communism. But today it is
     to spread freedom and democracy around the globe. Jim Wallis says backing
     political candidates is fine but ordaining them is not.
   R is for Religion. But a long time in history the only channel you could get was
     the God channel. But in the 15th and 16th century we began to understand how
      the world functioned. Today only 3 out of 10 adults believe that there is any
      absolute moral truth. Many now believe that the church has little or no value in
      helping them find meaning or purpose in life.

There is a shift from an internal focus to an external one. Unless a church is engaged
in conversation, rhythms, needs and dreams of their communities, its not the church
that Jesus Christ wants it to be. He differentiates between religion and spirituality.
Religion is for people who are afraid to go to hell. Spirituality is for those who have
been there and back.

One Boulder Country resident says the institutional church is like a set of training
wheels that help you learn how to ride a bike, but after you learn to ride you don’t need
them any more. The problem today is not the loss of spirituality but the churches
failure to recognize the existence and significance of this quest by thousands of
people not involved in the church. He says a collapse in the church culture does not
mean the collapse of the church.

There is a strong desire for a simple organic church model which is the church in
every space and every place. Part of this book’s task is to help shape what church
needs to be for the 21st century and how to reach and grow people that may never be
part of the conventional church.

The key is not skating where the world was but where the world will be. Swanson
states that the church is God’s answer for the world and our communities.
The balance of the nine chapters, deal with nine key ways to be the best church FOR
our community. He uses catchy titles for each chapter and showcases short stories
from what the churches have been doing related to that point.

Focus, They Choose the Window Seat Not the Aisle Seat
He says aisle churches are those who are preoccupied with what is going on inside
the four walls of the church. Window churches focus vision and work outside the walls
of their church. The early church was a window seat church.

He differentiates between the attractional and missional churches.
    The attractional church is one that through it’s program, presence and
       marketing seeks to attract people to it’s services. But many, many people pay
       no attention to them. The attractional model is a come to model.
    Missional churches can be described as go to churches. These churches think
       of incarnation as much as they think invitation.
    The only thing more difficult then getting the church to go into the community is
       getting the community into the church.
Swanson then lists reasons why the church is not engaged.
   Missional Factors. Many people say how should we meet the needs outside the
     church when we have so many needs within our four walls. The mission of the
     church cannot merely be to maintain itself.
   Theological Factors. There can be no cooperation capitulation or collaboration
     with Christians who are less dedicated them themselves. Therefore they set
     themselves apart.
   Secular Factors. Secularization of social services has said certain activities are
     not part of the church but the secular world. The church is absent from
     conversations regarding society’s ills and needs.
   Personal Factors. Engaging in the world is just too hard to do therefore I will
     stay out of it.

Swanson then looks at the scriptures emphasizing two parables, The Good Samaritan
in Luke 10 and the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. The Good Samaritan calls us to engage
in social action, charity, mercy etc. while the Prodigal Son calls us to evangelism,
forgiveness and grace.

Swanson then uses the parables of One Hundred Sheep, Ten Coins and Two Sons.
These stories all focus on going after what we don’t have rather then focusing on what
we do have. Externally focused churches focus on reaching the lost. Churches that
transform communities are those that are inwardly strong but outwardly focused.

Purpose: They Practice Weight Training, Not Bodybuilding
Pastor Danny Carroll says “I’m not looking for an audience to fill up the church; I’m
looking for an army to change the world”. For athletes weight training is a means to a
greater end, to build strength, balance and flexibility in order to go faster, higher and
stronger in a given sport. Body builders train with weights for the sole purpose of
making the body more muscular, beautiful, symmetrical and physically imposing.

Churches that transform communities are those that build the body of Christ to
expand the capacity for ministry and service. The church exists to equip people
accordingly to their calling and gifts to be salt and light in their family, church and
community that God has prepared us for good works before-hand implies that these
good works are ours to discover, not invent.

The role of the pastor needs to change to fulfill this purpose from one who tends the
hurts and needs of the congregation to one who teaches and trains the congregation
to tend the hurts and needs of the community. God gives us spiritual gifts not to edify
ourselves but rather to serve others. The focus is outside ourselves for the good of
others nor ourselves. Real spiritual growth occurs when the physical, relational and
spiritual well-being of our neighbor is as important as our own.

Keys to effective service include:
    It must be authentic service that meets real human needs.
      This service must be coupled with the opportunity to process the experience
       with others.
      People doing ministry must also be recipients of ministry, a two way street of

Our journey is not a stair step journey. It is really a never ending loop. What takes us
in brings us out and what takes us out brings us back in again. It is a continuing
journey. Going inward is loving God and going outward is loving our neighbor as our
self. The Infinity diagram below represents what is taking place.

Another way of looking at what is taking place is the Celtic Knot. As a contemplative
devotional life that strengthened their belief in God, they desired to live and belong in
a community with like minded souls on their journey. They had a sense of mission that
drove them to show compassion and blessed the world. Their diagram is show below:

The space in the middle is unnamed. Swanson contends it is missional leadership.
How can leaders structure the church so that every person has the opportunity to
experience believing, belonging and blessing. This style of leadership is through
influence not direction or authority.
Swanson says we want to build strength, increase capacity, have a sustained
influence and impact in our community. He says there are two measures ‘depth of
engagement’ and ‘frequency of engagement’. He uses the following chart:

There are people who give things or do things for others with little relationship
building. There are people who will come alongside another for a period of time to help
them improve their life. Then there are others who want to see people grow and to be
independent and do things on their own.

The vast number of people reaching out into a community are found at the bottom left
hand corner of the chart giving money and things or doing something for someone
once a year. The desire is start where people are at in multiple ways and multiple
times in their life to help them move to a deeper commitment.

The goal is to help people move to greater depth and more frequent involvement. This
means moving up the grid of involvement toward empowering as well as to the right
for regular involvement. Ahead of time the church must have concrete things at each
commitment level and time where a person can fit in being involved.

Story: They Live in he Kingdom Story, Not a Church Story
The question is what kind of story have we been telling?

The Kingdom is the story to tell, not the story of the church. The word kingdom is
mentioned 152 times in the New Testament while the word church is only mentioned
three times. The kingdom was the central teaching of the apostles. What is the
Kingdom? The answer used is the Kingdom of God is any place over which God has
operative dominion. The kingdom is where the king is reigning. Swanson says church
people think about how to get people into the church while Kingdom people think
about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might
change the church while Kingdom people work to see the church change the world.
He has a quite extensive chart comparing the two on page 76.
Daniel Pink says ‘Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic, they are ideally
set up to understand stories’. We tell a better story by modeling a better story and
inviting others to be part of the story. Swanson goes on telling stories about how the
externally focused churches are impacting their communities.

The gospel of the kingdom and salvation both get conversions. The difference is the
gospel of salvation is finished at conversion. The gospel of the kingdom begins at
conversion and engages comprehensively and wholistically through the entire life of a
person and community.

Missions: the Few Send the Many, Not the Many Send the Few
Initially the externally focused church focused on local mission but that is different
today. Today most externally focused churches want to be the best church for their
community and for the world. They see both going hand in hand. But there is a
changing center in Christianity Now many missionaries are from different countries
then the developed nations.

He relates:
    Jerusalem, to across the street
    Judea, to across the country
    Samaria, to across the track, culturally different
    The world, to across the seas.

He believes the present future in missions includes:
    Mutuality: There is a shift from west to east, and from north to south as the
      sending places for missionaries. In fact the gospel is growing in everyplace of
      the world but the US. There is a shift as countries receiving and sending
      missionaries are coming to the table as equals and with reciprocity on both
      sides, not a one way transaction as it use to be.
    Partnering: Partnering is different then Mutuality. Mutuality has to do with
      equality of those around the table, partnering pertains to the purposes or
      projects that require the needs of real partners. Partnership is built around
      shared values rather then bringing our separate agendas or programs. Today it
      is no longer missions to, nor ministry for, but ministry WITH.
    Investing in Leaders: Leadership is everything, whatever good things are
      happening, there will be a capable and passionate person leading the way.
      How do you recognize good leaders, by finding those who are already engaged
      in ministry without outside help?
    Combining Good Deeds and Good News: Both are critical in missions they are
      inter-twined. Good deeds verify the good news and good news clarifies the
      good deeds. Rick Warren says I am not interested in interfaith dialogue but
      interfaith projects.
    Greater Financial Accountability: Our challenge is to develop sustainable and
      healthy partnerships with indigenous people with out disempowering those who
       need help. John Martin of Good Shepherd Community Church uses the
       acronym RAISE
           o R Relationships: Always lead with relationships
           o A Accountability: Never give to individuals only to organizations
           o IS Indigenous Sustainability: Its helping local ministry do ministry without
           o E Equity: Any financial gifts should not create economic dependence but
              helps build local sustainability
      Business as Mission: Business is now becoming a part of missions which helps
       build sustainability. The church is finally beginning to learn how to use business
       people and entrepreneurs.
      Focus: Focus on what you do, do not shotgun missions. Churches that seem to
       be having the most global impact are those who focus. People want to be part
       of a movement, a social force to change the world and this comes through
      Technology: In today’s world technology is becoming a major impetus to take
       us to the next level of mission.
      Look: Look at what you are doing globally
      Ask: As you look ask questions ready to receive answers with an open mind
       being willing to change. Ask questions such as do we need to keep doing this

Partnering: They Build Wells, Not Walls
The externally focused church could and should partner with any organization that is
morally positive and spiritually neutral. This means partnering with community
agencies and government is normally acceptable. Paul Hiebert of Fuller Theological
Seminary talks about a Bounded Set and a Centered Set:
    A Bounded Set asks the question do you believe as I believe, if not I cannot
       work with you. They exclude people and groups by this.
    A Centered Set consists of people who share a common affection, interest or
       pursuit. Do you care about what I care about? Therefore all are in and I can
       work with them around this allegiance. Churches that are transforming
       communities don’t divide over their differences but they unite around their
       common love for their community and task. By asking do you care what I care
       about, we can bypass the issue of who is right and who is wrong and head
       straight towards kingdom solutions of the communities and world problems.

Catalytic Days of Service and Unity is practiced throughout the whole externally
focused movement. It is a joint effort of dozens of churches in a city to bless the city
through service projects in order to practically demonstrate God’s love. It is usually
done on a specific day with hundreds coming out to clean up parks, paint schools, to
feed the hungry. Swanson gives many examples from around the US to demonstrate
how this works. These days of service brings visibility of the church to the city showing
that the church really cares about the city. It begins to give the church credibility with
the world. It allows beginning relationships to form where there were none before. It is
a powerful tool for showing God’s love. And you do not have to wear T shirts or have
your church logo spread all over everything you do, nor do you hand out evangelistic
tracts. God is control and people ask why are you doing this you get to share in a low
key non-intrusive way.

Lessons Learned from Partnerships
    Release people to go outside the church to serve. Service for church people
      should not just be within the churches walls.
    Every partnership requires understanding the rules. Every partnership needs
      some boundaries and established communication channels. The church should
      be simply helping the community meet an existing need.
    You don’t have to wear T shirts with your name on it. Let service be service and
      marketing by marketing. Just serve other don’t market your church.
    It doesn’t matter who gets the credit. Those who count know who did what.
    Not every partnership works out. That’s OK.
    There is value in the people and partnership themselves. To come alongside
      others is a blessing in itself.
    When we work with others we accomplish more then we could every
      accomplish ourselves. 2+2 is > 4

Systems: They Create Paradigms, Not Programs
A program has a beginning and end. A paradigm is a pattern or model from which
many programs and initiative will flow. They will emerge from their own strengths,
capacities and calling not through control. They will take a life of their own.

But there is a need to create limited structures that operationalize the shared values.
Externally focused churches create systems that continually reinforce values without
top down control. If we want people to get into the game there does need to be
systems and mechanisms between our values and action. Swanson goes on to point
out 3M, John Wesley, Henry Ford really created systems to see values happen. Jim
Collins says that good systems cause good thing to happen even when no one is
paying attention to them.

You Go About Creating Systems By:
    Start with a strong scriptural basis. Saturate yourself in the gospels as you
     begin and as you go forward.
    Preach about your focusing on transforming your community regularly. The
     message of good news and good deeds resonate not only with believers but
     with seekers and unbelievers as well. One of a leader’s responsibility is to
     communicate vision.
    Make it part of your church plans.
    Put your words into regular opportunities to get into the community to serve the
     community. We want to maximize opportunities to get everyone into the game.
     We need to think of creative ways and strategies to engage people where they
     are and help them move to a deeper commitment and action.
    Infuse service into the small groups. Each group has three goals: connect
     relationally, grow spiritually and make a difference. Through small groups it is
       good friends who help good intentions become good deeds which in turn
       creates goodwill. In one church each small group has multiple leaders:
           o Group leader
           o Connect champion creates community within the group
           o Growth champion is responsible for the Biblical content of the group
           o Bridge champion leads the group in making a difference in their
      Engage in regular church-wide projects. Action is a unifier. People who only
       think about things generally don’t work well with others. Those people of action
       find an easy camaraderie with others. Every church should provide an annual
       day or weekend when everyone can participate in a community service project.
       This also encourages inter-generational service.
      Think Kingdom, not Church. Swanson has always believed that a church
       should not be measured by numbers but by it’s impact on a community. The
       church needs to be thinking about and acting to relieve social evils.

Evangelism: they Deploy Kingdom Laborers, Not Just Community Volunteers.
Jesus did not ask us to pray for volunteers for the community but to ask him for
workers for the harvest field. But a volunteer in a community becomes a laborer in the
harvest field when they combine the good news with good deeds.

Mercy is Gods attitude and action toward people in distress. Mercy is exposed in the
deeds of the Good Samaritan. Jesus went about doing good, not just through his
ministry of mercy but also through his ministry of empowerment, Jesus healing
ministry. By healing people he was helping them from dependency on care givers to
sufficiency. Empowerment deals with underlying causes of symptoms and we are
called to deal with both. Empowerment is teaching people how to fish, own the pond
and even how to zone the pond. Mercy tends to deal with the symptoms of a person’s

The deepest poverty is to have nothing of value to offer others. People are worthy
recipients whether they become Christians or not. John Stott says ‘Yet the reason for
our acceptance of social responsibility is not primarily in order to give the gospel
visibility or credibility it would otherwise lack, but for simple compassion. Love has no
need to justify itself. It merely expresses itself in service whatever it sees need.’

It is well and good to want to be the hands and feet of Jesus by what we do but we
also need to be the voice of Jesus. A question becomes how do mercy and
empowerment connect to evangelism. Good deeds create goodwill and goodwill is a
wonderful platform for good conversations about the good news.

Good deeds are those that are perceived as good by both the receiving culture and
the church. The goal of a ministry needs to be a ministry of mercy, empowerment and
evangelism. The empowerment goals are all about equipping people to function on
their own. Good deeds get the attention of people as few words can do. Scriptural
examples lead us to believe that God will set up the opportunity for conversation
through good deeds but there is still good news to be shared.

We don’t need to wear a ‘T’ shirt with our churches name on it because by
intentionally not seeking to advertise ourselves, we make space for others to glorify
God. The best apologetics will be demonstrated as much as postulated. Many times
Christians feel that they need to know all the answers which is not true. Saying I don’t
know is better then trying to make up an answer. People would still rather see a
sermon than hear a sermon most days.

If we fully expect that when we are serving and loving, God space is being created, we
will be more in tune with people and their needs and unanswered questions.
The word evangelist is no longer used in just spiritual situations The word evangelist is
used secularly for people who act as evangelists no matter for what situation. Guy
Kawasaki lays out 10 Fundamental Principles Of Evangelism:
     Create a cause. A cause seizes the higher ground
     Love the cause.
     Look for agnostics ignore atheists, people who are somewhat open not closed.
     Localize the pain. People don’t buy revolutions. They but aspirins to fix the pain
        or vitamins to supplement their lives.
     Let people test drive the cause. Try the cause with simple no commitment
     Learn and be ready to give a demonstration at any time or place.
     Provide a safe first step.
     Ignore pedigrees. Meet with, and help anyone who gets it.
     Never tell a lie
     Remember your friends.

Creativity: They Innovate, Not Replicate
The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new
eyes. Innovation always pertains to the productive application of creativity. 3M’s
definition of innovation is ‘new ideas plus action or implementation which results in an
improvement, gain or a profit’ . Innovation deals with being not simply novel or
different but better. Innovation needs to be tied to results that matter in regard to your

Innovation always pertains to the relationship between inputs and outcomes. All
innovation is ultimately tied to entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur shifts economic
resources out of an area of lower productivity into an area of higher productivity and
greater yield. Successful entrepreneurs try to create value and make a contribution.
They are not satisfied with simply to improve on what already exists or to modify it.
They try to create new and different values and new and different satisfactions.

Anyone whose goals are higher than their available resources can be an innovator. If
you are satisfied with the status quo, there is no reason to innovate. Innovation occurs
not because a person is trying to be original but because a person is attempting
something difficult. Innovators embrace both and generally reject either or thinking.
They are always thinking what could be to what is?

Also they ask ‘What do you want to accomplish that is so big that currently you don’t
have the resources to accomplish. A big compelling dream is the criterion by which
you measure opportunities for innovation. Swanson then goes on to compare Internal
Focus to External Focus in six critical areas of measurement.
    People are a churches most important resource yet most people view people
       as consumers of religious goods and services. When Jesus followers are living
       on mission they become kingdom people who think about the spiritual,
       relational and physical well being of others
    Facilities can be used to increase societal impact. Use the church’s facilities for
       the good of the community.
    Prayer can be leveraged to a higher level of impact by praying for the
    Finances of Christian are critical. 97% of total church income was spent
       benefiting Christian with only 3% spent for the benefit of non-Christians. This
       needs to be shifted.
    Technology provides the enabling mechanisms that we use to be more efficient
       or effective in accomplish our mission and vision. How can we use technology
       for the benefit of those outside the four walls of the church?
    Time. How we spend our time and money are probably the most determinative
       things we do.

Below is a chart showing the measure for external focus for the six areas.
    People                  Facilities           Prayer               Finances      Technology              Time
Kingdom people        Facilities are for    Prayer on location   How much we      The church         Effectiveness
                      church and            in community         give away        mission
Everyone on           Counting people       Prayer for those   Church is a        How to navigate    Hours spent
mission               who use the           outside our church pipeline           and understand     serving others
                      facility during the                                         the community
Number of people      We need to open       Prayer for other     Abundance        Videos of          Small groups
who are released      up our facilities     churches             mentality        missional          engaged in the
to serve, start or                                                                engagement         community
lead ministries
Mentoring and         Facilities are        Pray ‘with’ you      Micro-loans      Mobilizing the     Time spent with
tutoring for ‘them’   designed for the                                            community          non-believers in
                      community                                                                      redemptive
People equipped       This is your house    Prayer for money     Empowerin        Creating           Number of
to serve others                             to be freed up to                     opportunities to   children reading at
                                            help others                           connect to the     grade level
Trying to serve       Market the facility   Prayer for and       Jesus-like       Equipment shared   Staff clocking out
others unlike us      to the community      engagement with      generosity       with the
                                            three people who                      community
                                            don’t know Jesus
Loving people and                           Prayer gathering     Providing seed   Links to other     Time spent with
what they do                                with other           money            churches and       people anywhere
                                            churches in the                       community
                                            community                             partners
     People       Facilities        Prayer             Finances          Technology          Time
Growing people                 Prayer for people   Giving to the      Town square web   Fluidity
through service                in need             church and other   site
People in the                  Prayer for God to                                        Lots of white
streets                        change me                                                space
People                         Prayer for people                                        Total number of
development                    to be sent out by                                        moments
                               our church
How’s our city                 Prayer for
doing                          expansion of the
                               Being People of
Swanson then looks at how we build entrepreneurs:
   Look for areas of leverage that make a difference.
   Swim in Blue Oceans not Red Oceans.
        o Red oceans represent all industries in existence today which are
           competing against each other for the same fixed market.
        o Blue oceans denote all industries NOT in existence today. This is
           an unknown market space which demands creation and opportunity
           for highly profitable growth.
        o Churches to can swim in either red or blue oceans. Being the best
           church in our community is swimming in a red ocean. Being the
           best church FOR our community is swimming in a blue ocean
   Look for unmet needs in your community and then plan how to help meet
     those needs.

William James said ‘genius is the capacity for seeing relationships where lesser
men see none’. Thomas Edison said ‘make it a practice to keep on the lookout
for novel interesting ideas that others have used successful. Your idea only has
to be original in its adaption to the problem you are working on’. Looking at the
same thing while thinking something different, is what innovation is all about.

Outcomes: It’s About the Game, Not the Pregame Talk
Many times we often grade what we do by how well the pre-game speech went
rather then performance of the team on the playing field. The pre-game speech is
just preparation for a game while the game itself is what we are after the action of
the game and the impact of the results.

It is important that we Get Everyone In The Game. To do that some things need
to be done:
      Provide regular easy-entry opportunities that give people the chance to
        change the world. What if everyone in your church at year end had a story
        to tell how they changed the world? Awesome! He gives several stories of
        ways churches did this.
      Combine opportunity with inclination. Giving motivating sermons is one
        thing but people need the immediate opportunity to become involved, to
        put what they heard into action now.
      Make it personal by people inviting their friends to join them in this
        specific, one time opportunity. Use the words ‘Do this with me.’ There are
        three I’s necessary to attracting and asking volunteers
            o Identify specific people who would a great job in this activity
            o Inform them personally what they can be doing in specific terms if
                 they join you.
            o Invest by giving people a chance to try out something with no
                 strings attached before they make any greater commitment.
      Begin with the willing. It is important to realize that not everyone is willing
        to play. You can just work with the early enthusiasts who are willing to
        play. Let them then tell their stories and others will come along.
Are We Winning and How Should we Measure it?
A key thing that is necessary is to knowing how to tell if you are winning,
accomplishing your goals and having impact. We need to find out:
    What is working?
    What is stuck and identify the barriers needed to be overcomed to unstick
       the project?
    What can we start new to better fulfill our mission?
    What do we need to abandon? Yes things need to be stopped if they
       aren’t working.

Swanson then goes on to investigate how we measure if we are winning or not.
He shares an important process to see if we are winning which to him equates to
long term impact. To this end he then looks at Five Concepts in Measurement:
    Inputs are the human and physical resources that make the initiative
       possible. They include such things as the people equipment, supplies,
       money and time.
    Activities describe the essential work of the initiative. It tells how the inputs
       will be used. These are the steps which are part of Objective and Step
    Outputs are the most direct and immediate results. Each output normally
       relates to one activity. The oututs create the potential for Outcomes to
       appear. In most instances they are measurable and could include total
       numbers of latrines, number of home visits by CHEs etc.
    Outcomes are the short and medium range changes that occurred in
       individual lives and families. They describe the key changes that have
       happened through the initiative. They are fewer in number and flow
       naturally from several of the outputs. In reality these are the objectives we
       want to accomplish as presented earlier.
    Impact is the long range change in the community or society. It is a picture
       of the desired future. They are the collective results of individual changes
       in a community. It is the reason why it is important to do the initiative. In
       planning describe a scenario that is close enough to show a real
       contribution to the desired change yet big enough and far enough out on
       the horizon to be visionary.

If you ask a pastor to describe their church they will only answer in terms of
inputs, activities, and outputs. But they do not really know what the desired
outcomes or impact might be. What we need to be looking for is long term
impact which in most instances these changes are not a direct result of our
ministry because many people and groups are involved and we should be
leading through influence, not direction.

So the question is, What does winning look like for your church? How do you
measure what really matters in your community? What impact is your church
having? Would the community even notice if your church is no longer there?

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