The Externally Focused Quest

Becoming the Best Church for the Community

The Externally Focused Quest
Author Eric Swanson
Author Rick Rusaw
Publication Date 4/2010
Binding Book - Hardback
ISBN 9780470500781
Retail Price $26.95
Discount Price $23.79 (12% discount)
Becoming An Externally Focused Church will help readers understand the ten changes necessary to becoming externally focused.  The changes are not about changes in degree but changes in kind that affect the very being of what it means to be church.  This book is not about getting all churches to have an annual day of community service as a tactic but changing the core of who they are and how they see themselves.  This is not about 40 days of purpose but more like 40 years of re-purposing.  It is a highly practical approach that shows readers the major shifts that are needed to become externally focused.

Externally focused is closely related to what has been called missional; the difference is that externally focused churches are more traditional organizations that do not wish to give up their focus on programs for members but do want to add more emphasis on outreach to people who are not already in church, particularly to the surrounding secular community.  (That is, it is a less radical approach that works better for more conventional churches.)  In either case, such an orientation represents a major shift in what a congregation is and does and thinks (from an internal to external focus) and thus in how leaders lead.  In the Leadership Network Series, the cluster of missional books have been among our most successful:  McNeal, The Present Future (over 81,000); Cole, Organic Church (26,000 LTD); Minatrea, Shaped by God's Heart (18,000 LTD); Roxburgh, The Missional Leader (over 14,000 copies LTD).

  • A Leadership Network publication.  Leadership Network markets their books and to their database of approximately 30,000 newsletter (email and print) subscribers, including targeted subsets of 1200 known opt-in book buyers.  Through their partnership with, LN books are featured in weekly email newsletters that go out to 40,000 people.  They also have 3 well-subscibed blogs and sponsor several conferences and webinars every year that reach thousands of people.
  • Foreword and endorsements by prominent figures, including Rick Warren, Bob Buford, Len Sweet, and Rick McKinley (megachurch pastor).
  • Authors will promote at their and Leadership Network events and market to their wide network of contacts and organizations with which they are affiliated.
  • Practical approach:  Moves readers from understanding what externally focused means and is to actually making the shifts that are necessary to change to this new model of doing church.
  • Wide audience:  Crosses all boundaries within Christian congregational styles and denominations by focusing on principles rather than institutional forms.
Pastors, ministers, and church lay leaders who are wanting to adopt a more externally focused approach to doing church but who do not want to give up more internally focused traditional programs and approaches.