Been reading The Multiplying Church by Bob Roberts. I was slightly surprised to realize recently that I’ve never really read a church planting book and a friend recommend I start here.  I’m finding it a good primer on the topic.  A quote that was very compelling to me,

“Where do you start in your dreaming – the church or the world outside the chruch?  That determines everything.  It determines how you organize, where you engage, and how you prioritize.  The reality is that we’ve been starting with the “church” stuff and have done very little to engage the community and soceity as we always say we plan to do.”

This is good stuff.  Makes me wonder. As we talk about starting new ministries. What if we talked about starting ministries to the “world” as we talked about ministries to “those inside the church.”  Why do we only invite Christians to join us for our weekly service to the homeless?  What about forming a service project / ministry that is primarily made up of people who aren’t Christians?  This isn’t about tricking non-Christians to serve and believe in Jesus.  This is about inviting them to serve their fellow human beings and in the process teaching them (and us!) that the reason we do it is because of Jesus.

Just thinking….thoughts from the peanut gallery?

4 responses to “Where Do We Start? Inside or Outside the Church?”

  1. Adam Lehman says:

    Great quote. I think it illustrates a reality inside of me. Though I’ve never been able to name it, i find myself so focused on those outside of the church.

    I’ve recently become the director of student ministries at a suburban church in Powell, OH. My dream for the student ministry is to be a community of students who are so outward focused. I think this is attractive to the rest of the world and I think it is a great training for teenage Christians.

    so yeah.


  2. Todd says:

    Adam, yeah. a great vision or teenagers and great training for them. for too long we’ve trained christian kids to stay in the safety of the bubble. what better way to get them out there than along with mentors?

    of course, i am guessing that your biggest fight will not be getting the kids to engage, it will be getting the parents to realize that youth group is not primarily there to keep their kids safe from the world and untarnished by it. Its to make them into disciples. Suburban parents love the safety of the church bubble.

  3. Malcolm says:

    Hey Todd… good post. Good stuff to think about.

    I think that our ultimate goals should be outside of the church… or at a minimum our church based ministry [i.e. discipleship] should have the goal of making disciples that go outside the church to do ministry.

    Our discipleship with the churches should have the goal of reproducing followers of Jesus that goes to our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the remotest parts of the world.

  4. esther says:

    i know this is an older post but i just recently came across your blog and i was immediately drawn into this entry. what you are talking about is something that really resonates with me. my girlfriends and are in the process of beginning an outreach to the elderly. we are going to be going into a home and doing a story hour, song time with our young kids and the elderly can sit around and watch or join in. we love the many layers to this idea beacause it is something that we can and are inviting anyone to join us in. just yesterday i met a young mom at the park and invited her to come and be a part of it. i dont believe she is a christian but i also dont believe that it matters.