July 12, 2022 Oak Harbor First United Methodist Church

The Externally Focused Quest

The Externally Focused Quest

“Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.”

Ezra 10:4 ESV

As I write this article, my first grandchild is making his way into this world. Birthing life is a struggle. It takes enormous energy, it requires exhausting devotion to the struggle, and requires all of our focus. Birthing a vital church family and ministry is not altogether unlike that threshold of committed devotion.


I have been concerned for this church, my church, and our capacity to head into a vital future. I long for us to reengage and recharter a new day of vital outreach. The truth is, we have had many losses through covid and we are wondering what the future may hold for us. Will we age, diminish, and vaporize with the sunset, or will we revitalize, ignite with momentum, and unify energetically around a compelling vision of a faith-family that many would love to experience?


I am starting a new church-wide study on Wednesday nights on the marvelous and innovative book called: “The Externally Focused Quest: Becoming the Best Church for the Community.” I have found Eric Swanson and Rick Rusaw to be compelling in their articulation and challenging in their observations.


The difference of orientation for any church can be like night and day. INTERNAL focus is about us and our preferences. EXTERNAL focus is about others and their needs. INTERNAL focus is all about care giving for me. EXTERNAL focus is all about us ministering to the other. Selfless servanthood is the order of Jesus followers.


I have purchased 15 books and will give them to the first 15 who sign up for this journey. We will meet Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm in Centennial Hall. Our first night will be Wednesday, July 20th. We will view a video, receive the books and charter a course for the study. This study will be challenging, inspiring, provocative, convicting, and possibly even scary. Most risky ventures into the Kingdom are. Will you please join me in caring for your church’s future?


“If not you, who? If not now, when?” Hillel the Elder, first-century Jewish Leader


- Pastor David 😊