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Inside Out

Jack has a problem. No matter how hard he works, or how creative his team is, he can't seem to get his business to grow.

Funding isn't a problem. Jack has been able to raise plenty of capital. He has some really great employees. His marketing team, especially, is world class. Jack's product is revolutionary. If given half a chance, it could literally change lives. But customers just don't seem interested in what he has to offer.

Recently Jack hired a consultant. After studying Jack's business, his employees, and his strategy, the consultant made his report. "You'll never get new customers as long as you focus all your marketing efforts at your own employees."

"But, I have a responsibility to my people," Jack said.

"However much that may be true," the consultant countered, "The business exists to get its product into the hands of customers. That will never happen until you begin focusing much more effort outside of your company."

Jack and his company are, of course, an allegory. No company could exist if it focused all its energy internally on its own people. But churches do it all the time. In fact, 89% of believers in the United States say that the church's purpose is to care for their spiritual needs. (LifeWay Resources) Two passages of Scripture have been haunting me recently.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19)

So, if our purpose is to proclaim God's excellencies, and our mission is to make disciples, then why do we spend most of our time, energy, and money on ministry inside the church and almost no time, energy, and money on those outside the church? It seems to me that perhaps our priorities are inside out. Instead of serving the whims of the insiders, perhaps we should be equipping them to reach outsiders. What do you think?


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