From the Outside In is a serious look at how the personality of a church can act as a barrier that keeps the church from being a welcome ally in the local community and keeps the community from hearing the gospel and the nature of the Kingdom of God.
In his work with hundreds of churches, Ron Johnson found that there are churches that are isolated and unable to identify with the community and then there are churches that not only engage their community, but also are vital to the ongoing life of the community. This book examines the character of those latter churches that take seriously the Kingdom of God as the essential model of their existence. Church is no longer just worship or Christian education or a denominational outpost. It becomes witness that cannot be limited to a select group but rather becomes an active engagement with the social, ethical, spiritual, and human concerns of the surrounding community and community at large.
If a church is to be missional it must first be focused on Jesus’ teachings about the Kingdom of God. Churches learn the power of living missionally in a multicultural world as they dialogue with communities around them and as they move out in witness toward the world. Ron Johnson helps church leaders eager to reach out beyond their own walls to have those dialogues. He points out personality characteristics that prevent or enable churches to engage the communities around them and he presents a model for assessing how the community may be viewing the church. Johnson encourages churches to seriously listen to the communities around them, to hear what they are saying, and to respond in Kingdom focused ways.