Through the Looking Glass: Looking out or Looking in?

Among the many tensions that exist at the heart of any church, it is my observation there is one that we often overlook.  A tension, I believe, is where we are pulled in two directions at the same time by two important truths.

Looking In
“This inward looking behaviour is important for any healthy church”

Another tension in the church has to do with the focus of its life. Should it be inward or outward looking? In any church there are forces at work causing it to focus inward on itself. This is not necessarily bad as God calls us to love and care for each other. This inward looking behaviour is important for any healthy church. It is the necessary work of maintaining our unity, nurturing new Christians and ensuring growth in maturity.
But there is also a force that moves us to focus outwardly to those around us, sending us out to the people outside the church . . .
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