I want to express genuine, personal appreciation for our elders. What they continue to do in our congregational family meetings is a tremendous leadership investment in the health of this congregation. It is not easy to provide a forum for the congregation to express itself. It is not simple to invite everyone with a view or a preference to express it. No "short cuts" are created by listening to diverse perspectives among our members. But it is infinitely healthy for the congregation. It is spiritually constructive for our present and our future. Thank you, elders, for the heart, spirit, and attitude you display in these meetings.

In last Sunday evening's family meeting, one impressive thing was clearly evident. Each person who spoke was interested in influencing lives for Christ, in having a greater spiritual impact on the Fort Smith area, and in serving Christ's purposes. Everyone who presented a thought, a view, or asked a question spoke from that perspective. As expected, there were diverse views concerning how to best accomplish our common concern. Numerous approaches were suggested. Differing avenues were recommended.

Each concern expressed was legitimate. All perspectives voiced were valid. All needs declared exist. Each idea has merits and limitations. Each who endorsed an idea, acknowledged a need, or favored a specific course of action saw the merits of his or her interests or concerns. The needs that capture our attention impress us.

May we pray earnestly for ourselves and for the congregation as we continue our exploration of possibilities. Pray that God will help us grow into the greatest possible spiritual influence.

Remember missions weekend! Remember the banquet Friday night. Be present for Bible class and both worship assemblies Sunday. Pray about our missions works and our missions funding for the coming year. If your fixed income will not permit you to be financially involved, pray for the work. The power is in God, and your prayers appropriate that power. May those of us who are capable of giving give generously.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 9 November 1997

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