Paul told the congregation at Ephesus "you were dead in your trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). But God, in His rich mercy and grace made them "alive together with Christ" (2:4,5).

When a person enters Christ and receives forgiveness, he or she literally comes to life. A congregation is composed of people who were dead in evil but came to life in Christ. The more Christ-like, transformed, and spiritually mature they become, the more life filled they are.

One fascinating spiritual phenomena we can observe is the process of watching a Christian or a congregation become increasingly filled with life. Watching West-Ark become increasingly filled with life gives me great joy. Our service to Christ is increasing, maturing, and growing in strength.

Last Sunday, after months of preparation and planning, "Kids for Christ" began. This is a special teaching program for ages two years old through sixth grade. It parallels the evening worship assembly from six to seven p.m. Before it began, 53 children committed to attend. The first evening, 66 children attended. Our Sunday evening attendance increased about 12%! Groups of adults will rotate monthly in teaching and directing activities. Contact Rochelle Brown if you want to help.

A group dedicated to encouraging visitors and newcomers is working with Jim and Deborah Wilson and Bill and Martha Walker. They are implementing plans to receive visitors and newcomers with increased friendliness and helpfulness. We want visitors to return! We want newcomers to stay! They are implementing excellent plans.

A group met Sunday evening to discuss and develop effective forms of outreach to singles. There is an enormous opportunity to minister to the needs of singles in the congregation and the community.

We all took special joy in the completion of the first His Needs/Her Needs course. Many are impressed with the obvious accomplishments of that course. Special thanks to all the husbands who shared with the congregation the blessings and benefits each couple experienced through the course! A second course is scheduled to begin in mid-June. If you are interested in being a part of it, contact Paul Shirley. These are just the recent evidences of "increasing life" at West-Ark!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 10 May 1998

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