Commonly, people are wishers. Wishing thinks, "It would be wonderful if this happened. I hope it does!" Wishing has no specific plan to make a desire a reality. If the desire becomes reality, it just happens.

Some make goals. A goal is specific and can be defined. It proceeds to occurrence in planned steps. "I want this to happen. I will work to make the goal a reality. I will do these specific things to help it happen. I intend for it to become reality by this time."

God does not wish. He sets goals. Our eternal salvation was a goal. For salvation to become reality, a specific means for human atonement, redemption, sanctification, and forgiveness had to exist. To liberate His grace and mercy, God had to satisfy justice.

(1) God selected a people. His objective: develop a people who trusted Him and understood His actions. (2) Through this people, He would send His Son. (3) Justice would be satisfied when He sacrificed His Son. (4) Through that sacrifice, God would atone and redeem. (5) Those who accepted His sacrifice would be forgiven and sanctified. (6) By resurrection Jesus would become Lord. These would accept God's sacrifice and Jesus' Lordship. God's goal became our reality.

We have congregational goals. We plan to become what God wants us to be. We plan to reach those who have not accepted Christ. We want them to be a part of this congregation. We plan to encourage and sustain those in this congregation. We want to promote the spiritual growth and spiritual maturing of every Christian.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 22-24, two men from the White's Ferry Road congregation in West Monroe, Louisiana, will spend quality time with us as we learn about the small group ministry. Bill Smith is an experienced elder. Alan Robertson is their director of small groups. Their congregation is about our size.

This is an informational visit. It is the time to ask questions, to learn purposes, to examine problems, and to evaluate possibilities. The purpose: to equip us to make an informed decision.

If we add this ministry, it will replace nothing. It will be an addition to meet specific needs, not a substitution. It would be a specific step taken to move us toward our goal.

This congregation needs your ears, your mind, and your heart Saturday and Sunday, October 23 and 24. Help us be goal driven, not wish oriented.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 17 October 1999

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