On Sunday, February 13, we will dedicate our new Family Life Center. We are grateful to have it. We are thankful that it will meet needs as it serves God's purposes. As repeatedly emphasized, the Family Life Center is a tool. To the degree that we use it wisely to advance God's work and purposes, it is a good tool.

What are the overall objectives in our use of the Family Life Center?

Family focuses on one objective. (1) We want to build closeness among the sons and daughters of God. (2) We want to encourage and strengthen family units in the congregation. (3) We want to strengthen our bonds with sister congregations in the extended family of God.

Life focuses on a second objective. We want to strengthen the spiritual bond between (a) the individual and God and (b) the congregation and God. We want Christians to relate all aspects of their lives to God. Hopefully, as we bring friends and neighbors to the Center they will be touched by our "whole life" relationship with God. We want to be people who belong to God, and we want to behave like people who belong to God.

Center focuses on a third objective. Some say Christians are very wasteful in building buildings. Typically, Christians spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to construct buildings to be used four to six hours a week. Often fifty percent of the members use it less than two hours a week. No business or organization can be that extravagant.

We use our building constantly. We should! In the New Testament, the Jewish synagogue was the center for Jewish life in a community. It was a place for prayer, for study, for learning the news, for association, for building ties, for maintaining the sense of community. Jewish travelers were welcomed and helped. In the Jewish community, it was "the place" to go.

We want the Center to become a place that strengthens us as God's community. May it attract friends, neighbors, and strangers because it overflows with Jesus' abundant life!

Make your plans to be part of a special moment in the life, fellowship, and worship of this congregation!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 13 February 2000

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