Exaggeration can be impossible. Consider a simple illustration: the choice of a college or university for your child. "The importance of that decision is obvious! It determines your child's career preparation." As important as career preparation is, the importance of that decision goes far beyond occupation and income.

Commonly, that decision determines who becomes your child's spouse. That marriage determines the quality of your child's life for over fifty years. It determines the quality of his or her adult spiritual life. It determines who your grandchildren are. It is the primary decision that affects what happens in your family the next generation. That decision determines far more than job opportunities and earning potential.

In the immediate future our elders will initiate a process for selecting additional elders. This process will differ from our last process. The decision will be yours. The elders want you to participate. They want your interest and your active involvement.

The importance of this decision cannot be exaggerated. Men who serve as elders serve for several years. More than anyone else, elders' ideas, concerns, and interests determine the direction and involvement of a congregation.

The single greatest physical asset a congregation can have is an eldership filled with godly men who combine spiritual minds with loving, kind hearts. The greatest single physical obstacle a congregation can have is an eldership filled with men who are obsessed with control and addicted to power. The Bible acknowledges God looks at hearts. As we select men to be shepherds, God must show us how to look at hearts.

As our elders begin this process, let nothing distract your prayers, thinking, and actions from God's purposes. We want men who will help us come closer to God. We want men who will help us be spiritual people. We want men who will focus us on God's purposes. We want men who will encourage us to allow God to rule this congregation through the lordship of Jesus Christ. We want men who will help us be a compassionate, forgiving congregation that draws its life from God's mercy and grace.

Pray. Be informed. Focus on God's purposes. Be an example of love and kindness.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 11 June 2000

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