The most challenging, demanding growth is growth toward spiritual maturity. Why? (1) It demands we acknowledge and accept a real need to be more mature. (2) It demands we accept as fact the need to grow. (3) It demands we confess that changes founded on good reasons and godly purposes are good changes. (4) It demands we grow in faith in God and understanding of Jesus. (5) It challenges us to allow God to be maturity's standard. (6) It challenges us to allow Jesus to be maturity's example. (7) It challenges us to accept this truth: we always need to increase our spiritual maturity.

These challenges and demands are quite similar in the individual Christian's life and in the life of the Christian community [church]. God's promised life in Christ is experienced through our willingness to mature. That is true in an individual, in a family, in a child, in a parent, in Christian fellowship, and in the congregation's life and work.

Among the things shared by the elders in Sunday's "family meeting" was the formation of an administrative committee. The basic function of these deacons is to care for the congregation's finances and facilities. Committee members are Dave Cogswell, Bob Davidson, Paul Shirley, Larry Todd, and Jay Trotter. Paul Shirley and Dave Cogswell were presented for your approval as deacons. Paul is a former elder, and Dave has long served as an active ministry leader. [The committee will select two additional deacons to assist them.]

The objective: free the elders to spend more time shepherding the congregation. They are spending more time in prayer for you, more time in visitation with you, and want to increase the time they spend in addressing your spiritual needs.

Elders in the New Testament were mature, spiritual men who addressed the needs of Christians in the local Christian community. This congregation wants to be a Christian community. Our elders want to lovingly care for us. Thank them, encourage them, and help them. May we devote ourselves to God's dreams and purposes.

We also sincerely thank the men willing to work as our administrative committee for the wonderful service they will render to this congregation's life and future.

Each of us as an individual and all of us collectively as a congregation need to mature. No one has reached a level of spiritual maturity that makes spiritual growth undesirable or unnecessary. Each of us need humbly to allow God to guide and strengthen our lives. Each of us need to encourage everyone by example to pursue Christ's mind, God's heart, and the diligence of God's Spirit. Help us grow by growing!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 5 November 2000

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