Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. (Colossians 1:25-28)

Last Sunday was exceptional! Numerous people opened homes Saturday night to the Harding University Singers and returned the chorus to study and worship Sunday morning. Curtis McDonald and his crew (Bob Fisher, Jack and Glenda Lewis, Joe Parker, Maxine Yates) arrived early Sunday to prepare our fellowship meal. Though the Family Life Center was the site of a wedding reception Saturday afternoon, the "set up" crew (David Berger, Bruce Davenport, Kerry Jenkins, and helpers) had tables and chairs ready for several hundred people to eat lunch on Sunday. Numerous people brought desserts to go with our meal.

After dismissal Betty Porter fell against a pew and sustained a large cut. Many immediately came to her rescue. Dr. Larry Armstrong took her to the hospital and attended to her physical needs. In less than an hour she was home and doing well.

By 12:30 p.m. all were fed (781 were in attendance for worship). A "clean up" crew (including lots of teen help) stored the tables and chairs, then prepared the area for an afternoon birthday party.

The Harding University Singers sang at 1 p.m. to a good audience.

Sunday morning in worship Chris spoke passionately about being a community of God's people living under the cross. [Link to sermon.] We refuse to be an unattached group who merely knows what God achieved in Jesus' cross and resurrection. We choose to be a community who individually and collectively are formed by God's achievements in Jesus' cross and resurrection.

A biblical shift is occurring among us that we need to understand well. The shift: society and the world will be touched by Christ when Christians have the courage to be missional individuals. Past concepts of church growth commonly saw the congregations as super markets. Our goal was to offer better programs than everyone else. People would choose us because we offered "the best programs" to be found.

The missional emphasis: be a person whose whole life belongs to God. Help form a community who reflects God. Call people to a changed existence because of God's accomplishments in Christ. We exist, not to challenge people to choose us, but to challenge people to choose God. We exist to encourage people continually to come closer to God. We challenge people to serve the Christ, our hope of glory.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 2 May 2004

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