This congregation's conscious goal is to be caring and supportive. How caring? How supportive? Our goal is the level of caring and support seen in Jesus Christ. Jesus did not say that he was the great rejecter. He said he was the great doctor. He healed the sick and the diseased. He restored healthy bodies to the lame, the blind, and the paralyzed. He threw the demons out of people whose bodies, actions, and minds were demon controlled. (See Matthew 4:23,24.) He offered living water to a divorcee living with a man (John 4). He told a known prostitute, "Your sins are forgiven" (Luke 7:48). He invited himself into the home of a dishonest tax collector by declaring, "Today, salvation has come to this house ..." (Luke 19:9). He associated and ate with Jews who collected taxes for the Romans (Luke 5:29-32).

He invited the struggling and burdened to come to him for rest (Matthew 11:28-30). He declared that he came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). He said that He came to call sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:13). In his genuine concern for such people, he revealed that all heaven celebrated when one sinner repented (Luke 15:7).

We seek to be Christ's church. That is more than a determination to keep words on a sign or a building. We want to follow Jesus Christ doing the things he did, caring about all people as he cared, showing his concern and compassion.

Our desire to be Christ's church involves two basic commitments. The first is to bring people to Christ anywhere we can. The second is to help those in Christ spiritually grow and mature.

A part of this commitment is seen in our understanding that Jesus is the world's Savior. Each year in November we have "Missions Sunday." We collect a special contribution to help fund our mission efforts in such places as Laos, Thailand, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Guyana, Romania, and New Zealand. These funds support evangelistic teaching, medical missions, missionary training, the training of indigenous teachers/missionaries in their own country, and supplies. Our mission committee takes excellent initiative in its constant activity.

Remember Sunday, November 14: "Missions Sunday." Remember the special contribution. In recent years, the contribution for missions exceeded a hundred thousand dollars on that Sunday.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 31 October 1999

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