I express my personal thanks to all who made our banner possible! To make it required enormous work by a lot of people! Ladies, thank you for all the time and skills you dedicated to it! Personal schedules had to be coordinated for months. Since it is so large, finding a place to work on it was not simple (this is a very used facility!). Hanging it from the rear balcony area was a major task (thanks Mark Hite, Denise Lusby, Martha Walker, Debbie Belote!). In such a large room, it is large enough to be seen, but not an "overpowering" display. It is simply a readable reminder as we leave our worship assemblies.

A few months ago our elders suggested to us as a congregation that our purpose statement be, "Making disciples for Jesus who are eager to serve others." That is a statement reflecting an understanding of our purpose as declared in Titus 2:14.

We exist to make disciples who follow Jesus. We seek to call people to Jesus as Lord and Christ. We want these people to enter Christ because they want to follow Jesus as their teacher. We want them to allow Jesus to guide them in a Christian lifestyle.

We exist to encourage every Christian to make discipleship in Jesus a core purpose in every area of personal life. We want every one of us to follow Jesus in the personal desire and commitment to allow him to remake us. We are to do more than seek to escape the consequences of our evil. We want Jesus to teach us how to live in ways that reflect God, our Creator, in our lives as we serve others to God's glory.

Our commitment to Christ is not a selfish commitment. Just as he lived, died, and was resurrected to serve, we as his followers want to have his eagerness to serve. Just as we benefit from Jesus' commitment to service, we want others to benefit from our commitment to service. Just as he became our Savior through giving and serving, we want to be his followers to God's glory through serving and giving.

Now, each week as we leave after assembling to praise and honor God for His gifts to us through Jesus, we are visually reminded to (1) be disciples of Jesus and (2) eagerly serve others. We want to be a people whom God can use to make differences in the lives of others and each other. We exist as God's people in order for God to use us for His purposes. That is our purpose just as it is Jesus Christ's purpose.

If we are on the journey to live with God as an eternal part of His family, a physical lifestyle can never define us, nor can this physical existence ever be our home. We seek the faith to be like Jesus in the ways we live and the courage to allow Jesus to be Lord.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 22 February 2004

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