December 4

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued commitment to mission work!! As of this week we are just a little short of our goal of $35,000 in gifts and pledges for our special Mission Sunday contribution. In such a difficult economic time you are to be commended for your faith and trust in God, as well as for your desire to take seriously the call of Christ to “go into all the world and make disciples of every nation…” (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; etc.)

There were a couple of churches in the New Testament that had this same desire, and also took the call of the Lord seriously. The church in Antioch of Syria was the church that sent Paul on his mission journeys in the book of Acts (13:1-3; 14:26-28). And the church in Philippi sent Paul financial support and in the apostle’s words were “partners” with him in his ministry (Philippians 1:3-6; 4:10-20).

Today we will take a brief look at the church at Antioch. I wonder how South Fork would compare with that church? I certainly can see some similarities—a love for the Lord and for each other; a spirit of joy and service; a willingness to help those in need; a desire to share the gospel with others, near and far. Of course we can do better. What are you doing to take part in these and other important aspects of the Christian’s life of faith?

Today is a Shepherds Group Sunday. You will have the opportunity to meet in a smaller group and more informal setting with other members of your South Fork family. We will chat about “models of the church”—descriptive terms that focus on certain aspects of the church’s tasks and life. Some of these include the church as:
worshiping community
servant/helper
fellowship of disciples
evangelist/herald
prophet

You will likely identify with a couple of these more than the others. But all are significant parts of the church’s life and mission. Are you praying and active in the life of the church?

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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