Jan 26

As you likely know by now we received some very difficult news concerning Joyce’s mother, Barbara Long, while we were in Texas. The cancer that was initially found in her breast about a year and a half ago has spread. A bone scan showed it to be in her spine, pelvic area, sternum, and arm. Other complications over the last couple of weeks have brought to reality the difficulty of this journey, for us and for so many others. Joyce is in San Antonio with her family but plans to return soon. Again, thank you for your loving care for us, and for your prayers for her mother and all her family.

I think it is times like these when you see the church in action; when the church especially shows itself to be the church; when we seek to help and comfort, teach and encourage, and so share the love of Christ.

Our Mission Statement tells us what we believe God has called our church family to do:

Our Mission

To glorify God by

  • Obeying His will
  • Loving and encouraging one another
  • Serving others as if serving Christ
  • Proclaiming His Word

offering authentic worship in all we do.

Again, this is our Mission Statement. It defines what we feel called to do as a church family.

A different perspective would be expressed in a Vision Statement. It focuses less on what we do, and more on who and what we are, who and what we want to be as we continue to grow into what God’s vision is for our church. Over the next few Sundays we will focus on our vision, what we believe about who and what we are. This may lead to a process defining that vision more specifically, much like we did several years ago in defining our mission. Or it may just get our minds turned toward these very important questions as we consider who we are as a church.

Our focus this year is on a big part of that. The church is the body of Christ. What does that mean to you? What are some specific implications if one considers the church to be the body of Christ? In our sermon this week we will consider a couple of those as we get this discussion started. Next week will be Vision Sunday, as we seek to more closely focus in on God’s vision for our South Fork church family.

Certainly a part of all of this is our planning for 2014 and the years to come. If you have not turned in your Commitment Card for this year, then do that this Sunday. Continue to ask these important questions about who we are, what we are to be about, what we are to be doing, and who we are becoming. Compare these with God’s Word that calls us to be the body of Christ and ask yourself, “Are these consistent with God’s vision for our 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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