Alva Review-Courier -

By W. Jay Tyree
College Hill Church of Christ 

Spiritually Speaking



Sometimes, when a church brings in a specialty speaker, we learn a great deal of new things. Sometimes we are simply reminded of important things we’ve allowed to take a back seat in our lives. Dean Kilmer blessed us with a good hard look at the latter. The role of the church is – has always been – to provide salt and light for a tasteless and dark world. Perhaps the most important takeaway from his sessions on church growth and outreach had to do with being “more specific” in our attempts to help those still trapped in sin.

Over the course of several sessions, Dean Kilmer, our speaker, kept returning to an important concept. He called it “targeting.” I realize, in our semi-paranoid surroundings, the idea of “targeting” someone might make us a bit uneasy, but Dean’s concept was one of love and compassion rather than hatred or harm. His premise was something like this: “When we think of doing good, reaching out, being a catalyst for change, we may be thinking too BIG. Rather than trying to enact change in a large group, using a somewhat scatter-gun approach, we might find more success in helping one person at a time.” He went on to suggest several things we can do to encourage and increase our effectiveness.

First, we must locate that special individual in need. This shouldn’t be difficult, since we all need love and compassion from our fellow man as well as forgiveness and re-birth from our Father. Then, having identified our “target,” we should begin to pray daily for their spiritual well-being. Without Divine intervention, our best-laid plans are destined to fail. Then, we can begin the long slow process of lavishing love. People do not change quickly. The physical side of our existence is resistant to transformation. However, with the love of God and the power of Messiah’s sacrifice, all things are possible. Just a reminder. See you Sunday!


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