And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."--Matthew 28:18-20
Our Core Values
Abiding in Christ
To be reconciled to God is never a casual thing, nor should it ever be a peripheral consideration. Thus the Word of God calls us to abide--to remain in, to continue in, to dwell in, to make our home in--Jesus Christ. The picture Jesus gives us in John 15 is a fruit-bearing branch(us) that is connected to the vine(Jesus). Connected to Jesus, his life both sustains our walk of faith and empowers our ministry in his name. "Apart from me you can do nothing", Jesus says (John 15:5). And so we seek to be a people saturated with the Word of God and led by the Spirit of God as we increasingly walk closely with Jesus in every area of our lives. At the end of time, the question that will matter above all others will be: "Does Jesus know me?" (see Matthew 7:21-23)
Though it is the core message of Christianity, and an understanding of it is often assumed, we live in a time and exist in a context of great GOSPEL confusion. Around Living Water Church, you'll hear us talk a lot about "the 4 gospel boxes"...which are (1)God, (2)Man, (3)Jesus and (4)Response. The Biblical gospel speaks clearly to each of these 4 realities. Modern confusion often arises from too little emphasis on the glory, majesty and holiness of God, overvaluation of mankind's condition separated from God, recognition of Jesus as Savior but not Lord, dependence on our own works in securing salvation...and the list could go on. This confusion is what drives us to constantly anchor our understanding of the good news of Jesus to what the Bible actually says.
The relationships that we share as brothers and sisters in Christ are not merely a bonus accessory to following Jesus, but a vital necessity in upholding us as we follow Jesus! And so we purpose to know one another and be known by one another--loving and serving and confessing to and encouraging and holding accountable one another. We don't pretend that any of us has it all together--we understand that all of us are still maturing in Christ, still growing. And we expect that growth from one another, fast or slow as it may be developing. We expect to see Jesus transforming marriages, equipping parents to love & lead their children, bringing reconciliation to situations of conflict and growing each of us who belong to him into more effective ambassadors for his kingdom to those who are not yet a part of the family of God. Simply put, we prioritize people & relationships because Jesus did.