It is always helpful to know the passions and calling of the congregation to which you belong. These Wells define who we are and what we have been commissioned to do as a church family.
In Genesis 26 Isaac returns to Gerar (just west of present day Gaza) to re-dig and reclaim the wells that his father Abraham had dug and dedicated. As Isaac’s servants dug in the valley the herders of the land quarreled with them over ownership. But Isaac discovered the wells again, re-dug them and named them the same names that his father had given them. Without wells in the arid region of Israel, there was no life or way to sustain a family. They literally were the life source for man and beast.
Application at Living Way
In our history as a church in Seattle since 1936, God has deposited in “our ground” wells that have brought life to those gathered and those touching the saints that call Living Way (LW) home. From May to December of 2012 our leadership team worked with some of our seasoned saints and former leaders to identify the “wells” of Living Way. The simple questions were, what has LW been called to do and how have we seen that modeled in our history? We were ready in this season of prayer in 2012 to find the wells that are currently stopped up and others that are producing way under the capacity for which they were created. Our goal remains: to get these wells functioning again at capacity, take the water from these wells and give it freely away here in Seattle and abroad as the Lord directs.
The Five Wells of Living Way
1 – Soul Winning
Guiding Passages: Proverbs 11:30, Luke 19:10, James 5:19-20, Jude 22-23 & John 12:32
Born in the fires of revival in the 1920’s, the Foursquare movement passed on the sacred call of being living epistles. Our founder Aimee Semple McPherson, stated in our founding documents that, “We believe that evangelizing and making disciples is the primary ‘business’ of the church; every hindrance to worldwide evangelism should be removed, cut off, and cast away as unworthy of the Church, detrimental to the most sacred cause of Christ and contrary to the Great Commission by our Lord.” Methods are many, principles are few; take heart that though methods often change, principles never do. The commission of Christ was to save those perishing and point them to eternal life. The only remedy to which sinners may look is the crucified and resurrected Lord.
2 – Raising and Releasing Leaders
Jesus invested His time and energy into 12 Jewish men who in turn discipled others to lead the church of successive generations of apostles, pastors, elders, prophets and evangelists. Discipleship begins in the heart of the newly converted soul and is nurtured by parents in the faith. He tests them in private and calls them to remain teachable and humble before displaying them in public. The roots of discipleship begin in the home demonstrated as the Lord commands fathers to “teach [His commands] diligently to your sons” and to “talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lay down and when you rise up.” (Deut. 6:7) As is the case with natural parents, spiritual children when mature, need to be fully released. Foursquare Missionary Arthur Edwards once told his son, “If you do not raise better leaders and pastors than yourself, you will have failed.” The Lord supplies the laborers; we are tasked with raising and sending them as the Spirit Directs.
3 – Created to Worship
The Lord formed Adam and Eve in His image yet made them dependent upon Him for the breath of life. There existed a purity in their relationship that allowed for openness and honesty between the creation and the Creator. The fall and impending judgement was a deathblow to this trust, yet the desire to be pure, reconciled and to adore the one that formed them remained in the conscious of fallen humanity. Christ’s work on the cross allows our expressions of love, devotion and sacrifice to be received as acceptable worship. Jesus states that “for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” We choose to live this truth out in songs, creativity in the arts, and freedom in expression unto the One who crated, sought and purchased worshipers for His good pleasure.
4 – Heart for the Nations
Guiding passages: Genesis 12:1-3, John 3:16-17, Psalm 2:7-8, 1 Timothy 2:3-4 & Revelation 19:6-8
From the Garden of Eden, God’s heart and passion was focused on the crowning jewel of His creation – humanity. When man united against God at Babel, he dispersed them throughout the globe into what developed into many nations, tribes and tongues. Upon commissioning the disciples prior to Pentecost, He prophesied that once they were immersed in the Holy Spirit they would share the good news about the Messiah beginning in Jerusalem and reaching to the utter end of the earth. As a result, we pray, give and go as the Spirit directs throughout our community and into the world winning and discipling people from all nations, tribes and tongues. We celebrate cultural distinctness yet remain committed to the ultimate bond of unity that holds us, Christ Jesus Himself.
5 – Dependence Upon the Spirit
Guiding passages: Zechariah 4:6, Joel 2:28-32, John 16:7-14
Peter accurately prophesied that the Spirit of God would be poured out on all flesh at Pentecost and the past two millennia are testament that the work continues. The Scriptures declare that the Spirit’s anointing is not dependent on age, gender or socio-economic background but simply dependent on a submitted heart to the third person of the Trinity. We believe that ministry unto the Lord precedes ministry unto man. As a result we regularly give place to His work in our lives and gatherings. Dependence is just that – without Him we cease to function as we were intended.