Churches affiliated with The Living Word Fellowship recognize and share a spiritual connection to the apostolic authority of our founder, John Robert Stevens, as well as the ministering authority of others called to the five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, as identified in Ephesians 4:11. John Stevens established this shared vision:
We are a progressive New Testament church contending for power and purity in this age as we seek to restore the pre-denominational days described in the New Testament. Through the living Word we will see today the same signs and wonders that were wrought then, remembering the promise of Christ that greater works than all of these shall ye do (John 14:12). We walk forward together into these greater works.
After the great decline of the Church in the Dark Ages, we now believe in the restoration of the Church in this generation. We seek to be a Spirit-filled people with gifts of the Holy Spirit and to see spiritually powerful ministries come forth in this generation as they did in apostolic times.
We are worshipers. Our expression of worship may come from a hymnal; it may be a form of singing in the Spirit that sounds something like the harmonious chanting of the early Church; or it may be spontaneous psalms sung by individuals of the congregation as the Spirit inspires them, much in the manner of David, the sweet psalmist of Israel.
It would be difficult for us to print bulletins of our services. Though orderly, our program makes place for prophecies, exhortations, and prayers as the Holy Spirit inspires and directs.
The officers of our church are not elected by the congregation nor is our pastor appointed by a hierarchy. We believe that Jesus Christ, as the Head of the Church, can and does reveal His choice and calling for every office of the church. The elders and deacons are chosen through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, and confirmed through fasting and prayer to the whole congregation. They are then set in their office by the laying on of hands.
The congregation finds their needs and burdens met through deep spiritual ministry and revelation given by the ministries of the church. The finances of the church are given through freewill tithes and offerings as another expression of worship to the Lord.
We expect to make mistakes (for not one person in the Bible was ever without their problems), but we do pledge ourselves to be united in fasting and prayer until divine grace brings us the solution to every difficulty.
We believe that every member of the Body of Christ has a ministry and a rewarding function in the church. A strong church is made up of many ministries, including elders and deacons, who direct the activities of the church by a confirmed Word of the Lord. This can only come by training each person, emphasizing their spiritual lives and identifying their ministry through a personal walk with the Lord.
Thousands of families are seeking the blessing of the Lord, and we hope to meet their hearts through tapes, books and related media that contain a living Word, as well as our reverent services that are alive with the joy and blessing of the Lord. They will find Him through the prayer, intercession, prophecy, worship, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are ministered in our services. We believe that people can receive a deep deliverance and be met by a living Word from God.
Copyright © 1997, 2006 by The Living Word, a California nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced in any way without written permission from The Living Word.
† Scripture quotes were taken from the 1977 New American Standard Bible.