Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Living Word Fellowship and how long has it existed?

The Living Word Fellowship is an unincorporated association of Christian churches and Bible studies located throughout the United States and internationally. The fellowship’s first church, Grace Chapel of South Gate, California, was founded in 1951 by John Robert Stevens. For a more detailed history, please see "A Brief History of The Living Word Fellowship."

What are the beliefs of The Living Word Fellowship and how do they compare to other churches in the Body of Christ?

Churches in The Living Word Fellowship teach the same biblical principles and tenets that other Christian churches hold sacred, such as the belief that the Holy Bible is the verbally inspired Word of the living God; that God is eternally expressed in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that Jesus Christ is our personal Savior, as well as Lord and Sovereign over the individual believer and the local church; and that God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and redeem us. More information on our beliefs can be found in the Our Beliefs section.

Who was John Robert Stevens and where can I find his teachings?

John Robert Stevens was the founder of The Living Word Fellowship. In 1949, while studying the Scriptures, John Stevens received a revelation which led him to seek the restoration of the purity and power of the ancient apostolic Church as outlined in the New Testament. This prompted him to establish Grace Chapel of South Gate, California, in 1951, the first church in The Living Word Fellowship. To find out more about John Robert Stevens, please see the Our Founder page, and the official website for John Robert Stevens. Some of his sermons and teachings can be found at our online store.

The Living Word Fellowship is often referred to as "The Walk." What does that mean?

John Robert Stevens taught the biblical concept of the believer’s personal walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, just as Colossians 1:10 says, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (See also Galatians 5:25; II John 1:6; and numerous other Scriptures.) Because of this, the fellowship was sometimes informally referred to as "This Walk" or "The Walk" in its early days, before becoming officially known as The Living Word Fellowship.

What is The Living Word Fellowship’s style of worship?

The sole aim of our worship is to please God and give Him glory in everything we do in our lives. We believe that worship involves more than singing; therefore, the basic components of our worship services include prayer, praise, congregational singing, tithes and offerings, the ministry of the Word, and Communion.

Our style of worship follows the New Testament pattern of …psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3:16), and our singing is typically accompanied by a variety of musical instruments and led by anointed worship leaders (Psalm 33:2-3; 68:25; 81:1-3). In addition to singing both traditional hymns and modern worship songs, we have times of "singing in the spirit" when congregants participate in simultaneous, personal expressions of worship to the Lord. This kind of worship was common in the ancient apostolic Church as described in the New Testament (I Corinthians 14:15).

How does The Living Word Fellowship view and relate to other churches?

The Living Word Fellowship believes in the many-membered Body of Christ. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ (I Corinthians 12:12). We are convinced that churches are beginning to inter-relate and come together in Christ’s Body. Though the diversity of Christ’s Body may now seem to be the cause of schism and division, we believe that it is this diversity within the Church universal that forms the very basis of its oneness. Just as the ancient apostolic fathers taught, The Living Word Fellowship also believes that there is only one Church, of which we are just a part.

Are The Living Word Fellowship churches active in their communities?

Yes, very much so. Our churches are active in their communities through their members, who work with or serve on city councils, school boards, ministerial associations, youth organizations, local performing arts activities, neighborhood watch teams, volunteer fire departments and city planning commissions. These are just a few examples. We encourage our churches and their members to have an active, positive impact on their local neighborhoods and communities (Matthew 5:16).

Are The Living Word Fellowship church services open to non-members?

Absolutely. Churches in The Living Word Fellowship openly welcome and encourage visitors to attend our services, as well as other community events that we sponsor. Information on the locations and activities of each church can be found on our Churches page.

I’ve seen and heard the term "shepherding" used in reference to The Living Word Fellowship. What does it mean?

The Bible teaches that we are to be accountable to one another within the local church and, in fact, instructs …the elders among you… to …shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock (I Peter 5:1-3). At The Living Word Fellowship, shepherding relationships are made available as a simple way for members to receive guidance and help with their daily walk with the Lord.

What commitment is expected of The Living Word Fellowship church members?

The Living Word Fellowship is a vibrant community of Christian believers. We are fervent in our faith, in our love one for another, and in our dedication to Christ, therefore you will find a high level of involvement and participation by the members of the church family. There is, however, no prescribed level of participation or involvement.

What do you mean when you use the terminology "speaking the Word of the Lord"?

The scriptural principle of speaking the Word of the Lord appears many times in the writings of the Apostle Paul, in reference to both himself and others. The book of Acts makes it clear that it was not only the apostles, prophets, elders and ministers who spoke the Word of the Lord, but also the congregation of the New Testament Church. Acts 4:31 says, …and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. We believe that Christ continues to speak in this generation, through the members of His Body, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

What do you mean by the term "ministries"?

In Christianity today, many churches use the term "ministries" to refer to various programs offered by the church. We, instead, use the term in its scriptural context as found in I Corinthians 12:4-7, where "ministries" are identified as individuals serving the church, through the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, for its common good and edification. We use the term "ministry," rather than "minister," in an effort to break down the walls that exclude the laity from ministering in the church.
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