The following should answer three questions: What is our emphasis? What is our direction? What kind of church are we?

 

The Direction and Vision of Living Word Church: In the building of His Church, Jesus has created great diversification, intending each local church to know and understand where it fits into His perfect structure. Some churches are called to specialize in target ministries, others are called to multiple focuses, a specialty all its own, offering different styles of worship and a wide direction of ministries to meet the needs of children, youth, families, middle adults and seniors. Both have a goal of “equipping the saints” for the work of the ministry and the edifying of the body of Christ (Eph 4:12).

Living Word Church had its roots in a mainline denomination with the planting of a walk-in, drive-in church in Holiday. Beginning in the late 1960’s, it had as its target the retirees of Florida. With eventual changes in the demographics of the area and with God’s leading to expand into a “cross generational” church, a new vision was born. This vision, to minister to all ages, was further expanded when the congregation became non-denominational in 1994, becoming known as Living Word Church.

 

Top Tier: Outreach - Since 1978, there was a new definition of purpose. We were to become a “mission-minded” church, seeking to be aggressively involved in God’s plan to reach the world with the Gospel. That vision has now expanded to help support nearly three dozen missionaries world-wide, including some to specific targets such as the military, children in Africa, God’s “chosen” people, who gave us the Scriptures and our Savior, UN diplomats in New York City,  migrant workers in Ruskin, Florida, a Hudson Florida food ministry to the needy, where some of our people assist in distribution and sharing the Gospel, and  an ongoing discipleship ministry to prisoners. Through short term missions, most recently to Honduras and the island of Roatan, hundreds have been brought to the Cross and received Christ as Lord and Savior.

The desired outgrowth of this world vision is to see every Living Word worshiper become a personal evangelist of their own, alert to opportunities God opens in our own community.

In a “simple church” structure, we want to see every ministry in the church embrace and encourage this top-tier “Great Commission” mission calling.

 

Middle Tier: Love - A church without multi-directional love will never reach the “Great Commission” tier. We must first fulfill the “Great Commandment” (Matthew 22:36-40) – to love God and love others. In this tier we must not fail. Our love slogan is simple: “Love God, love His people, love His world.” These goals are also consciously taught, illustrated and shared by every ministry of the church.

 

  • We love God, who has given us life, redemption, forgiveness and eternal promises. One manifestation of our love is our communication with Him through fervent prayer, which has always been the heartbeat of the church. Another is our eagerness to receive His Word and live lives that are pleasing to Him. His approval is important to us.

 

  • We love His people. This love focus is the most exclusive and most often commanded of New Testament relationships. We seek to build up one another by loving as brothers and sisters, standing together in things that count, forgiving and restoring one another in our failures, cheering the efforts and triumphs of others and helping one another in times of need. Fellowship times, activities and special events contribute to this love bond, fulfilling Jesus’ command that we “love one another.”

 

  • We love the world. In a spiritual sense, we embrace John 3:16, making God’s love our love. For the world in the natural sense, we love our Creator and seek to be good stewards of His creation.


Base Tier: Growth - The base tier is spiritual growth. Growth in the knowledge of God and His will are to be diligently pursued. Knowledge is the basis for an understanding of salvation, wisdom, morality, the making of life’s most important decisions and the two tiers described above.  Peter exhorts us to “desire the pure milk of the Word that we might grow by it” (1 Peter 2:2). God has revealed Himself to us personally through His Word. In the pulpit and at every age level we consciously and consistently strive to be a strong “Bible teaching” church, with great relevance to life in the 21st Century. It’s how we grow. It is why we are called “Living Word Church.”