As you are reading this post, Brian Newman is in Europe at a conference on the refugee migration taking place in recent years and how the church can respond to these displaced Muslim people, many of whom are wide open to the Good News of Jesus. I asked Brian to share a few thoughts with us over the next several days, so you can get to know his heart.
Guest Blogger: Brian Newman
A number of years ago I had the privilege of being one of the speakers at the Living Word Missions Conference. I remember it distinctly because I had a lengthy conversation with Pastor Steve Almquist in his office before the service. It was one of the easiest and most life-giving conversations a missionary could ever have!
Here’s why: I did not have to explain myself or convince a pastor that missions and being missional is essential to the local church.
I quickly learned that mission was at the very heart of Living Word Community Church from Day 1 of its existence almost 40 years ago.
I put it this way: Living Word was missional before the word became known in the evangelical world.
In the coming few months my wife Susy and I will make the transition from Denver to York. We are thrilled and humbled by this opportunity to be part of the Living Word family!
The Things That Matter Most
There are many things that we love about Living Word, but here are the top three essential elements:
I mentioned this above. Living Word is a missionary church both locally and globally. It is in your DNA, not a recent add-on.
TWO: Jesus and Grace
I have loved watching online the cardboard testimonies each November as we see how God’s grace has transformed people’s lives. Living Word gets the extravagance of grace that we have in and through Jesus.
THREE: Growing Up and Moving Out
I love that Living Word is a community that encourages everyone to grow up in Christ and to move out into our world. And you are consistent and persistent about this. Wow!
As Susy and I come to the church we believe it is a great fit for who we are, what we can contribute, and for this next chapter of our lives. My heart is to see leaders empowered, developed, and released into work and ministry. Living Word already does much in this area, so it is a question of how God wants us to go to the next level of influence.
Susy is a licensed professional counselor and is looking forward to plugging into the Living Word Counseling Center. She has a shepherding heart and has worked with people for more than a decade as a therapist.
Two phrases from Living Word have so resonated with us: The Best is Yet to Come and What Matters Most, Must Matter More. I could not agree more!