Families of Living Water Fellowship came together for the first time in January of 2003 in Spring Branch, Texas, in the rustic chapel at Singing Hills. On that first winter day, eight families arrived with a hunger for worshipping our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in spirit and in truth, and in a newness of vision for family integrated worship and Christ-centered fellowship.
The Lord was preparing Living Water Fellowship in the following unique way. He worked upon the hearts of four men through prayer and commitment – Michael Bakke, Al Mendenhall, Doug Swanson, and myself, Richard Wheeler, along with our families – to bring us all to the wellspring of His Living Water, thirsting for His direction and purpose for our families in worship and fellowship in Christ.
Our common, or rather, uncommon vision for the church is to reflect God’s purpose for the family – encouraging fathers to be protectors, providers, and spiritual leaders of their families (Eph. 5:25); appreciating mothers in their highest call as keepers of the home (Titus 2:5); and supporting parents in their paramount responsibility of nurturing their children in the ways of the Lord (Eph. 6:4); while being ever-mindful of the needs of single individuals to be encouraged in their walk of faith in Christ, as well (Heb. 10:24-25). The key word is family – family worship, family Bible teaching, family prayer, family missions, and family fellowship.
While reading the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, my spirit was captivated by the words Jesus gave the woman, who was questioning religious conflicts between two polarized cultures – the Jews and the Samaritans. Jesus answered the woman’s questions by saying, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). This Scripture bore witness to each of the founders as the basis of our fellowship – a balance of recognizing the ministry of the Holy Spirit along with the stability of biblical truth.
Along with Living Water Fellowship’s call and commitment to worship the Lord Jesus Christ both in spirit and in truth, we recognize that Christ has established a biblical pattern for relationship between fellow believers as conveyed in Paul’s instruction to the Romans – “Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:10). May the Lord grant us the heart of God to fulfill His purposes in encouraging one another in Christ Jesus. “Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!” (Psalm 126:3).