Determining why you exist and what you value are the first steps in realizing God's perfect plan for your life. They are also the first steps in realizing God's perfect plan for a church. Without a carefully focused purpose and a set of clearly articulated values there is no foundation upon which to build. At Living Water our purpose is clear.
To glorify God by developing a diverse family of fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ who reproduce that devotion in others.
Everything that we do—every ministry that we offer, every activity that we embark upon, every program that we implement—must first be filtered through this purpose. If a proposed ministry, activity, or program supports Living Water's purpose we actively work to develop, staff, fund, and implement it. Conversely, if a proposed ministry, activity, or program does not appear to fit Living Water's purpose we humbly choose not to implement it.
However, a purpose without a clearly defined set of core values can lead to chaos.
Core Values are the foundational beliefs and enduring commitments that drive the ministry focus of Living Water. They are the distinctive and defining values that makes us who we are and inspire us to achieve God's purpose for our church family.
We value God’s Word as our ultimate authority and we commit ourselves to both humbly and boldly proclaim it through word and deed.
In today’s society, we are told that truth is relative and that there are no such things as absolutes. As a result, violence, despair, loneliness and brokenness are commonplace. However, we believe that truth exists and that it can be found in God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible is our ultimate authority and standard for all that we believe, it is the motivation for all that we do, and we are committed to lovingly and intentionally sharing these truths not just with our voices but also with our actions.
We value all people and believe that our ministry should be a reflection of the great diversity of our community.
It has been said that the Church is the most segregated institution in America. But it does not have to be that way. The Bible teaches us that people mean everything to God and as a result, people mean everything to us. That is why we are committed to intentionally building a church family made up of people from all ethnicities, economics statuses, educational backgrounds, and physical/mental abilities.
We value living authentic Christian lives that are broken before God and humble before others.
Our world is filled with people who are masters of disguise. They pretend to be something they are not in a vain attempt to make others believe they have everything together. We simply are not willing to live that way. Rather than futilely seeking the approval of others, we instead faithfully seek the approval of God. Rather than proudly elevating ourselves, we instead humbly seek to elevate others.
We value our community and commit to intentionally engaging and serving it with and through the Gospel.
We are not sure when it happened, but at some point in history, the Church transitioned from being a vibrant Gospel centered movement that loved and served its community to a stale and lifeless institution that loved and served itself. We are not about to let that happen in Central Pennsylvania. We believe that God has placed us in this community to use the Gospel of Jesus Christ to make a lasting and life changing difference in the lives of our friends, family members, and neighbors.
We value the expansion of God's kingdom beyond our local community through church planting and global missions.
"The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else—not crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, growing mega-churches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes—will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive, church planting."
Why Plant Churches, Tim Keller, February 2002
Over the years, we have seen this truth played out before our eyes as countless people have placed their faith in Christ and countless more have grown in their faith through the ministry of Living Water. Due to this experience, Rev. Keller's research, and most importantly the call of the New Testament to plant churches, Living Water chooses to be a church planting church—not just in the Greater Harrisburg area, but throughout the world. We are a vibrant, thriving church because eight couples, several other churches, and new friends were willing to invest their time and resources to help start a Multi-Ethnic, Gospel-Centered, Missional, Christian church in the Harrisburg area. As such, we are committed to doing the same for others.
We value excellence and creativity because it honors God and inspires people.
Anything worth doing is worth doing well—especially when it is being done in the name of God. So, we strive for excellence, because God is excellent, and we seek to be creative, because God is creative. And we never stop because in the process God is glorified and people cannot help but take notice.
We value unity of purpose.
Just hours before his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus prayed that those in his Church might be one just as he and his Father are one so that the world might know that God sent Jesus and that God loves the world. We seek to be the answer to Jesus’ prayer by being a Church family that is committed to great unity in the midst of our great diversity.
We value prayer as a means to communicate with God and through which he brings about eternal transformation.
Prayer is more than “Now I lay me down to sleep.” Prayer is where spirit battles are fought and won. At Living Water we believe that a vibrant prayer life (both individually and corporately) is the key to a deeper relationship with God and is the foundation upon which all of our ministries must be built.
We value discipleship as the means in which people’s lives are transformed into becoming more like Christ.
Christianity isn’t just about salvation; it is also about life transformation. That is why we are absolutely committed to helping people to become more like Jesus, so they in turn can help others become more like Jesus.