Frequently Asked Questions
Pastor Laura answers your burning questions ...
What makes your church different from other churches?
It’s not my style to “compete” with other churches, even ones who have beliefs and practices quite different from ours. I believe that God specifically creates all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people. So who are the people we are called to reach? Thinking people, skeptical people, open-minded people, searching people – thirsty people. We’re a church for people who are tired of playing games with their lives and their faith. We’re a church for people who think that if we really believe what the Bible says, we ought to be living differently, loving people more deeply, looking beyond ourselves and our wants. We’re a church for people who want to experience God for themselves and then allow themselves to be changed by God. It doesn’t have to happen all at once, but it’s a journey we take together as a community of faith. And whoever comes along and joins us, enriches us.
Why does your church building look like a house?
Well, it used to be a house. The congregation who met here before us, North Woods Christian Church, built an addition on to the front of it to make a sanctuary where they could meet for worship. When we first saw the building, we wondered if anyone would want to come to church in a building that's essentially a house. But then we realized that homes are exactly where most churches start. And this home is big enough to accommodate lots of people. After all, a church is really a group of people, a body of believers who gather together to worship God and serve God's people. And that can happen anywhere. When we realized that the old sanctuary would make a great coffee house, we knew it would be a perfect way to make this house a welcoming home for everyone.
How can you be a woman pastor? Didn’t Paul say he forbade women to speak in church and that the man is the spiritual leader?
This question would take a long time to fully answer, so I’ll give you the short version. Paul and other New Testament letter writers did make some statements about women that suggest that they did not allow women in leadership in the early church. However, there are other passages in Paul’s letters in which he commends the women who are actually leading the churches (Rom 16:1)! It is easy to take a snippet of Paul and making sweeping generalizations that exclude people, but when you read the scope of Paul’s writing, it is obvious that his primary message is, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28) Besides, when God called me into ministry, I didn’t think it was a good idea to refuse.
What is your view on the Bible, homosexuality, abortion, capital punishment and politics?
Can I have an easier question please? I don’t blame you for wanting to know the answers to these questions before you come check us out, because if we disagree with how you feel on these issues, then maybe we’re not the right church for you. But if you’ve read through the other pages on this website, then you know that we value the freedom to explore these issues guided by the Bible, the Holy Spirit, study and prayer. This doesn’t mean we can make up whatever theology feels good to us. It means we leave our spirits open to God’s spirit to speak new revelations to us. This often comes as we gather with our brothers and sisters in Christ to discuss our thoughts and opinions on some of these issues. At times, these discussions can become lively, but if all involved in the discussion agree that we value one another, even if we do not agree with one another’s opinion, we often find that we are changed and that we receive new understanding and growth. It’s often in the wrestling with the difficult issues of faith that we draw closer to God.
If you’re disappointed because I didn’t really answer your questions, here’s a synopsis of what you’re likely to find at Living Water:
- A church that loves to study the Bible and apply it to our lives. We believe God inspired the writing of it, and God still speaks through it in life-changing ways.
- A church that welcomes all people. We know that none of us can stand before God on our own merit. It is only through the reconciling love of Christ that we have been forgiven. All seekers, skeptics and saints are invited to worship, study, serve and fellowship with us.
- A church that believes that it is our obligation as Christians to use our political and economic power to change the world and make it a place where all God’s children are cared for. We may disagree about the best way to accomplish this, but it is our privilege and responsibilty to use our voices to make a difference.
If you want to discuss these issues, or any others, with me, please call or email, and we’ll find a time to talk together.