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Living Water Family,

Usually when a church undergoes the amount of change in leadership we’ve experienced in the past year, a city gets an unintentional church plant (also known as a church split). And yet, not only have we survived the past year, 2017 actually turned out to be one of our most fruitful years yet! We saw more people baptized, added more new members to our church family, and gave more resources away than we ever have before to partner with Jesus in all He is doing around the world. And that’s just at the 30,000 foot level! Time would fail us to recount all of the ways Jesus worked in hearts and lives to bring healing and flourishing in 2017 at Living Water. There is only one way to explain this in light of the year we just had: the grace of God accomplishing the purposes of God through the people of God.

This side of Glory, our lives will always be marked with a sense that things are not as they should be. Some years we feel this reality more than others. But as we recently celebrated in our Advent series, Jesus, in His glory and grace, outshines our circumstances and brings us hope in the midst of the chaos of our everyday lives. This is who our God is and this what our God does. And as I think about the past year together, this seems to be one of the primary realities we experienced.

[blockquote text=” Jesus’ promise to build His Church continues to be proven true in amazing ways among us (Matt. 16:18). ” show_quote_icon=”yes” text_color=”#0084b1″ quote_icon_color=”#0084b1″]

This was not a year where we could rely on the stability of our programs and plans (those went out the window as we had to adjust this year). This was not a year where we could rest in the consistency of knowing who will lead from up front. Rather, God in His sovereign purposes chose this to be a year to cause us to lean into Him alone. And isn’t it amazing that this was the year in which we saw so much fruitfulness? Jesus’ promise to build His church continues to be proven true in amazing ways among us (Matt. 16:18). My hope is that as you reflect on God’s faithfulness in the crazy year we just had, your confidence in His good and gracious leadership has grown. I know mine has. The song we sang during our Transitions series has rung as an anthem in my life this year “For we know that You are God and You are good.” I believe the Spirit of God worked those words deep into our bones this year, and for this I am grateful.

And yet, if all we celebrate is the grace of God accomplishing the purposes of God, we would be robbing God of the full glory He deserves. Not only has Jesus gloriously accomplished great things this year at Living Water, He has done this through you – the people of Living Water Church. What could glorify God more than doing great things for His people? Using broken people to accomplish these purposes. And that’s exactly what He does in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-21). The evidences of grace you will see in our 2017 Annual Report did not occur in a vacuum, but rather are the result of the Spirit of God at work in the members of our church to make known the beauty of Jesus.

So on behalf of all of the elders, I want to say thank you for being a part of what Jesus is doing here. We hope you will be encouraged as you see all of the ways Jesus is on the move at Living Water, and as we enter 2018, we pray your trust would be grounded afresh that our God is good and He can be trusted. May this good news empower you to continue to join us in making known the beauty of Jesus in all of life for all of Vancouver.

To God alone be the glory!

– Pastor Chad