When I came to Medford, Oregon 15 years ago to pastor what would become Living Waters Church, I remember one particular day shortly after my arrival when the Lord gave me a distinct assignment for our church.
I remember the day well. I was driving on an overpass that crosses the interstate freeway that travels through the heart of our community. About midway across the overpass, I heard the Lord say to me, “I have called you to refresh, restore and release My people.” I recorded that moment and those words and have used them over the years to share with Living Waters Church what our unique assignment would be as a local expression of the larger Church.
When the Lord spoke the three R’s to me, I instinctively knew what He meant.
When people would come in contact with God’s presence in His people He would begin to refresh them as they exchanged a weary and burden-laden life for a life of freedom. The refreshing presence of God was an invitation of hope. Once refreshed, God would begin a process of restoration to bring them back to His original intent for their lives. The process of restoration would plant a sense of destiny in their hearts. These released ones would then become the refreshing presence of God walking the streets of our city and the nations of the world. We have seen this process take place over and over again in multiple lives.
For several years we have been working on the conclusion of my role as Senior Pastor at Living Waters Church. October 26 will be our “Transition Sunday” when we hand over that assignment to a new leadership team. As the transition plan developed, a man in our church from a ranching background went to a blacksmith and had a branding iron made that reflected the Three R’s and he gave it to me as a gift. This was so appropriate because over the years, this kind of ministry – refreshing, restoring and releasing people - has branded me, in a right way, to settle for nothing less.