2nd Quarter Newsletter 2014

Dear Friends:

As I recently prayed about the vision and mission of Life Connections and our call to be a catalyst for unity in the Body of Christ, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task to which we have been called. And the more I pondered the matter, the more I questioned how our little ministry could possibly have any meaningful impact on such a crucial issue.

Well, as He often will, the Lord addressed my concerns with a very simple action plan: ”Love them . . . serve them . . . connect them.” By loving, serving and connecting pastors with one another, we model, on a small scale, that which our Lord desires to do on a much larger scale. When our shepherds are healthy and individually connected, the door is then opened for the larger Body of Christ to also connect and unite as one.

Being a leader can be a very lonely job, and the job of pastor is no exception. Our shepherds face a considerable amount of pressure in fulfilling their calling, and all too often their efforts are rewarded with criticism or even rejection. They devote their time to serving others, but all too often they lack a friend to come alongside and serve them. Their overly busy schedules have a tendency to bring about isolation, causing them to lose contact with other members of the Body. Just as we need to be encouraged in our daily walk, so do they in theirs. And the person best equipped to encourage a pastor is . . . another pastor.

So, after all that prayer, I have been re-energized to “love, serve and connect” our local shepherds whenever and wherever possible. In fact, I believe this issue to be so vital to the health of the Body, that I would venture to say that true revival can only occur when pastors are connected and have learned to love one another.

One way I have started to “love, serve and connect” is through my business . . . Cove Paddle Fitness. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I invite pastors to join me on the water where they can get some exercise, have some fun, and build relationships with one another. And I believe as we find creative ways to walk out this simple action plan at LCI, that we will all begin to see unity grow within the Body of Christ, thereby leading to ever increasing opportunities for us to Bring Life to the Nations!

In addition to Tyler’s on-going efforts to “love, serve and connect” local pastors through Cove Paddle Fitness, the following is just a small sampling of other LCI activities and involvement over the recent months:

• Neighborhood Initiative Los Angeles: Working with a small but extremely dedicated group of pastors in the San Fernando Valley, LCI has begun partnering with others whose vision is to reach every community in Los Angeles with the gospel message. The motivation behind this joint effort is Jesus’ command to simply love our neighbor as we would ourselves. The vision is to witness the advance of God’s Kingdom throughout the greater Los Angeles area as seeds of unity planted in the San Fernando Valley begin to sprout and spread over a much larger area. Our prayer is that walls of separation and division would tumble down, that the Church would become a catalyst for rebuilding broken communities, that unity in love and peace would become the norm, and that countless thousands would be joyfully ushered into the Kingdom of God, one neighbor at a time.
• 127 Collaborative: In partnership with James Storehouse, a ministry dedicated to supplying the physical needs of foster children and their families, LCI has been actively participating in the formation of a multi-ministry collaborative consisting of government agencies, non-profits, and members of the faith-based community for the purpose of mobilizing the resources necessary to serve the needs of those within our foster care system. Unfortunately, the foster care system is in crisis, often times unable to meet even the basic needs of either the families or the children. The purpose of the 127 Collaborative is to (1) better identify those needs and (2) serve as a bridge between those in need and those who can help supply the necessary resources. Why is it called the 127 Collaborative? Underlining the entire effort are the words of the Apostle James who wrote, “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress . . .”
• Westside Homeless Coalition: After years of praying for some sign of unity amongst churches and ministries on the Westside of Los Angeles, LCI has had the privilege of helping bring together a dozen different ministries for the sole purpose of serving the needs of our friends who live on the streets of our communities. Though only in its infancy, this coalition (should it eventually become functional) could serve to mobilize the larger Christian community to not only provide the necessary resources to those experiencing homelessness, but could also serve as a much needed bridge to the healing and wholeness that is so desperately needed in order for our friends to live their lives in healthy relationship to their Lord and to one another.

As for trips, LCI will once again join with Aguas de Reposo ministry in leading a team to El Salvador. We depart on June 23rd, returning home on July 1st. Please keep us in your prayers!

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