The Living Well was conceived as a new church plant (RCA) that would extend the mission and ministry of the Bridge Church in Portage, MI to the northwest corner of Kalamazoo. In January of 2018, Rev. Philip Rose and a group of 60 committed Christ-followers from seven different churches formed a launch team that begin praying, learning and coming together as a community around the simple vision of intentional relational outreach, community and discipleship.
By the grace of God, the current location at 5475 Ravine Road was made available when the community of Twin Lakes Reformed Church closed and generously gave their facility to the work and ministry of the new young church. Major renovations were completed over the next 6 months, and The Living Well celebrated its public Grand Opening in October of 2018.
Our vision at the living well is pretty simple:
We are a group of people who
Find real life in Jesus Christ,
Celebrate that life in community, and
Share the life with everyone around us.
Inspired by that vision, and shaped by our five shared core values—Belonging, Celebration, Transformation, Devotion, and Purpose—we continually remind one another of who we are, what we believe, and how we can experience and share real life together in Jesus Christ!
What’s in a name?
In John’s Gospel, we hear several stories of Jesus connecting with people through everyday conversations. John 4:1-42 recounts a connection and conversation with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well. Jesus is willing to engage in a conversation, even though it goes far beyond the walls of social convention, ethnic boundaries and religious distinctions. Jesus uses the metaphor of living water to describe God’s offer of eternal and abundant life. Jesus tells this woman that he is the only source of that living water—he is the Living Well. He tells her, “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Not only does the woman receive that gift for herself, but she goes and tells everyone what she has found. She becomes a conduit for the living water that only God can give.
This story reminds us of three essential truths of the gospel. First, Jesus Christ is the only source of eternal life—he is “The Living Well” and he offers his living water to anyone who is thirsty and willing to come (John 7:37). Second, this eternal life that he offers is an abundant and immediate life—those who belong to God can begin “living well” as followers of Christ who are filled by the Holy Spirit (John 10:10). Finally, anyone who receives this new life in Christ becomes a vessel or conduit for the living water He offers to the world—we become “living wells” out of which His living water flows (John 7:38). We are not the source of living water, but we know and point to its source in Jesus Christ. Our individual desire, and our shared vision, is to be a community that drinks deeply from The Living Well, to always be “living well” in the fullness of Christ’s eternal life, and to allow Christ’s living water to flow out of us as “living wells” into the world God loves.