Endorsements of Springs!
From Richard Foster, Renovare and author of Celebration of Discipline
I can count on one hand the number of renewal efforts across the country that really understand the message of spiritual formation and how it actually works for the transformation of the human person into Christlikeness. Springs of Living Water! is high on that short list. Under the capable servant-leadership of David Young it provides a model for spiritual growth that can be studied with genuine profit. I give my highest recommendation to Springs of Living Water!
My name is Rod O’Donnell and I am the associate pastor at the Green Tree Church of the Brethren in Oaks, Pa., about twenty miles west of Philadelphia in the continually growing suburbs. In 2005, David Young came to our church in the capacity of interim pastor. While serving in this capacity, David noticed the church struggling like so many churches with issues of growth, spirituality and loving Christ-like relationships, in other words, there was a clear and obvious need for an effort to renew this active and very viable congregation.
Under David’s leadership we began the “Springs of Living Water”program. Several years later we can see what this program has meant to our congregation. It has strengthened our spiritual consciousness, helped us develop new leadership and given us focus on ways to reach out to the community.
There are several facets to the program that we found particularly effective. First of all, David led us through personal growth that resulted in strengthening our personal faith. As we as individuals grew in our faith and spiritual awareness, the obvious result was a stronger congregation. There are many facets to the “Springs” program but I would like to mention just three which we found to be particularly effective.
1—Using the strengths of the congregation—David’s focus was not on the things we don’t do well as a church but on the things that we are good at as a congregation. Each congregation has strengths and the “Springs” program identifies those strengths and builds on them as a basis for renewal. This approach is very positive and was well received by our congregation who was only to aware of the areas where they were painfully weak and did not need to be reminded of them.
2----Emphasis on the spiritual disciplines---Our church had only limited awareness of the spiritual disciplines. David developed a series of sermons on the disciplines and supplemented that with a daily devotional series of readings on the disciplines. He asked for a commitment from the membership to read from the devotionals and received positive responses from all age groups in the congregation. The result was an obvious reawakening of God’s presence in our lives. We had people praying who had never taken prayer seriously. Others went into detailed study of the other disciplines. In other words, it gave our congregation a spiritual dimension that it never had before.
3----David created a spiritual leadership team which we call the “Green Team” at Green Tree. This team focuses on developing the spiritual energy at Green Tree and develops ideas and programs which strengthen and build the congregation. The team consists of some church leaders but also includes idea people who have not held church positions before. The team has been very effective in many areas. To give you an idea of how effective it has been, our new fulltime pastor who followed David has not only continued the team but considers it one of the cornerstones of his ministry.
In summary I can only speak for Green Tree but our church is so much better for investing in church renewal and specifically in the “Spring of Living Waters” program. If your church, as most churches, feels the need for renewal, I urge you to look seriously at this program as a work of God’s hand and what God can do for your congregation.
From resource person at Emmanuel Mennonite Church
Not too long ago a lady I work with who attends that church…was just beaming; she was just beaming. And I said, “How is it going?” She could not stop talking about just what is happening at the church. She was beaming about the movement that was going on in her church, the work David had done and the new pastor and just the new life she was seeing in her family because the church was her family. It is a wonderful, wonderful story of seeing Christ being claimed again in community. Michele Armster, MCC
From sponsors of the brochure
Renewal is looking at something old in a new way. I like church renewal first because it challenges personal growth. Second it challenges the congregation to work together in renewal. It is important because Christ is reaching out to the lost, and when the lost come into the body of Christ, many of them need healed. Church renewal has a lot to offer the community and can strengthen marriage and family in each congregation. I believe the Young’s do a great job in leading this endeavor. They have a heart for what the church needs. Jonas&Anne Beiler of Gap Family Center/Auntie Anne’s Pretzels