Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: September 19, 2018 12:01AM
“It would have been difficult for anyone who spent any significant time in the fellowship to have avoided the disaster known as 'designated' relationships, built first on the apostolic hierarchy of Ephesians, and then refined with the Elijah/Elisha and Paul/Timothy iterations of the JRS era. The G&M era saw a much more destructive version that built a chain of such relationships from the platform all the way back to the nursery, assigning virtually everyone a 'Christ-in-the-flesh'. The result of this great experiment was widespread devastation, as completely unqualified individuals were given the decision-making power over others. Those who seem to have avoided these dynamics were really not considered to be a 'part of the fellowship.'”
First of all, I think it is important to point out that the “apostolic hierarchy of Ephesians” is what TLWF taught, not what Ephesians actually says. These ministries were gifts to equip the body so that they would not be “blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming”. Legitimate leadership would have protected you from the likes of the leadership of TLWF. I would suggest that most in TLWF have never even been exposed to leadership that is there to serve them, rather than use them for their own personal gain.
There is a huge difference between a counselor that has been professionally trained and those we served under in TLWF. The lack of qualifications became even more apparent in designated relationships, but I would suggest that there was always a lack of qualifications clear to the top – including John. I don’t think designated relationships were ever about helping people, but about controlling and keeping tabs on them. After I left my local church, my former pastor, who had been kicked out of the fellowship, told me that he could not believe I would continue to do what he asked. It was never about helping me, but about breaking my spirit to become more obedient. I might also note that his strategies were being directed by Apco and Apco's strategies by G&M. As soon as there was an obvious problem, G&M would cut ties to the local pastor and claim the pastor did not have their spirit and therefore they were not responsible.