To understand LifeLinks, it will be helpful for you to become acquainted with our historical roots and core values.
We are a group of people dedicated to the extension of the Kingdom of God on earth and have found a place in the Body of Christ where we can work and co-operate together to see that vision fulfilled.
We are still learning much about one another and our insights together are causing us to grow closer as a Family of Churches and Ministries.
LifeLinks International Fellowship is essentially a Family of Believers, members of which have found one another and become linked in strong personal relationships and commitment together. This relationship is more than an association of Leaders; it also vitally involves the individual church members in relationships that are meaningful.
In 1987, a number of Churches and Ministries were struggling with their circumstances . many being small Fellowships that had no one to assist them or to encourage them in the work of the ministry. There were currents swirling in Western Canada that left churches feeling that their independence was being challenged by external and sometimes hostile forces.
As a result of a real need, leaders from three small streams of Churches came together for a Conference in Medicine Hat, Alberta, with a view to forming an alliance that would allow them to operate in safety and with encouragement and outside input. This was not a strong doctrinal alliance, but rather one that sprang from the need of those concerned for a stable and strong sense of security and belonging.
These three streams were composed of some who had strong roots in the Restoration Movement. on the US/Canadian West Coast, others who were connected to the New Testament Stream in Waco Texas, and a third group which had sprung from the Jesus People Movement in Western Canada and the North Western United States.
Initially, the only common denominator among these three groups (outside their faith in Jesus Christ) was Keith Hazell who had a prophetic input into all three and an apostolic influence in one of the groups.
Thus the original coming together was somewhat tenuous since no one knew one another and there were many who were hurt, suspicious and hesitant concerning the whole idea of belonging to anything.
The development of LifeLinks since then has been a steady progression, discovering the way that diverse people function together, and of learning to appreciate the uniqueness of the various groups.
The International Leadership Conference held in Medicine Hat became a regular occurrence each year, where we bring ministries who have something vital to share. Often these ministries are from outside our own immediate family of churches, to challenge us and to prevent us from becoming an introverted group.
The LifeLinks Family constantly desires to be on the cutting edge and in tune with what God is doing. In our history, renewal in the Holy Spirit has positively impacted our churches and families and still continues to affect us in our Local Churches and in our corporate gatherings.
We did not seek to promote “renewal”, but have seen blessing in our Local Churches because of it. We are sure that God sent it to us to revive and renew the dedication and faith of many of our members.
We are committed as a Family of Churches to move with God. We are not limited to our past experiences, but always are willing to move with God into new territory. For us, renewal is always whatever the Holy Spirit is doing now! We believe there is a passion for evangelism that sprang from what happened to many during those days of visitation.
LifeLinks has a particularly vibrant youth ingredient. This is a direct outcome of our youth being exposed to Renewal and then beginning to live a vital and abundant Christian life to touch their generation with the Gospel. We can mark the beginning of that renewal in our youth to the time when the Holy Spirit swept through our Youth Meetings at the Hungry Horse Camp. This impacted so many with a positive experience with God and caused a renewed vision for the Kingdom. As a result of this, within the LifeLinks Family, Training programs designed for young people have been developed. These are programs based in local churches in various areas.
The worldwide growth of LifeLinks now means that we have churches and ministries in the LifeLinks family forming regional groupings in North America, Europe, Southern Asia, Africa, and areas within the Pacific Rim. As regions gain numerical strength, they begin to host regional events such as conferences and family camps. These events are a source of great blessing and every year we are encouraged to see families from our wide circle of churches being involved with one another and building long-term friendships. Information for these events and programs is available on the LifeLinks web site and the LifeLinks family email list.
The vision for the nations is strong in LifeLinks and right from the commencement of our Fellowship, we have had international links and involvement. Leaders in the Fellowship often travel outside of their geographic regions, taking with them others in an Apprenticeship Training situation.
The family continues to grow, both in numbers and in diversity, with unique expressions of the Body of Christ rising in our midst and being joined to us. We do not pursue a recruiting policy. We are looking to see God bring to us those whom He chooses. As well, we believe a primary focus on evangelism will result in continued growth in our churches and in the planting of new churches.
Tribute to Keith Hazell
On Saturday, Sept 14. 2013 Keith Hazell passed away and went home to his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Keith was the pioneering and founding leader of Life Links International Fellowship. Many leaders over the years have been inspired and encouraged by his ministry; he will be sorely missed!