2010 - Vol. 40...
Servants of the Word in Covenant Community
early beginnings of a lay ecumenical brotherhood of men
single for the Lord in community
As a young teenager I unmistakably felt
God's call on my life, and although I strayed away from God's ways in my
late teens, it all came back together when I was baptized in the Spirit
in the fall of 1969. It was as though God said, "Okay, you're done
fooling around, I hope? So, where were we..." Once again I
was awed by God's majesty, humbled by his merciful love, thrilled by his
invitation to come follow him.
So it was very natural that at the age of 22,
for me to consider the call to live single for the Lord with 10 other young
men who were also being drawn in the same way to a life of prayer, service,
and common life. The brotherhood was formed in the fall of 1971. In January
of 1976 we sensed the Lord leading us to choose the name The Servants of
the Word. Ecumenical from the beginning, it was very clear to us
that the Lord was doing something new among us, and that it was intricately
tied to what he was doing in raising up covenant community. When
a number of communities from around the world joined together to form the
Sword of the Spirit in 1981, it then became possible for men from different
countries to come together as one brotherhood. Today we have 60 brothers
living in eight households in five countries in Sword of the Spirit communities.
In 1975 God spoke powerfully to a community of
communities conference, "You are a bulwark that I have set up to stem the
onslaught of the enemy; you are a part and not the whole; you are my servants
and my people." The men in the brotherhood are honored to have received
our unique call to live single for the Lord in the midst of many brothers
and sisters who have chosen to live their married life as radically and
single-heartedly as we live out our own call. Our call as The Servants
of the Word is to be a witness to the kingdom that is to come, but we draw
great strength from the witness of our married brothers and sisters whose
hearts are also set on that kingdom.
As for me, after 40 years, my conviction of God's
call has deepened, not lessened. The importance and urgency of that call
has become more real, not less. I look forward with great hope to
pressing on toward the upward of call of God in Christ Jesus.
LaCroix is a member of The Servants
of the Word and Word of
Life Community in Ann Arbor, Michigan]