A 2019 Update: Recap from Evening with The Elders

Periodically, our Elders gather our Members to celebrate all God is doing and share key updates from across the church. If you missed our most recent update, you can watch it here.

Below are some notables from the 2019 Evening with the Elders. We ask you, the Watermark family, to please pray diligently in your homes and community groups this week for our church, our leadership, and the key initiatives below. Pray that God would continue to use us to honor Him, strengthen His Church, and be a source of healing and hope in our communities.

Elder Team Update

After almost 20 years of serving faithfully as an Elder, Dean Macfarlan has decided to steward his ministry and leadership by rolling off the Elder team. He is transitioning his leadership focus to our Watermark Resources efforts and will join our new Elder Emeritus team (see below). We are grateful to Dean and his wife Tawney for their years of diligent service to this body and are excited that they will continue to lead in significant ways with us. Learn more about our Elder team here.

Creation of New Elders Emeritus Team

As Watermark continues to grow in scale and scope, we have created a new team to serve and shepherd our body. Elders Emeritus are men who have previously held the office of Elder and continue to play a significant role in the leadership and shepherding of the church. Elders Emeritus serve under the direction of our current Elders, providing prayer, encouragement, support, and overall leadership in critical initiatives throughout our body. Learn more here.

Blake Holmes, Dallas Campus Pastor

The Elders have asked Blake Holmes to lead in the role of Dallas Campus Pastor, caring for our Dallas staff and leading our largest campus. Similar to the leadership structure on our other campuses, Blake is in the process of adding Campus Shepherds to lead with him in Dallas. Learn more about our Campus Pastors and Campus Shepherds.

Callie Nixon, Director of Watermark Women’s Ministry Teams

We’re excited to announce we have brought on Callie Nixon to serve in a strategic role: helping unleash, deploy, and celebrate the gifts of the women of Watermark to the glory of God.

Watermark should always be a place where women are celebrated and fully deployed. While many women already lead in significant ways on staff and throughout our ministries, Callie will help unify and maximize our efforts to develop and deploy our women to be all God intends for them to be. We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Watermark Resources

Watermark Resources is our effort to encourage, serve, and equip church leaders across the globe. This year we held our fourth annual Church Leaders Conference for thousands of church leaders, inspiring them with God’s vision for His Church. Our desire is to strengthen the global Church in every way possible, as God allows us. We also produce a twice-monthly Church Leadership Podcast with thousands tuning in weekly. This year we hope to start a church planting cohort on top of our Watermark Institute where hundreds of young leaders are being trained and sent into church and parachurch ministries all over the country and world. Learn more about Watermark Resources and the Watermark Institute.

AWAKEN Young Adults Conference

Over Memorial Day Weekend, 3,500 young adults were encouraged with a huge vision of the local church and were sent back into their church communities on fire and on mission to be generation “why not us?” Over a thousand young adults have already signed up for AWAKEN 2020! Learn more about AWAKEN. Watch the highlight video.

4B Data: Insights Into Our Members

Our 2018 4B data indicates that 50% of our Members started attending Watermark less than five years ago and 25% have come from an unchurched or de-churched background. What an amazing opportunity! This insight also reminds us that we must be diligent to remind one another of our core essentials. If you are a more tenured Member, we need your help now more than ever to lead and disciple our newer Members. If you are new, we would recommend two of our recent sermon series, How He Built This and The Seven, to learn more about our vision and values.

Data for our Members also states that 81% of marriages at Watermark have attended Merge, Foundation Groups, or re|engage, and 30% of our Members have attended re:generation. We blew past our goal of 5% of Dallas County marriages going through Merge and are now approaching 10%. Join us in praising God for this.

Through the 4B, we also found that most people visit Watermark for the first time as a result of a personal invitation or because they have a felt need met by our midweek ministries. Thank you to our body for extending invitations to your neighbors, coworkers and friends, and for serving in our midweek ministries. You are being Jesus’ hands and feet as you host guests well.

We saw that Watermark Members were born in 69 different countries, and our guests are from over 90 different countries. We have an amazing opportunity to change the world without ever leaving our city. Learn more about how to serve our city.

Community Shepherds & The New Community App

In an effort to focus in on Community at Watermark, we introduced the role of Community Shepherds earlier this year. These are men and women who shepherd community group leaders and groups into full maturity in Christ, raising up the next generation of leaders. They live and breathe the biblical Watermark values, are courageous servant-leaders, and have proven themselves through time-tested faithfulness. They are an extension of the Elders, Campus Shepherds, and Community staff. Alongside Community Directors, Community Shepherds help ensure that every single group at Watermark is healthy or is getting the help it needs.

The 4B also revealed that 29% of our Members say they don’t spend time in the Word at least four times a week. We encourage you and your community groups to hold one another accountable to abiding daily and rooting yourself deeply in God’s Word.

Our desire is that every community group would be marked by prayer, fellowship, admonishment, encouragement, and patience. As we ensure that every single group at Watermark is healthy, we are ask everyone to use the following three questions as a useful tool for accountability each week:

  • How have you fed your soul?
  • How have you fed your flesh?
  • How are you feeding others?

You can find these questions and other great resources updated weekly in the new community app. The app has weekly content from last week’s sermon, the three community questions, and is loaded with the best resources in the history of Watermark. Groups can use this app every time they gather to help with their spiritual growth as a group.

If your community group has questions, doesn’t know who your Community Shepherd or Director is, or if there is any way we can serve you, please email community@watermark.org.

Music Studio and Watermark Worship Album

In partnership with Shane & Shane and The Worship Initiative, we have built a new recording studio in the East Tower. By the end of the year, we will release a Watermark Worship Album with original music produced by our worship team. This will not only provide our body with rich music to sing each week, but will also infuse the broader church with theologically sound worship songs. Stay tuned!

Financial Update

Every single dollar stewarded at Watermark is part of our “missions budget,” intentionally deployed to advance God’s mission here and around the world. We don't “pass the plate” but that’s not because there is an absence of need. In fact, we have more opportunities than resources at any given time. Rather, we believe this is the best way to facilitate joyful giving (2 Corinthians 9:7, Matthew 6:4). To all who faithfully stewarded God’s resources by investing in the mission of Watermark, may the Lord bless you and resupply you, so we have even more to celebrate in the days ahead. You can dive deeper into financial information in our slide deck here.

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