You may have noticed that Watermark is a particularly entrepreneurial place. From the outset, our members have always been the driving force behind ministry development. That means two things:
- Our members help create new ministries within our body.
- Our members lead out in connecting with ministries in the community.
A few weeks ago, we wrote that Watermark talks about “missions” differently than some other churches. (Read that post here.) Similarly, we “do missions” – locally and globally – differently than many other congregations, as well.
Who leads out?
Some churches have what’s called a “Missions Committee” – a group of individuals appointed by the church to determine the church’s outreach efforts. They receive funding requests and partnership requests, and they choose how to steward the money members put into the “missions budget.”
Other churches give these decisions directly to staff members. Church leaders are charged with discovering the best possible service opportunities. Then they decide the “who,” “where,” and “how much” of missions for that church. Finally, they recruit members to get involved in those opportunities, hopefully all over the city.
But our church has chosen to pursue a slightly different approach. It can be messy at times and occasionally frustrating (especially for someone used to a different system). But it actually provides a powerful chance for our body to lead out… and for God to speak through our members!
A Different Sort of “Missions Committee”
Watermark’s “entrepreneurial” approach includes looking to our members to signal the ministries we should partner with. Primarily, we want to know where God is leading members to invest their time, talent, and treasures.
For instance, a family may discover a great outreach ministry in their own backyard and begin serving there. After they cast the vision with their community group, a few other families join in – followed by others in the relational circles of those people.
Then as we (on staff) hear about our members’ involvement in that ministry, we know that this is something worth examining. So we join with our members to evaluate the ministry, its leaders, and its approach. Ultimately, if it makes sense to move forward with a corporate partnership, we do so – sending many more volunteers to serve with the organization.
That’s the great thing about partnership: Because a few members let God lead them to a great ministry, many more ultimately get the chance to join them!
Our Opportunities Depend on Our People
The title of this blog asked, “What do you know about Watermark’s local missions committee?” But it’s a trick question: If you’re a member, you’re already on that committee!
We have an amazing opportunity to impact our community more and more – in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Plano. But we will look for God to reveal those opportunities through His people – namely, through the people who call Watermark “home.”
As each of our members watches prayerfully for ways to have an “external focus” in 2015, He may lead some of us to examine, engage, and serve… and ultimately to help create our next great partnership!