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Fort Worth Update

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Since the Fort Worth campus began in March 2013, the Lord has moved mightily in and through this local body, drawing faithful followers of Christ and healthy leaders to the mission. The Lord has generously provided Fort Worth Campus Shepherds, leaders, and staff who are equipped and capable to shepherd the flock He has entrusted to them (1 Peter 5:2).

As we have celebrated God’s provision of both a new campus and faithful leaders who are fully committed to being and making disciples, the Watermark Elders and Fort Worth leadership have continuously prayed about what God might have in store for the Fort Worth campus.

In recent months, the Elders have had a growing conviction that the next step for the health of the Fort Worth campus and the advancement of God’s Kingdom in Tarrant and Parker Counties is for the Fort Worth campus to become an independent, local church. As conversations between the Elders and Fort Worth Campus Shepherds continued, the Elders determined that the Fort Worth campus leadership would be fully prepared to operate as an independent, local church, beginning June 30, 2020.

Some of the reasons why the Elders believe that the Lord has prepared the Fort Worth leadership team for this new work are as follows:

  • It is our conviction that an independent, healthy, functioning local church is more effective than a healthy satellite campus of a multisite church.
  • The Membership in Fort Worth has faithfully assumed full ownership of the doctrine, culture, and work of the ministry.
  • Leaders across every ministry area are equipped and completely capable of serving those the Lord has entrusted to the Fort Worth campus and continuing the work of being and making disciples. (2 Timothy 2:2)
  • The Lord has provided men who have been “diligent to present [themselves] approved to God as workmen who do not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). These men have been discipled by Watermark’s Elders (Titus 1:5-9) and are ready to provide the leadership necessary for a Fort Worth Elder team to “keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account” (Hebrews 13:17).
  • The Lord has provided Members who have faithfully stewarded His resources toward this mission, and the Fort Worth body is now capable of financially sustaining its ministry.
  • The Elders and Campus Shepherds have confidence in the staff team to effectively lead the church in Fort Worth.
  • Moving to independence will allow the Fort Worth staff to dedicate 100% of their time and energy to the leadership of the mission.

To find out more, check out the Fort Worth Campus Update FAQ.

Watch our recent message as Todd Wagner, Tyler Briggs, and Dean MacFarlan share the how and why behind this exciting direction for the Fort Worth campus.

Fort Worth Campus Update FAQs

What is the timeline?

The transition of the Fort Worth campus to an independent, local church will take place June 30, 2020 (the end of Watermark’s fiscal year).

Is there a plan to spin off the other satellite campuses?

No, the Elders do not have plans at this time to transition other Watermark campuses to independent, local churches. The Elders are convicted that an independent, healthy, functioning local church is more effective than a healthy satellite campus of a multisite church. When a campus within the Watermark body is prepared to be everything that God wants it to be as an independent, local church, the Elders will faithfully listen to the Holy Spirit, as was the case in Fort Worth. Satellite campuses are another way for God to make His Church everything it needs to be, and we will continue to faithfully walk alongside them, until the Lord leads the Elders in a new direction.

When will we appoint local Elders?

The Fort Worth campus leadership will follow the same Elder selection process that Watermark has followed in the past. The men who are in the role of Campus Shepherd at the Fort Worth campus are completing this process now. In the coming months, the Elders of Watermark will present these men as candidates who are qualified for the office of Elder to the Fort Worth body for affirmation.

Will the Fort Worth body still be called Watermark when it becomes an independent church?

After lots of discussion and counsel, we will be changing the name of our church. Taking on a new name will allow us to build an independent brand identity based on the existing values of our church. We want to hear your ideas for our new name.

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Will the Fort Worth body keep the same church governance model and doctrinal beliefs?


Will the Fort Worth body still offer re:generation, re|engage, The Porch, and other Watermark ministries?


Will Sunday morning preaching be local or streamed from Dallas?

Fort Worth’s primary teaching will come from the current Campus Pastor, Tyler Briggs, and other Fort Worth staff communicators.

Is the Fort Worth church financially sustainable?

The Fort Worth campus is forecasted to cover its operating expenses and the cost of replacing centralized shared services by a small margin, but this is only a projection at this point. The Fort Worth leadership team asks each member of the body to prayerfully consider how they are giving as the Fort Worth body enters a new season of independence and full responsibility for the means of the ministry.

What will be Fort Worth’s future relationship with Watermark?

A supportive, family relationship will remain between the teams in Fort Worth and Dallas. The leadership of the church in Fort Worth will continue to have open door access to the leadership in Dallas. Curriculum produced by Watermark will also be available to the Fort Worth team. Most of all, we will pray and support each other in any way possible as we forge forward to love the cities we serve in His name.

How will Fort Worth address its current space needs?

There are plans for the expansion of the balcony and the renovation of the metal building for offices, youth space, and equipping space. The ability to address the needs is dependent upon the sacrificial giving of the Fort Worth body above and beyond giving to the general fund.