Last week, we took a look at our first two categories of Watermark’s external involvement, called our “Impact Areas.” (Click here to read about Education & Mentoring, and Justice.) These “buckets” cover much of what our church is doing to leave a lasting impact on our cities, our region, and our world.
This week, we’re looking at the final two categories!
The family is the foundation of the community!
Scripture teaches that we should preserve families and equip them. Therefore, we want to “protect the core” of society by building up and strengthening families spiritually and physically (Deut. 6:1-9). So our body works to protect and promote life through partnerships with a crisis pregnancy center. And naturally, many of the efforts in our other Impact Areas involve helping families.
Internationally, we work in and through indigenous churches and our partners to provide care for hundreds of orphans in both Africa and Haiti.
Most recently, we’ve learned that access to health care is essential to all of our efforts. So in coordination with the city, area hospitals, and Questcare (a for-profit physicians’ group), we launched QuestCare Clinic to provide a high level of excellent medical care and meet the spiritual/emotional needs of our most densely populated but under-served area of the city. Over 4,000 patients visited the clinic last year, and we intend to expand to provide dental, community health training, and other services in the coming months. (See all the Ministry Partners that help impact families here.)
Poverty is more than just a lack of material resources – it is the result of relationships that do not work, systemic influences, life choices, and a host of other factors.
Our desire is to free people to be all that God intends: glorifying God by living in right relationships with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation (Matt. 22:34-40). So we work with and through key partners to meet the immediate needs of our homeless and under-resourced neighbors. These efforts are gospel-centric, discipleship-based, and relationship-driven; they preserve people’s God-given dignity, value, and worth; and they allow people to thrive, work, and provide for themselves and their families. So we don’t simply work to relieve the immediate effects of poverty; we focus on developing people and systems – including through holistic community development organizations, job creation and mentoring, biblically-based financial stewardship training, and supportive housing initiatives. (See all our poverty-connected local partners here.)
We also work internationally to develop Christ-centered, biblically trained leaders, educators, and pastors who will lead their communities for decades to come. Micro-finance, vocational training, and supporting business also helps to develop the communities we serve overseas. (Read about our international efforts here.)
Categories are nice – but the big question is, What are you going to do next? Could you dive into one of these areas of service… or help find another great way to impact (even if it doesn’t fit our categories)?