Dear Watermark Family,
We shared at the recent All Hands on Deck about Watermark’s four Core Values. Unlike our strategic priorities for the year—which are simply the areas where we are focusing our efforts over the next 12 months—our Core Values describe who we are as a church and who we aspire to continually be. Our four Core Values are:
- Fully Surrendered – We wholly depend on the power of the Holy Spirit (John 15:5)
- Authentic Relationships – We forge deep relationships and communities (1 John 1:7)
- Courageous Faith – We live and declare an unashamed allegiance to the truths of the gospel (Romans 1:16-17)
- Missional Living – We deploy our lives, resources, and gifts for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)
I’ve never been one to put much stock in organizational statements and vision casting, as much of the time they are either so aspirational that they do not tie significantly to the present or so generic that they do not move me in any direction that I wasn’t already headed. But the process of defining these Core Values (which involved many leaders here at Watermark) has made me a believer of their importance for the life of our body.
I’d like to share three reasons why these values are vital to the life and practice of our body:
These Core Values describe who we are and have been since the beginning. We began this process by recounting stories – stories of freedom found, of life shared, of peace gained, of sin conquered, of trust deepened, of hope strengthened, of faithfulness modeled. We are marked by joyful sacrifice and by a long track record of going the extra mile to love our people, our community, and our world. We know who we are. We know that Jesus is our only hope, and we know that it is only by deeply experiencing the love of Christ that we are able to love and serve those who God places around us.
These Core Values center around being, not doing. We reject the temptation to value what we can do over who we are. The world is about accomplishment; Christ calls us to be about transformation. The abiding life is not about what we can do for Christ, but rather about how fully we can surrender to Christ, and then love others as He leads us. The Kingdom of God values most those who serve, pray, and love in the background, and the only requirement to be fully used by God is to let go of our plans and receive whatever He has for us. Jesus shared in John 15:5 and many other places that we simply need to abide in Him and trust Him to work out the details of our lives.
These Core Values inform and build on one another. Only believers who are fully surrendered can experience the authentic relationships available in Christ – beginning with our marriages, our families, and our friendships. Only a fully surrendered heart can faithfully experience and live out a courageous faith. We must follow the example of Christ as we live out truth and love, and walk patiently with those who see things differently, both inside and outside our body. This is the heart of missional living – our charge isn’t to “change the world” but to love the world for the glory of God, while trusting and praying for Jesus to change the world as He transforms hearts and minds.
I am excited for our body to learn more about the many opportunities to jump in and serve together this summer through Love Our City. But in the midst of our activity, let’s never forget that the most important thing we bring is our fully surrendered selves – transformed by Christ, to love like Christ!
Grateful to serve alongside each of you,
Mickey serves as Elder at Watermark Community Church.