Years ago, I read the book Connecting Church and Home by Tim Kimmel, a discussion about the vital, symbiotic relationship between parents and the local church. At the very beginning of the book, Kimmel defines the family as “the domestic church” and defines the church as “a gathering of domestic churches.” He goes on to say, “Strong churches don’t make strong families. Strong families make strong churches.”
As I consider the strength and vitality of our church over the last 18+ years, I can attest to the truth of this statement. Specific family names come to my mind as I scan the landscape of our church, families who have left their fingerprints all over ministries here at Watermark and whose children, many of them grown and with families of their own, are now leaders in key ministry areas, some on our staff. Our church has been strengthened by parents who have intentionally and passionately modeled their faith for their children, trained them up in the ways of the Lord, prayed faithfully for them and have trusted God to do his work in the hearts of their children.
High Return Investments
Given this reality, the burden for the family ministry here at Watermark has always been to not just consider ways we can provide the greatest children’s and student ministry experiences for kids, as important as that is. Rather, our most significant burden is to consider how we can come alongside of parents, who are the pastors of their "domestic churches," to equip them to lead and shepherd their children so that the church might be strengthened for generations to come. Our prayer is that through these families the church will thrive and that the world through Jesus’ church might “see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). We believe that this is the investment that will return the highest spiritual yield simply because of the unparalleled impact that a parent has on their own child.
Our Investment Strategy
As we continue to evaluate how best to invest in you, Mom and Dad, we are excited for what lies ahead of us this next year and praying that the Lord will use these efforts and resources to equip you to build strong “domestic churches” in your home. Some of the opportunities and resources we hope you take advantage of this year include:
- Watermark Family Ministry Blog — If you check in on this Watermark blog regularly, you will begin to notice a lot more traffic here. We hope to encourage you with regular posts on relevant parenting topics, as well as remind you of various resources available to you as you navigate parenting in various stages.
- Watermark Family Ministry Podcast — This podcast is the landing page for all the talks and discussions we do here at Watermark across all of our campuses. Whether it’s The Nest, DadU, a weekend message, or a discussion with our elders aimed at parents, you can find great content here. Subscribe using your favorite podcast app to stay up to date and equipped through this medium.
- The Nest and DadU — We are so excited for the lineup of speakers and topics we are going to learn from this year as we seek to be the best moms and dads we can be for the glory of God. Moms, be sure to register for The Nest in Dallas, Ft. Worth, or Plano and Dads, register for DadU at the Dallas campus!
- Watermark Kids Blog — For those of you with preschool and/or elementary age kids, EVERY WEEK we provide you with resources, games, conversation starters and more that go along with our weekend curriculum. These are designed to help you engage with your children on things they are learning with us and/or provide you a starting point for family discipleship if you have no idea where to begin. Be sure to check out the preschool blog and/or the elementary blog depending on the age of your children.
- Watermark Student Ministry — For those of you with students in Wake, our junior high ministry, every week you can check out the Wake Curriculum for an insight into what your students are learning and get a look at discussion questions you may want to use for conversations with your teen. You can also listen to talks from Wake and from Shoreline online so you can engage with your students on what they are learning each week. Most importantly, the heartbeat of our student ministry and the most invaluable resource for parents is student ministry small groups. If your teen is not currently in a small group, sign them up HERE.
Will You Invest?
All of these resources are available TODAY to you with many more resources and opportunities for your family in the development stages. The only question that remains is how will you seek to utilize these resources to strengthen your family in the coming days, weeks and months? We pray that you will take full advantage of all that God wants you to take advantage of, that He will use these things to grow you as a parent, to strengthen your home, and, subsequently, to strengthen His church.