After attending Watermark for five years, I got to join staff on the External Focus team in January. My new position quickly showed me how little I knew when it came to all that happens behind the scenes! More than ever before, I realized that our church is not a building – our church is people.
Over these last nine months, I have seen our members contribute externally as individuals, in groups, and through formal organizations in ways I never would have imagined. Here’s a glimpse behind the curtain of how you, Watermark members, have taught me about External Focus.
My first month on staff I received a phone call from a member who had a passion for serving women with unplanned pregnancies. Teen pregnancy was part of her story, and as God was faithful in that season many years ago, she wanted to provide a home for another mom who may need it while walking through pregnancy.
Our member recognized that giving in the context of relationship would be the best way to move forward, so she reached out to our team for next steps in connecting with someone.
Lesson Learned: You don’t have to be able to offer everything, only what God has provided for you to give. This member had an available resource (a furnished addition to her home) that she chose to offer as a way to serve someone in our body or someone directly connected with one of our ministry partners. (Hebrews 13:16)
As I settled into my role, I got a lot of questions from members about serving with young kids. Many times there are age limits to serving, due to safety concerns or area of focus. So I was so excited when I learned about the Hands & Feet Service Projects. This ministry was organized by members – Amy Hulme, Lisa Miller, Amanda Myers, and other friends – who recognized a need for unique service opportunities as mothers with young kids.
The Hands & Feet Facebook page now has over 340 members and organizes volunteer projects for preschool-aged children (2-5) and their families to cultivate a heart of Christ-centered service in their children. This year, they actually produced a Hands & Feet Projects manual to help any parents do this, anytime of the year.
Lesson Learned: You don’t have to be a formal ministry partner to serve your family, community, and church by seeing a need and initiating a solution! (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
I’m now familiar with our 20+ local partners and our international ministry partners, and I have had the privilege of learning how our partnerships developed. 2ndSaturday is a ministry that was initiated by Watermark member Todd Fields who, as their website shares, started with a lawn mower, a few friends and hope for a better future for his friends in the inner-city. Through the years, Todd’s ministry has impacted individuals, families, and neighborhoods on the margins of poverty throughout the Metroplex. Furthermore, Todd has created an opportunity for those who love the Lord to come together and show God’s love to others on a monthly basis through hands-on service projects.
Lesson Learned: When you are faithful, God will align your path – and His plan may far exceed the means you had in the beginning. (Proverbs 16:3)
My role has been a blessing to me because it has given me a unique view into how you, Watermark, extend God’s love locally and internationally through unique gifts, skills, and passions. I have watched you overcome obstacles, fight for those unable to fight for themselves, and celebrate in victories with other believers.
I hope you too are encouraged as you realize the host of folks running this race alongside you (Hebrews 12:1). I can’t wait to hear your own “service story” as it comes across my desk someday soon!