Kyle discusses the future of the Watermark Plano Campus as they face issues on space. Kyle asks us to spend time praying and seeking God's will about how we can best use the gifts God has given us to contribute to the building of a bigger facility in order to better serve the needs of the community.
The Power of Story
How to Die
Engaging With the Bible
Christmas Eve 2018
Special Christmas Message from Todd
9 Things I Learned at "Seminary"
Making Room, Making Disciples...
Commitment Is the Key to Change
Enjoying The Benefits Of Your Faith
The Mode of Our Helping Matters
Counsel Biblically and Admonish Faithfully
Devote Daily and Pursue Relationally
Fort Worth Evening With The Elders
Evaluating Your Relationship With God
An Ounce of Mother Is Worth a Ton of Priest
Romans 5: Gifts From God
Dignity of Responsibility
Are You a Fool for Believing in God?
The Cost of the Cross
A Prophetic Word for the Mission
What God Has Done and What We Must Keep Doing
Life’s Slot Machine
Put on Humility
Good morning, friends. We are glad you're here. As Jeff said, we're unplugging for a little bit. I feel like I need to apologize. We have been waiting for a long time to do this message, and I probably have more energy than I should have about this as we kind of get going.
One of the things that's hard for me is that you guys can't be in our staff meeting every week. Every Tuesday, whether it's all of the campuses together or just our Plano Campus, we're together, and we always spend time telling stories about what God is up to. What's so fun is that could go for two hours in terms of trying to… We're talking over each other, raising hands, all that kind of stuff.
It's hard for me, because we don't get to tell you all of those on a Sunday morning. We can't talk about those. But I just thought this morning, just for four or five minutes, I might invite you into a staff meeting and tell you the types of stories we're hearing that are being written around this place. The first one that's really encouraging to me… A lot of them are encouraging, but this one stood out last spring.
We were doing a Watermark Kids Live event, which is an event we have where moms and dads and kids come together. There's a lesson and there are games and we embarrass the parents. It's incredible. One of these kids, a second-grade kid, really wanted to go to this. His grandmother was the one who always brought him to church, so she approached one of our staff folks and said, "Would you pray with me that my grandson's dad would come to this event with him? They're estranged."
So our staff person prayed with them, kept praying, and that child got up the courage to ask his dad, and his dad said, "Yes." He came to this Watermark event, and this kid talked about that for weeks and weeks. This kid now is leading his family in spiritual things, praying at meals. I think sometimes the mom and dad aren't sure what to do with that. I love those stories that God is at work.
A second one has to do with the urgent care clinic. This has taken place in just the last few weeks. A guy came in from the neighborhood who was hurting, and we were able to serve his physical needs, and in the midst of that we got a chance to share the gospel and give him a Bible. He was pretty closed off and had some walls up. A few days later, his girlfriend came in, and we were able to love on her, care for her. We shared the gospel with her as well.
Then the guy came back in a few days or it might have been a couple of weeks later, and he was a little softer. He said, "Hey, I've been reading my Bible. Just so you know, my girlfriend and I are getting married." Our volunteers made a big deal of that. We celebrated that. They got married, and then two days after they got back from their honeymoon they both came in and said, "Hey, we're pregnant."
So our volunteers talked them through that. We continued to love and care for them and said, "Hey, we think one of the best things you could do is go spend some time with our partners at Prestonwood Pregnancy Center." So those folks did that. They were wanting to know, "What's the best way to care for this child, and what are we going to do?" and all that. So they went to Prestonwood Pregnancy Center, and those volunteers at Prestonwood (many are Watermark people) shared the gospel again, and they both came to Christ. Stories like that all over.
Another great story. We were a week or two into this place back in 2015, and a guy comes up to me and says, "Hey, Kyle, I just need you to know that I recently confessed to a seven-year gambling addiction that caused me to defraud my best friend, my partner, and the co-owner of my company of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I have been appropriately fired." He said, "I want to put myself under the authority of this church, under the leadership of this church. I want to be restored. I want to do whatever you would have me do."
That friend of mine began to serve in The Dash, and he began to serve in Summit. He went through re:gen. A year or so later he started leading in Summit and leading in re:gen and leading in The Dash. We asked him to play a little bit of a leadership role there. It has been four years since that time, and early in those days he paid back every single penny he had stolen from that company and reconciled with his good buddy. They have reestablished a friendship.
What God did in that person is incredible, and that person was holding a microphone up here five or six minutes ago, Jeff Parker. God transformed his life. He wrote a new story for Jeff, and he is a changed man. Now he's in charge of our Recovery ministries here. I just want you to know all over even this room stories are being written right now.
I want you to literally do this. I want you to look to your left and then look to your right, and here's what I want you to know. There are stories being written right now, unwritten stories we don't know about. There's a lot I do know about; I just can't tell you, but stories are being written everywhere around here, and we love it, and we want to keep telling those stories.
The great news about those stories is they're growing and multiplying. As they grow and multiply, we start to have pressure in terms of some of the stuff we're going to talk about today on our facility. Let me give you what has happened because of those stories. When we started four years ago we had about 275 kids. Today, there are 750 kids here every Sunday. We have a lot of children around this place.
In this room alone, we started with about 350 to 400 adults, and now every Sunday in each service we have up to 750 to 800 adults in this room. We're growing. Re:gen and re|engage are up 33 percent in the last year, our Recovery ministries. We went from 100 to 134 Community Groups. That's 350 people who raised their hands and said, "I want to align with Watermark's mission, vision, and values, and I want to be a part of that." Our student ministry is busting. Stories are being written all over the place at this campus.
Can I just ask you…? I want you to raise your hand. If you have prayed for God to do great things at this campus, would you raise your hand? God is answering your prayers. It's happening. Stories are happening all over the place. Not only are they happening inside the walls here; they're also happening outside the walls.
I just want to take a minute and show you in a little video what has happened in the last 32 years in North Dallas in Collin County. When you see this come up, I want you to watch the white image as it grows. That's the concrete that's happening in our suburbs that we are a part of. It's growing and growing and growing and growing.
Collin County has basically a million people, and just so you know, 700,000 of those people do not have a relationship with Christ. Seven hundred thousand. We are no longer in the Bible Belt, friends. Of those people, 100 percent need a deeper relationship with Christ, just like me. So I want us, as the Plano Campus… We can't meet the needs of everybody, all million people, but I want to be a part of all of the unwritten stories that are in Collin County that we can be.
What we're talking about today is…How can we do that? How can we celebrate this chapter we've had of four years? For a second I want to look at 1 Thessalonians 4, a couple of passages there, and I just want to stop and say: Watermark Plano, way to go. God is using you to love and serve our community and make disciples.
Look at what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:1 as he's talking to the Thessalonians. "Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God…" Then he makes a little comment. "…(just as you actually do walk)…" He's saying, "We've called you to do this, and you're doing it." Then he says, "I want you to excel still more."
Paul had a great relationship with this church. This is probably the most encouraging letter Paul wrote in the New Testament to the Thessalonians. Go on down that chapter a little bit more, and it says, "Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another…" Again, he makes a little color commentary. He says, "…for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia."
He's saying, "Hey, I called you to this. You're doing it. Way to go. But now I want you to excel still more." That's what I want us to do. Way to go, Watermark Plano…the growth, the life change, the stories that are being written, but let's excel still more. Let's keep going. Let's have a bigger impact in this community and in this county.
I mentioned that as we multiply stories and they keep growing that it creates some pain points or challenges in our ministry. I just want to share those with you, the main things we're wrestling with as we continue to grow and celebrate that. We're out of space for kids, for sure, and adults are close behind. We went to Jinger, our children's director, several months ago and said, "Hey, Jinger, how long do we have?" She came back and said, "We may be able to survive fall of '19, but we have no shot fall of '20 when we start."
I'm like, "Okay. We have to get busy." I called our friends who are the architects and contractors, and I said, "We need to start thinking about something." They said, "Y'all are behind in terms of getting something done that fast." It's the same for the adults. Some of y'all know that in churches when an auditorium, a room like this, is 80 percent full it's full. It stops growing. We're getting close to that 80 percent number.
God's stories that he's doing through us are growing, and it's creating some pain points for us. We're out of space for midweek large group ministries that we have. Right now, every single week at re:gen when we're trying to get into Stage 4 there are people who are standing outside because of space. They can't get in to listen to the testimony and the teaching, so they just stay out and wait for their small groups to start. We're out of space for that.
We're going to probably have to move in here in the next couple of months, and this isn't a great room for us to do re:gen. We're out of small group space for our kids. We have large group rooms in the children's area, and we're putting two and three groups in those rooms. It's just not a great learning environment for our kids.
We don't have any space around here to do connecting and membership on Sunday mornings. We hear all the time, "It's hard to connect at Watermark. It's hard to become a member at Watermark." There are some good reasons it's hard to connect, but if it's our fault that people are not connecting and it's not those folks making a decision on our mission, vision, and values, there's a problem.
We think there are people saying, "I'm not going to connect here because the process is hard." We think we can help that by Sunday morning having space where we can do connecting and open Community Groups and membership classes that would allow us to capture the hearts of more people.
There's no midweek or weekend destination for young families. There's not a place up here where moms and dads can come during the weekdays and on the weekends and let their kids play in a safe environment and sit and talk and have community, invite neighbors who don't know the Lord and have conversations with them about, "What's the next faithful step for you?" or "I want you to understand about how I live my life. This is what the core is." There's none of that.
Just to say this one flat, our campus is ugly. I love our campus, but if you look on the north side over here, we have 18-wheeler bays. We painted them gray to try to make them disappear, but I would love to put a little bit of landscaping out there and make a courtyard area that's a fun place to connect for everybody…young adults, empty-nesters, everybody who's out there.
One of the other things we are hoping and praying for is we have an incredible group of young adults here who are thriving and serving, but it's a small group. We really do have a heart to have a thriving young adult community here that is loving and caring for other young adults in Collin County, serving in all of our ministries. We think that's an important part of what we're doing.
So, I am going to tease you here for a second, and then we're going to come back to it after we look at God's Word. I'm just going to throw a picture up here of what we're talking about. Our architects have gone through, and they have said, "Hey, Kyle, I think we can make this thing be effective for making disciples. I think we can help you with what your problems are by doing this right here."
Before we jump into that, we have to let the Scripture guide our hearts, because I know whenever there's a, whatever your word is…building campaign or building whatever…everybody all of a sudden is like, "Oh no. Here we go." I don't know what baggage you have on those things as you walk in here.
Some of you may have come from traditions where they put a big thermometer in the lobby. Some of you may come from a tradition where they have these bright shiny brochures and they ask you to give and it's consultants who help them do that and they pay the consultants a little bit to help you raise your money. You may do that.
Here's what I would tell you: nobody has more baggage than me when it comes to that. I went to college at Oral Roberts University. I went there, baseball player. The guy who was the number-one pick in the draft back in 1981 was a guy named Mike Moore, and he signed for a gazillion dollars. He was the guy who gave me the tour of the campus, and I'm like, "I'm in. That's where I want to go, because I want to get rich and make a gazillion dollars playing baseball."
So I went there, and I was a very immature believer. I had never been discipled. I would just tell you, if any of my ORU friends are here, I loved that place. It was great. I got discipled in a lot of different areas, but I got poorly discipled in this area, in the area of stewardship and giving and things like that. Just to give you an example, at one point… I was there a long time ago, back in the days when Oral Roberts actually ran Oral Roberts University.
If you've ever been there in Tulsa you know they have this garden area, and there's a prayer tower that is beautiful. I mean, it is gorgeous. You could go up in there and pray for the city of Tulsa, and it was really cool. Well, one day President Roberts… We were in the middle of some kind of building campaign, and he said, "I'm going up there, and I'm not coming down until we get our $17 million that we need." That's crazy. Right? That's what I was being taught.
Here's the crazier thing: he got the money. Some guy gave him the 13 million that was left to do that, but he gave it to him and said, "I'm only going to give it to you if you'll go see a psychiatrist." So if anybody here needs a psychiatrist and wants to give some big cash, I'm all in. Pre-Watermark days, I'd walk into things like this and just did not have a biblical view of giving and stewardship.
So we're going to spend a few minutes and look at what I think is one of the greatest moments in all of Old Testament history. It helps us think well, think biblically about any time you hear terms like building fund, building campaign, giving for facilities, all that kind of stuff. I want us to start over and think about what God's Word says to us. This is a passage that discipled me in the early days of Watermark.
We're in Exodus 35 and 36. Israel has already come out of Egypt. You know the story. They go to the edge of the Red Sea. God parts the Red Sea. They come through the Red Sea safe and sound. Shortly thereafter they're grumbling. God provides for them. They're grumbling some more. God provides for them, and then there's a situation that happens. There's a rebellion.
They come to a place where there's a line in the sand, where it's like, "All you millions of Israelites, are you going to follow the Lord or are you going to follow some other idol?" It kind of split the nation. As the folks who were faithful went ahead through the desert, we got to a place in Exodus 35 or 36 where God told Moses, "It is time to build a tabernacle." So that's what Exodus 35 and 36 are about.
The reason he wanted to build a tabernacle is he wanted to remind the nation of Israel, the family of Israel, about the daily presence of God and the daily provision he made for their sin. That's why there was a tabernacle. We're going to look through a bunch of Scripture, kind of go through it pretty quickly, but we're going to look through the Scripture, and I want you to notice some of the repetitive patterns in here, and then we're going to draw some principles from that and keep talking about how this applies to us. We're in chapter 35, verses 4-7.
"Moses spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, 'This is the thing which the Lord has commanded, saying, "Take from among you a contribution to the Lord** ; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the **** Lord ***'s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze…"'"* It keeps going, listing the types of materials. Then you move on down into verses 21-29, and it says, "Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him…" Keep going. "…all whose hearts moved them…"
Verse 23: "Every man, who had in his possession [the materials] …" We just keep going. We go into verse 24. Again, it says, "Everyone who could make a contribution…" Verses 25 and 26 start talking about how the women can participate, the skilled women, what that looks like. Then verse 29 goes on. "The Israelites, all the men and women, whose heart moved them to bring material for [the work of the tabernacle] …"
We move into chapter 36, verses 1-7, and that says, "Now Bezalel and Oholiab, and every skillful person in whom the Lord has put skill…" He's like, okay, the Lord is moving skilled people into this contribution thing he's talking about. "Then Moses called [those two guys] and every skillful person…everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it." Then we get down to chapter 36, verse 3, and it says, "They received from Moses all the contributions which the sons of Israel had brought to perform the work in the construction of the sanctuary. And they still continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning."
What I want you to get as we go through this passage is the picture that everyone is involved some way or another, and they are doing it because God moved them or stirred them. We're going to get to have some time to think about what that means…God moving, God stirring so we can be a part of something God is doing in significant ways. Then keeping going in chapter 36, here's what it says:
"'The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the Lord commanded us to perform.' So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, 'Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.' Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it."
There's the picture of what God is doing. The people of Israel… Everybody is involved, and it's out of the overflow of their heart, because, "God's presence is going to be with us, and it's a reminder that he is providing a provision for our sin." So I want to look at that passage and pull four principles out of there that are incredibly important as we think about… Watermark Plano is about to enter into an area. We want to expand our campus a little bit. I want us to be informed not by our baggage but by what the Scripture says about how to think well, how to think biblically about how to do this.
1._ Everyone is moved or stirred by God._ The first thing I want you to hear me say today is this is about your heart; this is about my heart. Whenever we talk about expanding our facilities at Watermark, we want you to know that is part of the discipleship process, that we want you to engage because we believe it will grow your heart for God and his kingdom. It's about your heart. It's not about the amount you give. God is much more interested in our hearts.
I want to show you a couple of New Testament passages that support that. This is in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. The context is that the Corinthians had said, "We're going to give a contribution to help the church in Jerusalem." Paul is writing to the Corinthians and saying, "Hey, that commitment you made? I want you to finish it." Here's what he says in the Corinthian letter:
"For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God."
Again, it's a reminder. They first gave themselves to the Lord and then to whatever God's plan was for supporting the Jerusalem church. Keep going in 2 Corinthians. You get to chapter 9, and it's a great reminder that this is about the heart. "Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
In Exodus, the people of Israel were bringing all that stuff. By the way, do you know where all that stuff came from? God had supplied them as they were coming out of Egypt. Remember the story? God had so worn them out with the plagues that Pharaoh just said, "I'm done. Take what you want." So the Israelites made some hay. They plundered the Egyptians, and they were carrying all of that stuff through the wilderness.
We get to this time, and now all that stuff Israel had gathered up is coming to help build the temple. There was sacrifice going on as well at that time, but they gave because "I can't believe God's presence is with us. I can't believe he has made provision for our sin. We are overjoyed to support what God is doing in the midst of our camp."
If you walk out of here today and feel coerced or manipulated or bamboozled or whatever your term is, that is not my heart. Our heart here is to make disciples, to keep writing stories, and for every single one of us to be faithful. It's one of the reasons we don't pass a plate. Some of you may be guests here today, and you notice we don't pass a plate. The reason we do that is because we think that's the best application of how to do what we just read.
We want people to give with a cheerful heart not because a plate comes in front of them every single week and they feel obligated to put money in there. We're not critical of churches that do that. We just like the interpretation better of letting God stir your heart to give to the work of the ministry. We don't do debt here. For those of y'all who don't know, we have millions of dollars worth of facilities, and we don't owe anyone anything.
The reason we do that is so we can be flexible. If God says, "Turn left" we can quickly turn left. If he says, "Turn right" we can turn right and we can be effective for God the way he wants us to. We don't do pledges here. As I said, we don't do thermometers in the lobby. We don't do consultants. What we do is pray. We pray that God would release his resources…they belong to him…through you, and then once you've given those resources we pray like crazy that he'll resupply those resources.
Another thing I want you to know as we talk about this and as we're shepherded by the Scripture is that we're staying on mission. We're going to talk about this every now and then. It'll probably be in the Watermark News, but we're not going to make this a huge deal on a Sunday morning. We're going to communicate clearly, but we are going to keep making disciples and keep writing stories, and this will not be a distraction to what God is doing in our midst.
Let me just tell you what it means for me that those who participate, who contribute, are those who God stirs. Let me tell you what that looks like for me. Tresha and I give every month to the general fund at Watermark, and then periodically, over the last 19 years, there have been seasons when we've been asked to do something like we're talking about today, which is we need to expand the campus, so we want you to give to that. Tresha and I will get together and talk.
Let me tell you the first thing that hits my brain. When I talk to the Lord and I talk to my bride about "What do we want to do here?" here's what hits my brain. I am overwhelmed by the fact that I have been able to sit under incredible biblical teaching for 20 years. I'm overwhelmed by the fact that I get to hang out with men who are figuring out "How do I make disciples of my kids? How do I lead my family? How do I love my wife?" Twenty years I've been a part of that.
All three of my children had small group leaders for multiple years who plugged into them. During those crazy high school years (I have three girls), the first place they went a lot of times was not Mom and Dad. They went to their small group leaders. Thankfully, when they went to those small group leaders, those small group leaders were saying the same thing Mom and Dad were.
One particular story is we came in one night… My youngest daughter was going through a season of rebellion. She was hiding sin, all that kind of stuff. We come in, and she's at the computer, crying. I mean, hard crying. We're like, "Oh my gosh. What has happened? What's going on?" So we sit down with her and ask, "What's happening?" Through her tears, she says, "I need to confess something to you guys." You know how that is for parents. "Oh my gosh. What's coming?"
So we sit down with her, and she confesses to hiding sin and doing some things she knew were against the way we led our home. I think we responded decently well. We forgave her, and we talked about why she did what she did, and then we gave some consequences. What we found out in the midst of that conversation was that 30 seconds before we pulled in that night, her small group leader was sitting right next to her, right next to that computer.
She was whispering to her, "Hey, I love you enough that if you don't tell your parents, I will. I know that may hurt our relationship, our friendship for a while, but I love you that much that I am going to tell your parents. So either you do it or I will do it." Folks, being around biblical teaching for 20 years, having leaders plug into my kids, rubbing shoulders with guys who are leading my family… I cannot write a check big enough for that. I can't.
So when our family sits down and we process this, our question has changed. It's not how much we can give. It's like, "What do we need to live on? I want to give everything else." This is about God stirring our hearts. When we talk about this building thing, don't hear us say we care about the amount. We care more about the discipleship process and that your heart is growing and your faith is building so you can be more useful for the kingdom.
2._ Everyone can contribute. Everybody can be a part. Look at Luke 21:1-4. It's commonly known as the _widow's mite. This is Jesus. "And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, 'Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.'"
God doesn't care about the amount, folks. He cares about the state of our hearts and that everyone can be a part. Todd told a little bit of the story last week about when we started Watermark 18 years ago. It was one night. We'd been talking for a year, year and a half, vision, values, doctrine, all that kind of stuff. We had felt confirmed that God wanted to do something with us.
It came to the night that we were all going to figure out, "All right. How the heck are we going to fund this thing?" So we literally… We're in a room. There are 15 of us, and we just pass a hat. We write down on a piece of paper, "How much can you give tomorrow, and how much can you give in the next few months?" There was enough there to hire Todd. I can't remember if it was part time or full time. We just started, and it grew from there.
You know what's so fun about that for me? I hope this isn't prideful. I feel like every time we build a building or do ministry I have a little part of that. Little. Mine was a little contribution. I was on Young Life staff and had three kids under 5. Little part, but I feel like my heart was invested, and my time, talent, and treasure followed that. So everyone can contribute.
Another thing we've done before as we've done this in Dallas is we've included your kids and to use this process as a way to make disciples of your kids. It has been so fun in the past that kids would do a lemonade stand and give all of their proceeds from the lemonade stand to the building fund. Other folks did garage sales and gave the proceeds to the building fund.
I got reminded earlier today that there was an Italian family that had just come over from Italy, had connected at Watermark, and their lives were being significantly changed. She wrote an Italian cookbook and sold it and made all kinds of dollars and sent them to the building fund. I don't know what it is for you, but everyone can be a part of it.
3._ The contribution can be time, talent, or treasure_. It says in the Exodus passage that there were skilled women and skilled men who were a part of this. It could be your time. It could be your time to pray. It could be your time to serve differently than you're able to serve. I love when I look around when I'm up here and see all of these Starting Blocks shirts and Dash shirts and things like that, because you're giving your time. The contribution can be time, talent, or treasure.
We love our building here. We absolutely love what we have. It's 110,000 square feet of awesome. It used to be a furniture place. When we bought it, we spent a little bit of money to put Watermark lipstick on it. That's kind of the way I talk about it. We love our building, but do you know who is responsible for the Watermark lipstick, the colors here on the panels, the wood here, the other places, the leather stuff, things like that?
It's a member of our body: the McDougals. They have given countless hours and not charged us anything in terms of their fees to be a part of what we're doing here. We've had contractors who have said, "I'm a contractor. I can give you two free air conditioning units. I can give you Sheetrock. I can get things at cost." So as we think about this thing, we're not only talking about treasure; we're talking about your time and your talent. How can you be a part of what we believe God wants us to do as this next chapter of making disciples here at Watermark Plano?
4._ We need to ask God every morning, "How do I steward my life?"_ One of those passages in Exodus said they kept bringing it every morning. So waking up every day and saying, "Hey, God, my time, talent, and treasure is yours." That's discipleship. I got a chance to teach men's Summit Thursday morning. Romans 12: "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship."
What those two verses mean is "Hey, God, I'm going to wake up, put my palms up, and say, 24/7, 'God, I am yours to do with what you would.'" That's maturity. I think that's maturity for our body. In every area. We're talking about a building today, but we're talking about "How do I use my time? How do I use my talent?" Loose hands, palms up. "God, would you please use me?"
Those are the four principles that guided me as I came out of that crazy at ORU and was never really discipled in this area. Now, as we get to this place, we're hopefully thinking biblically, so what are our next faithful steps? Well, let me tell you before I do that what we're not going to do. I have been praying ever since we got in here…
You guys know that to the south of us is 26 acres, 310,000 square feet, and 1,600 parking spots. I have asked the Lord multiple times, "God, can you, will you give that to us? We would love to turn that into a community center, make this place a city on a hill that all the community comes to for whatever resources they need to help love them and help them be disciples of Christ."
At this point God hasn't made a way for us. We have a great friendship with the guy who owns that property. We have a lease with him on the parking, but he's not ready to do anything that makes that reasonable for us as a church. But I'm not going to stop praying. Just God hasn't allowed that to be the timing yet, so we're not going to do that.
We also took a look… When we went to Jinger and started thinking about that, we thought about expanding the kids' area back toward Avenue K this way and adding a bunch of classrooms and large group rooms, and then we needed to expand this. If you expand the kids' area you have to expand the adult area. They go together. There's a ratio there.
When we looked at all that, we just said, "That's going to be like $15 million." That's not out of the question for the Lord to do 15, but right now, in this chapter, in this season of Watermark Plano, that feels like too big a lift for our body. So we said, "We don't think that's wisdom." That's the elders at Dallas. That's the campus shepherds here. We just said, "We don't think that's wisdom."
So what are we going to do? After a lot of meetings with architects and different ministry people, we think God is leading us to solve these problems by doing a small campus expansion and by creating spaces that are going to serve every single group in our church. I'm going to put that slide up that I had before and show you here. Then we're going to look at some pictures of what we're talking about, and I'll roll through these fairly quickly.
First, the problem is we're running out of space for kids and adults. Instead of doing a major multimillion-dollar expansion, we think the right thing for us is to go to a third service and a fourth service when it's necessary. We think that's the right thing. We don't know exactly yet when that's happening, but it's coming. That could be Saturday night. That could be a third service Sunday morning. We're not sure yet what that's going to do, but we've decided that's going to be our model going forward: we're going to be a three- or four-service model church.
The next thing is we're out of space for midweek large groups. What we want to do is build a multipurpose room that's in between the size of Stage 4 that holds 250 and this room that holds 1,200, a 500 or 600 multiuse space where we can do re:gen and re|engage and students, and on Sunday mornings we can use it to connect and do membership and make it easier to connect at this place.
There's no midweek destination place for young families. If you've ever been a part of the Dallas Campus, you know there's a big tree fort there and parents and kids come, and all that kind of stuff, and it is amazing. We won't be able to do that, but we want to create a space during the week and on the weekends where you can come with your kids and they can play in a safe place. You can sit outside or even inside, drink your coffee, and talk with people, develop relationships.
If I don't get an "Amen" from all of the young moms who have been wearing me out for four years who are in here… Like, "Hey, would you create a space for us?" That's one of the things we want to do. We want to create, as I said before, an exterior connecting space for all adults, and then we want to create an environment that will help our young adult community.
So let's do this. I teased you early on. Let's take a look at some architectural renderings of what we're talking about. This is the first one. This is just to give everybody orientation. The bottom of the slide is to the south. It's this way. The top of the slide is to the north, that way, if that helps you orient. Right now we have 4.4 acres of undeveloped land, the building we're in, and then on the other side is the Sunday parking and then the shopping center that we hope God is going to give to us at some point. That's kind of what we have.
All we're going to talk about is going to happen on the north side, this side, right up and down along here. You can see to the right is the outdoor kid play space, in the middle is the adult connecting space, young adult connecting space, and then to the left is the two-story building. The bottom floor is the multipurpose room. The second floor will be the offices for our staff so we can turn the existing offices into small group space.
So that gives you a quick overview. Then I'm just going to show you the details of all of those pieces. We're going to run through the first one. That gives you a close-up look of the connecting space and the two-story addition. It shows there are fire pits, there's landscaping, there's a porch in there, and we'll have tables under there. If some of you are familiar with the Dallas Campus, it'll look a little bit like the exterior of the Dallas Campus.
There's the inside of the multipurpose room. Just to let you know, it'll be 500 to 600 seats. That's a picture of what we think the indoor children's play area is going to look like. As you go to the west, right now it's the Kaleidoscope room and the playroom for kids. We're going to expand the size of that and put some fun stuff in there for kids to be able to come up and play in a way that's safe.
There's a picture of the sport court in the play area on the outside that we hope to have. That will be covered, just so you know, but we couldn't very well cover it and show you what it was going to look like. We will cover that. Another picture of the porch. There's another look at the porch. One of the fun things about what the architects have done is they've made this indoor/outdoor. That glass right there is garage doors, so they go up and down. We'll create an indoor/outdoor connecting area that we're very excited about.
So that gives you a picture in your mind of what we're trying to accomplish, not so we can just build a building; it's so we can make disciples and grow hearts. Let me run through quickly three really practical things. Here's what we want you to do. We want you to get with the Lord and talk to the Lord about how you can use your time, talent, and treasure. I asked the question to the guys on Thursday morning, "Do you feel like you're fully utilized, all of your gifts are being utilized?"
I had conversations after. There were a bunch of guys who said, "No," and I'm like, "I don't know if it's time, talent, or treasure, but can you imagine if every single one of us was fully utilizing the gifts God had given us, the resources God had given us for his kingdom? We might be able to get after all 700,000 people in Collin County." So that's the call today. Get with the Lord. Figure that out. Process with your family. Pray with your community.
What we'd love for you to do is to go through that process with your community and then figure out "How do I respond?" Either I respond with my time, I respond with my talent, I respond with my treasure, I respond with all three, or let me tell you a great response. You go to your Community Group leader and say, "Hey, we have prayed and processed. We've talked with you guys, and we just don't think the Lord is leading us to do anything on this, to give to this." It's a great response.
We're asking you just to get with the Lord and ask the Lord, "How can my heart be fully yours? Is this one of the areas?" I will tell you it is in mine. I can grow in this area, in the stewardship of my resources for the sake of God's kingdom. I want more than ever for my question to be not "What do I give?" but "What do I need to live on?" that we talked about before.
How do you give? There are three really easy ways you can give: watermark.org/giving, Building Fund. Just so you know, there's only one building fund, and if you've ever registered at Plano for anything…your kids for a Bible study…Plano is automatically your home campus and it automatically gets credited to the Plano Campus. There's a Pushpay app on your smartphone that makes it really easy to give if you like doing that, or if you want to do the old-fashioned way by check, in the memo write "Building Fund," put it in the silver boxes, or send it to this campus or to the Dallas Campus.
What we're asking you guys to do… We are asking the Lord to release $4 million worth of resources through his body. That is a big ask for our body. As we looked around, as we prayed, remembered what we'd done at Dallas, that feels like a stretch for us, and I'm excited that it's a stretch for us, because it's going to disciple us.
We would love to have that done by January 31, 2019. We're just asking you now. For the next three or four months, would you just pray, process, talk to community? Would you consider giving? Would you consider using your time? Would you consider using your talent? Then talk about it and tell your Community Group leaders about that.
The reason we'd love to have it done by the end of January is because that way we can keep going with our architects and our contractors. We can start in the summer, and by the following spring we can be fully ready to go with all of the changes we have talked about today. So that's how you give to that.
Lastly, we know this is a big ask. It's a lot to get your head and hands around, so we want to help you do that. The leadership at the campus wants to help you. The first way we can do that… On October 29, November 11, and November 14 here at the Plano Campus we're going to get into some smaller venues and let you fire questions at us. "Hey, why did y'all come to this conclusion? Why do you think it's the right thing?" If you need to have those conversations, we want to have them with you.
Here's another thing I would love for you to know. As the campus leaders here, we have no idea what anybody gives. No idea. There are three people, probably, at the Dallas Campus who know that information. We don't have a clue. Do you know why? Because I probably couldn't handle it. I probably would treat people differently if I knew what they gave, so I'm thrilled that Watermark has put those things and guards so I don't have any idea and can treat people the same. Again, widow's mite or otherwise, God cares about the heart.
The campus leadership will come to your Community Group. If your community has questions, we'll jump in. We'd love to process it with you. The website went live on Friday. You can jump onto the website. A lot of the stuff we've talked about today, the pictures, things like that, are on the website. There's an FAQ that's on the website that gives you a little more information. We also have paper copies at the Welcome Desk. So on your way out, if you want to get an FAQ that gives you a little more data to help you pray and process, I'd love for you to pick one up there.
On Sunday mornings there will be times that we'll talk about it, but not very often. As I've said before, we want to stay on mission. So, a lot of information. Here's what I want you to know: I just want God to keep writing stories. I just want him to keep writing my story, I want him to keep writing your stories, and I want him to keep writing all of the stories that are around us. So let me let you watch a few more really great stories.
Jeff Bishop: You're nervous, aren't you?
Julie Bishop: Yes.
Steve Hamm: Through the magic of editing you can make us look good.
Ese Nosakhare: I'm ready. Let's go.
Jeff: Before Christ I was selfish, angry, wandering, not being a leader in my own house.
Laura Helms: I thought I had to be a good Christian. Even though I knew in the Bible it says that by grace you were saved, that it's a free gift, somehow I still had to earn it, in the back of my mind.
Ese: We moved from the Midwest and came down here, didn't have any idea where we were going to go to church. So my husband just Googled churches with marriage ministries and popped up re|engage. We went actually to re|engage before we ever went to a service on Sunday. We just knew that was something we needed, not realizing what the Lord had in store for us.
Amanda Buccola: When we first walked into Watermark, the authenticity was what drew us in. We hadn't seen that at any church we had been at before.
Richard Dunn: When we came to Watermark Plano, we immediately plugged into a Foundation Group. I shared everything from my drinking problems to going to jail. We shared it all, and we were very vulnerable but really wanted to be authentic for the first time in our lives to let other people into our lives and allow Christ to work that way.
Mike Smith: Probably the best thing so far was when Rob Barry two years ago, almost to the day, preached at Plano and said, among many, many other things, "Hey, confess that sin that you thought you were going to take to the grave." Not an easy thing to do, but I sat Amanda down and confessed to her that early in the marriage I'd had an affair.
Ese: I found out I was pregnant with my second son and found out in utero about 13 weeks into my pregnancy that he was going to have sickle cell disease. I had just kind of causally brought it up one day in community that yeah, I was thinking about abortion and I didn't know if I wanted to keep this child.
Amanda Smith: It was no mistake that we were in community with who we were in community with. It was amazing just to see the guys. I don't know. It was probably 9:00 at night. They all showed up at the house. All of them left whatever they were doing.
Ese: At the time it felt like an ambush. We walked in, and there were two chairs in the middle, and all of the chairs for everyone else around. They told us to sit in the middle. They gave me…I still have it…this list of Scriptures to meditate on. It was the first time I had really experienced God's love in an environment that was not surface level.
Amanda Smith: Honestly, if it wasn't for that group as a whole, I'm not sure where we would be.
Mike: Yeah, neither am I.
Ese: When Zode was born… He was born December 19. We call him Zode, but his full name is Izodosa. In my family's dialect, that means, "I choose the path of God."
Steve: We went to the very first night of re|engage, I believe it was, at the Plano Campus.
Natalie Hamm: He had his arms folded. He was sunken in, head down. Then the key phrase, "Draw a circle around yourself and fix everybody in that circle. We are not here to fix your spouse, and we're not here to point fingers." That immediately perked up his ear.
Jeff: Having the privilege of serving at re|engage and seeing couples walk through the door that have come in different cars, that don't sit together, that can't even talk to each other, and then some 30-odd weeks later have reconciled with one another… It's incredible for us to see God's work and his power and his love played out through the story of these couples and to know the effect that's going to have on generations to come.
Laura: I have been overwhelmed by the love and acceptance, that no matter how damaged I feel or how broken I feel based on my circumstances, the way people love me is not dependent on my circumstances and has absolutely been Christ shown to me.
Jeff & Julie Bishop: Thanks for making room for us.
Ese: Thank you for making room for me and my family.
Richard: Thank you for making room for me.
Mike & Amanda Smith: Thank you for making room for us.
Laura: Thank you.
[End of video]