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Leadership Update

June 4, 2021

Watermark Family,

We have two updates to share as you continue to pray with us as we seek to serve God and one another faithfully in this season.

The Elders have decided that during this season of rest, recovery, and healing, Todd Wagner will not be serving in the role of Elder Emeritus.

We are also grateful to share that Blake Holmes was formally installed as an Elder during services on May 23, 2021.

We are grateful to be on mission with each of you and expectant of all God will continue to do in through His church at Watermark.

Humbly,

Blake Holmes, Kyle Thompson, and Mickey Friedrich
Elders of Watermark Community Church

April 25, 2021

Watermark Family,

On Sunday, April 25 we shared three significant transitions to our leadership team with our church body.

David Leventhal resigned his position as Elder and staff member on March 26. His resignation was due to an erosion of trust in Todd Wagner’s ability to lead in the role of Senior Pastor and Elder. David arrived at this decision in concert with his wife, their family, and their community group.

Separately, in the following weeks, Todd, alongside his wife, Alex, reached the conclusion that the time had come for him to step down as Senior Pastor and Elder. Todd and Alex had been seeking the Lord for over a year to discern what their next step of faithfulness would be, and through conversations with family, friends, fellow Elders and their community, God gave them clarity that now was the time for a transition. Todd submitted his resignation to the Elder team on April 17, and it was accepted on that day.

We believe both men are seeking to be faithful to the Lord and honor one another in this process. At the same time, we land at a different place than David and Todd regarding why we have arrived here. After hundreds of hours of conversations over several months, every member of the Elder team, Elder Emeritus team, and the various community groups involved all affirm these decisions.

Despite a challenging season, David and Todd are at peace with one another and will serve together on the Elder Emeritus team. We are currently processing how each person can best serve the mission in the days ahead.

Church, these last few days have been long and sad as we mourn the loss of serving alongside David and Todd as we once had. Both men have served our God and our church faithfully. However, amidst our grief we have seen clearly that God is sovereignly and providentially at work in the details of these transitions. Tangible evidence of God’s leading is the unity, alignment, and peace He has provided all those involved.

As further evidence that God has gone before us, we had been considering adding Blake Holmes to the Elder team for weeks. Before Todd resigned, we joyfully extended that invitation to Blake, and he is currently in the Elder candidate process.

Please review the video of this announcement and the FAQs below if you desire further clarity. Above all, we ask you to continue to pray for the Elder team and our church as we navigate this next season.

Our mission remains the same – to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-39). Jesus is the head of our church, and we exist for His glory alone (Colossians 1:18). For over 20 years, this has been God’s church, and Todd has been one of the loudest voices to teach us that the church should never be built around any one besides Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:4). We are confident we have the staff team and lay leadership in place to lead us through this next season as we continue our mission to call all people to be fully devoted followers of Christ.

For the last two decades, we have experienced a continual sense of awe at what God is doing through His people at Watermark. Every week, people are being set free from the burden of their sin, finding refuge from the storms of life, healing broken relationships, deepening their understanding of God’s Word, sacrificially giving in a way that glorifies God, and using their gifts to humbly serve others (Acts 2:42-43). We are expectant of all God will continue to do in and through this body.

Humbly,

Kyle Thompson and Mickey Friedrich
Elders of Watermark Community Church

FAQ

What will Todd and David do next?

Todd and David plan to spend time with their families preparing for whatever the Lord has next.

Do the various community groups involved and the Elder Emeritus team support the decision Todd made?

Yes, all involved have alignment about the way forward. This alignment can be best described as having tremendous peace married to great sadness because all involved have loved working together closely in the roles they all shared in the past.

What is the plan moving forward with additional Elders?

The Elder team recognizes that it would be wise to add additional faithful men to their team. They are proactively pursuing men to add to the Elder team.

What does this mean for Sunday morning?

By God’s grace, Watermark is blessed to have many gifted leaders and communicators who are ready to continue serving the body with excellent teaching on Sunday mornings.

What is the plan for staff leadership?

Watermark is an Elder-led church. The Elders work alongside a campus leadership team. This has always been the case and will continue to be. We have a great team in place that the Elder team has high confidence and trust in.

What if I have additional questions about the transition?

We encourage you to refer to the statement from the Elders for the most direct information about this leadership transition. Members can reach out to their Community Group Director with additional questions.

Please direct any media inquiries to communications@watermark.org.

What specifically does the elder emeritus team do, and how are they related to the formal governance of the church?

Elders Emeritus at Watermark are men who have previously held the office of Elder and continue to play a significant role in the leadership and shepherding of the church. Elders Emeritus serve under the direction of our current Elders, providing prayer, encouragement, support, and overall leadership in critical initiatives all throughout our body. They serve at the request of the Elders similar to other teams, such as the Business Advisory Team. They are not part of the formal governance of the church.

Is there going to be an external search to bring additional teaching pastors to Watermark?

There is no plan for that at this time.

Why was a more formal meeting with members not scheduled prior to the broad announcement on Sunday, April 25, 2021?

Because of the visibility of Todd Wagner and David Leventhal, we felt the appropriate venue was Sunday morning services. Beau Fournet’s resignation was announced at an Evening with the Elders earlier in 2021, but less than 300 Members attended. We received a significant amount of feedback that most Members were unaware and felt uninformed of Beau’s resignation.

Why was there no communication with the body between the time when David resigned in March and when it was announced in April?

There were unavoidable circumstances that arose that led to the month gap between David’s resignation on March 26, 2021 and the April 25, 2021 announcement to the body. During that period, several events, including Easter, David’s travel schedule, and the progression of the conversation regarding Todd’s future ministry, all contributed to April 25, 2021 being the soonest possible date for sharing these updates with the body.