Since the Fort Worth campus began in March 2013, the Lord has moved mightily in and through this local body, drawing faithful followers of Christ and healthy leaders to the mission. The Lord has generously provided Fort Worth Campus Shepherds, leaders, and staff who are equipped and capable to shepherd the flock He has entrusted to them (1 Peter 5:2).
As we have celebrated God’s provision of both a new campus and faithful leaders who are fully committed to being and making disciples, the Watermark Elders and Fort Worth leadership have continuously prayed about what God might have in store for the Fort Worth campus.
In recent months, the Elders have had a growing conviction that the next step for the health of the Fort Worth campus and the advancement of God’s Kingdom in Tarrant and Parker Counties is for the Fort Worth campus to become an independent, local church. As conversations between the Elders and Fort Worth Campus Shepherds continued, the Elders determined that the Fort Worth campus leadership would be fully prepared to operate as an independent, local church, beginning June 30, 2020.
Some of the reasons why the Elders believe that the Lord has prepared the Fort Worth leadership team for this new work are as follows:
Watch our recent message as Todd Wagner, Tyler Briggs, and Dean MacFarlan share the how and why behind this exciting direction for the Fort Worth campus.
After prayer, discussion and counsel, we have decided to continue to use the name Watermark. Our campus will be called Watermark Fort Worth – a name we believe communicates our continued commitment to the core values of Watermark. While there are advantages and disadvantages to every naming decision, we believe maintaining our identity as Watermark while moving toward independent leadership and governance is an effective means of communicating our consistency, stability, and the deep roots we’ve developed in the Fort Worth area.
No, the Elders do not have plans at this time to transition other Watermark campuses to independent, local churches. The Elders are convicted that an independent, healthy, functioning local church is more effective than a healthy satellite campus of a multisite church. When a campus within the Watermark body is prepared to be everything that God wants it to be as an independent, local church, the Elders will faithfully listen to the Holy Spirit, as was the case in Fort Worth. Satellite campuses are another way for God to make His Church everything it needs to be, and we will continue to faithfully walk alongside them, until the Lord leads the Elders in a new direction.
The Fort Worth campus leadership will follow the same Elder selection process that Watermark has followed in the past. The men who are in the role of Campus Shepherd at the Fort Worth campus are completing this process now. In the coming months, the Elders of Watermark will present these men as candidates who are qualified for the office of Elder to the Fort Worth body for affirmation.
After lots of discussion and counsel, we will be changing the name of our church. Taking on a new name will allow us to build an independent brand identity based on the existing values of our church. We want to hear your ideas for our new name.
The Fort Worth campus is forecasted to cover its operating expenses and the cost of replacing centralized shared services by a small margin, but this is only a projection at this point. The Fort Worth leadership team asks each member of the body to prayerfully consider how they are giving as the Fort Worth body enters a new season of independence and full responsibility for the means of the ministry.
A supportive, family relationship will remain between the teams in Fort Worth and Dallas. The leadership of the church in Fort Worth will continue to have open door access to the leadership in Dallas. Curriculum produced by Watermark will also be available to the Fort Worth team. Most of all, we will pray and support each other in any way possible as we forge forward to love the cities we serve in His name.
There are plans for the expansion of the balcony and the renovation of the metal building for offices, youth space, and equipping space. The ability to address the needs is dependent upon the sacrificial giving of the Fort Worth body above and beyond giving to the general fund.