Today is officially my last day on staff at Watermark Community Church—day 5,114 out of 5,114. I’ll walk out today with a full and grateful heart.
I grew up spiritually and relationally at Watermark. We moved to Dallas as new believers and God used the staff and people of Watermark to grow us in so many ways.
In Part 2 of this 2-part series I share 7 more lessons learned and reasons why I’m grateful for my 14 years as a staff member and pastor at Watermark (Click here to read Part 1).
8. I learned the value of confession and authenticity.
In my first year on staff I shared about my eating issues. I asked the staff for help, accountability, and prayers. I was terrified to confess and afraid of what others would think. Instead I received love and encouragement.
Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
I’ve seen this Truth played out so many times at Watermark, on both sides of the equation. I’ve seen individuals try to conceal their sin and get caught and I’ve seen many confess and find mercy and grace. I am thankful for the ways my friends at Watermark showed me mercy after confession.
9. Always listen to both sides of the story.
The first verse I remember learning on staff at Watermark is Proverbs 18:17: “In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.”
As someone who feels deeply, I can be persuaded to side with a husband or wife when they share their story. I hear one side and feel deep compassion and sympathy towards the one who shared first and frustration and anger towards the other.
I quickly learned to make sure I hear both sides of the story. This is an important lesson for all of life—community, parenting, ministry, and the workplace.
10. Work hard, play hard.
The last few weeks, my co-workers and I have shared many stories with each other. Some made us sad, others made us cry, but most just made us laugh. Watermark is a work hard, play hard culture.
Many of my favorite memories revolve around the fun we’ve had on staff: March Madness tournaments, farkling, bobbing for fruitcake in a giant vat of eggnog, and much more.
I’m so glad I worked at a church that values fun and relationships. Nobody I know does this better than Watermark’s lead pastor Todd Wagner. I just heard Todd say, “Relationships are incredibly inefficient, but they’re all that we have.” Maybe the best way to grow those relationships is by working hard and playing hard.
11. Be freaks about conflict.
One of the biggest issues that will tank a marriage, a company, or a church is unresolved conflict. We’re so conflict averse that we often choose to avoid conflict. We don’t want to offend others and we’d rather just gossip or fake the peace than deal with the issues.
My life is so much richer because of the wisdom I’ve learned from God’s Word (through Watermark) that’s helped me resolve conflict. The lessons are too numerous to list out, but suffice it to say that all the most significant relationships in my life have grown through healthy conflict resolution.
Here are a few resources I’d recommend checking out from Watermark:
- The Conflict Field Guide. This downloadable is filled with scripture and practical application on how to best address conflict.
- Conflict: A Constant Opportunity. This 4-part series addresses conflict from a biblical point of view and is one of my favorite series Watermark has ever done.
12. Comparison is the silent killer.
Confession: This sin might be the death of me. There are seasons of victory and seasons of deep struggle. I mentioned in Part 1 how I wanted the gifts of everyone else and was never satisfied with how God made me. I saw everyone else’s gifts and I wanted to be like them. In the process, I grew dissatisfied, grumpy, and resented my own gifts and wiring.
And unfortunately, it’s not just about gifts. Comparison also reared it’s ugly head in my life when it comes to possessions and stuff. If I only had that car, those kids, that house, or his job, my life would be better.
The grass often seemed greener on the other side. But as they say, the best way to deal with greener grass syndrome is to water your own lawn.
My time at Watermark taught me well how to deal with my comparison issues and for that I’m so grateful.
13. Working with people you love makes every moment better.
At Watermark we often say we want to do God’s bidding with people we love.
For 14 years I’ve been able to do the Lord’s work with some of my favorite people on the planet. Great relationships don’t happen by accident. We don’t drift towards relational growth.
I’ll learned to work hard at growing relationships so that your relationships at work can grow.
- Sometimes we have to lovingly wound one another – Proverbs 27:6
- Iron sharpens iron. We help each other grow – Proverbs 27:17
- We all need to be encouraged, every day – Proverbs 25:11, Hebrews 3:13
- Walk with the wise and you’ll grow wise. Otherwise you’ll suffer harm – Proverbs 13:20
14. It’s all about Jesus.
Make no mistake about it—at Watermark Community Church, it’s all about Jesus.
Watermark is filled with and led by imperfect people. But the mission is perfect and it’s all about Jesus and helping men and women become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
In my 14 years on staff at Watermark, I’ve learned it’s not about me or you. I’ve learned this lesson over and over again, and I’m grateful.