What WE are About
Our VISION at WatersEdge Community Church is to help develop “passionate, broken Christ-followers seeking to reflect the surprising life of Christ and influence others toward the same." Of course, this is just another way of saying Christ-likeness.
Here’s what we mean by this definition:
Passionate – “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mk. 12:30,31
“not lagging in diligence, fervent (lit. “boiling”) in spirit, serving the Lord;” Rom. 12:11
We believe that the most central calling in life is a white-hot love affair with Jesus Christ. Everything of spiritual significance in our lives is birthed out of this first-hand, ongoing, ever-deepening relationship with the living God. We also believe that our next calling is the vigorous reaching out to our neighbors in sacrificial love and helping them become all they can be in Christ. This includes our near-neighbor (fellow believers) and our far-neighbor (unbelievers). Thus you will find that we are a relationship-driven church as opposed to a program-driven or event-driven one. We are intentionally event-lite and program-lite so that we can be relationship-heavy. We believe that if we passionately pursue the three great relationships --Christ, believers, unbelievers --the rest will fall into its appropriate place.
We believe that this passion is a God-gifted passion, a borrowed passion. In other words, it is the energy and vitality of the Holy Spirit within the believer; not a flesh-driven attempt to be zealous for God. As Paul puts it, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Phil. 2:13
We also believe this is a God-directed passion, one which is deeply rooted in the eternal word of God. The fire of passion and the light of God’s word must walk hand in hand. “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Jn. 4:23,24
Broken – “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’ ' Is. 57:15
“Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” Is. 6:5
We believe that brokenness is the soil that everything genuinely good in our lives grows out of.
“I believe that the first test of a great man is his humility. I don't mean by humility, doubt of his power. But really great men have a curious feeling that the greatness is not of them, but through them. And they see something divine in every other man and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.” --John Ruskin
Brokenness occurs when our innate pride and arrogance is shattered by an overwhelming sense of the greatness, majesty, and blazing holiness of our triune God. It is deepened by the ongoing realization that everything that really needs to be done in our souls and through our lives can only be done by God. Broken Christ-followers do not merely high-five their inadequacy; they embrace it moment by moment. To the deepest core of their being they believe the words of Christ – “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Jn. 15:4,5
Broken Christ-followers are also drained of judgmentalism toward others. As Ruskin puts it, “And they see something divine in every other man and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.” One of our most central core values at WatersEdge is that we see and treat everyone as being on the same level playing-field with all of us. “I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips…” We want any prostitute, homeless person, drug addict, CEO, bank president, etc. to be able to walk through our doors and know that we are genuinely excited to have them. And if they are not yet Christ-followers we want them to understand that the only difference between us and them is that we have been blindsided by Jesus. Our entire approach to ministry is best summed up in the words of a missionary – “One beggar telling another beggar where we found bread.”
Christ-followers – “And He is the head of the body, the church, Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Col. 1:18
“but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ…” Eph. 4:15
At WatersEdge our allegiance, our devotion, and our follow-ship is toward a Person; not an organization, an institution, or a leader. We exists to worship and spotlight the Lord Jesus Christ, to flaunt His excellencies before the world, and to find our all in all in Him alone.
We believe that there is only one church in Houston…with many different expressions. We are but one of those expressions; and we rejoice in, pray for, and hold hands with the many other wonderful expressions of Christ throughout the city.
Seeking to reflect – “being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Phil. 1:11
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Jn. 15:4,5
We use the word “reflect” very intentionally. At WatersEdge we are not seeking to imitate or reproduce the life of Jesus, for this is humanly impossible. Our goal is simply to be conduits through which His divine, life-giving waters can flow into this needy world.
We believe that our primary calling is not to bear fruit for Christ but to abide in Christ. Supernatural fruit is inevitable when dynamic abiding is present. At WatersEdge we make much of The New Covenant and a New Covenant approach to life and ministry.
The surprising life of Christ – “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,” Mtt. 7:28
“So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth…” Lk. 4:22
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jn. 1:14
Central to the life of Christ as seen in the scriptures is surprise. His actions, teaching, and responses so very often resulted in the phrase, “the people marveled”. Genuine Christ-likeness is anything but the stiff, predictable, smug morality that all too often characterizes evangelicals. At WatersEdge the surprise factor is a central core value. One of our key questions in discipleship is “How can we surprise those within our natural sphere of influence with unexpected glimpses of vibrant, radical spirituality?” If the life of Christ is genuinely being released through us, it will at least occasionally catch people off-guard and temporarily disrupt their light view of God.
And influence others toward the same – “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” II Tim. 2:2
At WatersEdge we believe that it is normative for every believer to be influencing and mentoring others; with the intention that these others will then turn around and disciple others. There are many different ways and styles for this to take place and we encourage believers to find what is most natural and effective for them. But the non-negotiable is that we seek to be a body where everyone has a vital role in influencing others toward Kingdom purposes.
We believe that discipleship is the work of the entire congregation; not just the senior pastor, staff, and church leaders. In particular we seek to foster relationships where the older saints are connecting with and influencing the younger.
How We Get There
As mentioned before we are a relationship-driven church. We believe that God has laid out three great relationships that are to be the primary pursuits of our lives, individually and corporately. These three are given very specifically to us in John 15.
1. Relationship with Christ Jn. 15:1-11 Key word – “abide”
2. Relationship with fellow-believers Jn. 15:12-17
Key word – “love”
3. Relationship with unbelievers Jn. 15:18-27
Key word – “bear witness”
In essence, John 15 is the template of WaterEdge Community Church. We believe that if we give heart, soul, and strength to abiding in Christ, loving the brethren, and bearing witness to unbelievers that we will bring the greatest glory to God and highest good to others. We make no apologies for seeking to relentlessly focus on these three, for we believe they best enable us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. There is a wonderful simplicity to the Christian life that is all too often obscured in the midst of excessive church programs and events.
For these reasons you will find us highly emphasizing:
1. Personal Growth and Bible Study--Nothing but nothing can take the place of quiet, unhurried, extended time alone with God in prayer and scripture meditation. We will provide you with the tools to help you study your bible well.
2. Small Group Opportunities--We especially encourage our people to get into a home group of some sort. Frankly, things happen in a home setting that just don’t within the four walls of the church.
3. Maximizing Natural Spheres of Influence--Taking full advantage of the people God has already placed in our path and seeking to reflect the surprising life of Christ to them.
4. Utilization of Spiritual Gifts(s)--Our desire is to see each believer minister in accord with their spiritual gift(s) as much as possible.
5. Mentoring and Discipling--We will help mentor and train you to do the same with others.