Their countenances in the video departure statements appear to be quite different. If you dont want to share your story you dont have to. He then applied the words Paul used to describe his apostolic ministry in Acts 20:26-32 to his own tenure at Watermark: With a clear conscience, Im going to say this to you, Wagner said. Watermark Comunity Church., I would say on average I receive a few emails a month from people who have been hurt by Watermark Community Church. Synopsis of the case is as follows. TODD WAGNER SURELY LED ALOT OF PEOPLE TO CHRIST. I canRead more , I can tell you that I know Todd Wagner personally over 20 years ago. a smarmy, unctuous reply. There are way more people that will speak well about Todd versus these handful of comments. Thats not true. But, we ALL should be. It was a class before the main church service where people around the same age as you sat in a room, listened to a bible lesson, maybe interacted a bit, shared prayer requests, took up a small offering, held hands and said a closing prayer. Author: this is unequivocally WRONG. By our measure our savior Jesus was a total and complete failure. Those who love control and achievement thrive very well there = works. Pray snd ask the Lord for that, sure many here are upset, but not many know what has taken place fully, you judgmental hypocrites. even so, i think its patently obvious that living as the 1% by 1st world standards, even in part, is lavish by any and all standards. The state of California and Los Angeles have agreed to pay $800,000 in legal fees to settle their lawsuit with John MacArthur's church over COVID-19 lockdown rules. One is very wealthy and likely the one who lives in the house you mentioned. Are you familiar with the website, No Eden Elseware? Sure, lets not address anything that is rumored to be strange about Watermark and say that Jesus sounded cultish. And, have peace and unity. It appears to attract a fairly high income crowd if their building program is any indication of the amount of money coming into the church. Watermark was founded in November 7, 1999 with an outward-focused ministry that sought to minister to "the unchurched, dechurched, dead-churched and unmoved."  Watermark averages about 9,000 weekly attendants. He did end the video by defining what HE thought the three marks of a cult were: Im going to address #3, because I did my own Google search of the Dallas County Central Appraisal District and discovered that Todd Wagner lives in a $1.5 million dollar home in a very prestigious area of Dallas. These resources are found in Appendix V and Appendix VI at the end of this case study and in the clarifications given by Watermark in the section Watermark's Response to the Nation. We don't remove someone's formal status as a member for struggling with sin - whether that sin is pride, materialism, or sexual sin. * For What? Dont need the large meetings with rock music and parking headaches and entertainers with impulse control issues claiming its the Holy Spirit in them. It is very helpful and lets us plan financially well. Regardless I loved your passion and pray that Holy Spirit would cover you and lead you in the area that needs correction. Women have gotten to the point where they thing their poop doesnt stink lately. Mind Games The Bizarre & Controling Culture of We have ministry partners with boots on the ground, helping to love and serve others by meeting their immediate physical and spiritual needs. Watermark is a community of faithful, creative, authentic Christ-followers who are united in one purpose: to be and make disciples of Jesus. he was reprimanded for not giving more to the church. Leventhal doesnt seem very interested in this whole thing Wagner appears attentive during Leventhals speech but Leventhal seems stand-offish toward Wagner. Why do you throw a stone (more likely without looking at yourselves first). Or you perfect? If I thought I couldnt work with someone I wouldnt be turning around and working with them. Todd especially. Todd was my counselor at Kanakuk Camps for a summer. If by community you mean meeting with like-minded individuals to foster friendships & develop relationships then great. **THEIR shepherds** Several weeks after Leventhals resignation, Wagner separately decided to step down as senior pastor and elder, the churchs statement said. Still havent found a church I like since. I assured those who wanted to speak out with their stories that I would not identify them or use any details in my post that could be used to identify them. This would be Cabo and in the middle of the worst weather tragedies that Dallas has seen in decades. Unsure why he is getting criticized for living in a house that is experiencing uber appreciation b/c of the school district it resides in. The guy has an ad that comes on YouTube where he goes through how his org is run. Thanks for the reply. When I watched his stepping back/pride/ sin talk, I wanted to either vomit or laugh out loud.. My soul was touched. I would be ok disclosing financial information to my community group. Keep in touch with Julie and get updates in your inbox! Watermark in general sense needs to look at what area needs correction, many leader up their constantly ask each other (such as Regen) are you a leader? He hides behind the church to bully people whether in the church or outside. Additionally, unless you have seen all of the financial reports from the last 22 yrs, you have no idea how Wagner was compensated. No one is perfect including Todd.. he is not God. If you dont want to be a member at Watermark you dont have to be.Read more , There is a difference between positional authority and spiritual authority. -, Watermark Community Church has believers SIGN Just because you have not experienced or witnessed the things that happened to the person who told their story that I featured in this post, does not mean those things did not happen. This is absolutely nothing like a Joel Osteen situation. Secondly he says that even Jesus himself said things that might be considered cultish: If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26. Give a gift of $30 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of Escaping the Maze of Spiritual Abuse by Dr. Lisa Oakley and Justin Humphreys. Wagner founded Watermark in 1999 with the expressed purpose of ministering to "the unchurched, dechurched, dead-churched and unmoved." The church grew rapidly and now has campuses in Dallas, Frisco, and Plano. Watermark Video: Women's Channel 8y ago Better to have one doctrinal statement that unites both members and elders in my opinion. Also, please note, you are free to leave Watermark Church at any time. Yes WM hides abusers and minimizes victims. the artificial contrived way of being is over the top. If the things she claims were stated from the pulpit are true, there should be plenty of documentation. When this article was written, Ive spoken to these people and I believe them. God has allowed the clarity and conviction that I need to not leave a snarky comment, to dry up.. Remember the verse when most friends depart, there is one who stays closer then the brother. The Yelp algorithm is strange. Todd could use he had no use for you. Then check your heart. Not to gotcha, but I just want to set the record straight that the gift tax doesnt make it unrealistic that Todds family was gifted that house. Since November, it appears two other Watermark elders have left the original board of six menBrian Buchek and Beaut Fournet. Sort of as God told him and his wife that it was time to move on to the next thing God has planned. Forgot account? Even now, her parents (who worship there) refuse to talk to her or visit her children, simply because she was dutiful enough to report on the pedophile acts of a man who used to work at Prestonwood. We've put together a list of some ways . Being your authentic self in community with others is the goal, they say. Sounds like the perfect target for attack, I was looking at Watermarks governance section on its website and two things stuck out to me: 1) they have 2 doctrinal statements, one for members and one for elders and 2) they are Elder-Rule, Elder-Led. (I share this not to be super-negative, but just because this practice is far , CALL TO ACTION Former WM Members Did WM pray for you, or did WM prey on you? Just because you have never been abused in the way these people have, does not negate that they were. They gossip. Hes not the pastor of Watermark. If the leaders deem you unworthy of their support due to pride or sin struggle reasons, they will absolutely unequivocally unabashedly and with zero conscience or compassion, write you off. If you dont fill out the form you can leave easy if your just quiet. The author writes in an article titled Watermark Community Church review: fraud. Andrew Bhatia If you got the impression I was disingenuous or was minimizing someones hurt please forgive me. The Equipping Podcast 10M ago Sharpen your thinking on issues that matter. So Leventhal resigned several weeks before Wagner, but theyre announcing this together, on the same day? In the video, Wagner said that the clarity to step down was not hasty, adding that the discernment process had started a year ago. The twin resignations come after months of turmoil at the church. Not Todds decision but good try on the poor stewardship bit. I can attest, when they claim no member of WM will ever go homeless, is a complete and total lie. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 There are no congregational votes nor do individual members have a 'say' in how things are handled. Its where two or more are gathered not where two or more thousands are gathered. I verified it. I think you need to expand on the 4B Spiritual Assessment forms. Reminds me exactly like Steven Furtick and many other pastors. Todd Wagner, the embattled pastor of Watermark Church, a Dallas multisite megachurch with a pre-pandemic congregation of 20,000 people, has resigned his position as senior pastor and elder. One question is If your Parents were not rich and someone. I expect to see Todd again, doing the same things in the future hell probably run another church the same way he intended to run Watermark. We also get your email address to automatically create an account for you in our website. Thats for God to reveal or conceal. He added that there are just too many layers and that even Friedrich and Thompson land at a different place than (Leventhal and Wagner) regarding why weve arrived here., Both Wagner and Leventhal will remain at Watermark as elders emeritus, though the church said it is proactively pursuing men to add to the Elder team., According to the church website, Wagner and Leventhal will spend time with their families preparing for whatever the Lord has next.. You guys can rip apart our church and Todd all you want, but I know him, and you wont find a man with more of a heart of gold than him. Darren, heres what I see are the problems with Elder-Rule church government. I highly recommend that you watch the video, because if you watch it with just the tiniest bit of scrutiny, you will notice Todd Wagner work some word-magic here. While God does allow humans to have free will, His greatest gift to every human is salvation and eternal life, through believing that He sent His son as a sacrifice for our sins. Wagner blatantly blasphemed Holy Scripture, hence your whitewash of content and material issues. THAT is what these people are afraid of. Elder and staff member David Leventhal stepped down in late March, citing "an erosion of trust" in Wagner's ability to lead. So you think women are getting a little uppity and having ideas above their station?. Before I get into the first story, I want to lay some groundwork to help my readers understand how the structure of community groups at Watermark Church works. You made friends with whoever you wanted to and you shared what you felt like sharing. Thats why people leave churches snd are constantly hurt. Photo taken March 7, 2014. The only thing I can discern between the lines is that something went very wrong. I went through the Re:Engage program twice early in its development. He confirmed Leventhals statement that the two are at peace and are in community together.. So unless this person gave away 7 more $1.5 million homes, they would not be taxed on any of those gifts ever. To demand that a victim produce evidence is a form of revictimization. the family in a 1970s 2,100 sf home of their own in the suburbs may feel they have the short end of the stick, and see the family in the newer 3,400 sf home as having amazing luxuries. OK. Third, Todd said Christians should live their lives in a way that looks radical or extreme to other people, and Watermark is the best at it, because most churches arent very radical! Thats for God to reveal or conceal.. Came off as legalistic trolling. Im still waiting for more transparency but doubt we will get if from Wagner as that pride runs deep. One person complained that her husband was forced to tell his community group how much he made and to account for how he spent his money. Not sure how much of a money maker it is since all we spend money on is the workbooks. For every story that IRead more . Its gotten popular which makes me suspect. If by community you mean confessing every single sin in your life to a group of virtual strangers, disclosing your personal financial information, and seeking the approval of the group to change jobs, buy a house, start a family then no,Read more , Christian community can have so many different levels, and not everyone is seeking the same depth in all relationships. And so have I. Related Pages. Christian Church. Gotcha.
Prestonwood Baptist also made the list (top 20) and its nowhere near a cult.. Now he confesses to sin himself , sin ofRead more , I knew Todd when he was an associate pastor at Northwest Bible Church. True humility is replaced with a very shallow and false one and so they humble brag about how big a crowd they can draw. Todd Wagner, senior pastor of Watermark Community Churcha multi-site megachurch in the Dallas area with an average attendance of 11,000announced yesterday that. Considering thatRead more , Dave It is disingenuous to minimize someone elses experience just because you did not witness it yourself. Its almost as if Mr. Wagner is concerned that more detailed information will come out. Todd had 6 children living at home at the time he was gifted the home. Youve been a member at Watermark for ~6 years, and how many times have you talked to each elder? It is all about leveraging God not for the good of the people but for bragging rights about how successful they are. I asked Susan if she wouldnt mind answering a few questions for this post, which she was happy to do. Where are you getting this information? It was like someone flipped a switch, and I fell in love with Jesus. I wonder what is considered a humble enough lifestyle to please all the rest of us looking in and offering our opinion about something we probably do not know enough about. Before coming to Watermark, I never knew the Bible could be applied to my life. However, if you have any experience with these covenants or have heard stories of people who have dealt with a church where they signed one of these and there was a point of contention or disagreement, you know that these are LEGALLY binding agreements and can be used against you (re: current The Village Church lawsuit& the Karen Hinkley story.). Ive said my bit, not interested in burning much more time, unless you or anyone wants to leave a number to meet to discuss Jesus, WM or Todd. During his address to the Watermark Community Church congregation in September, Wagner told them , Did anyone see this Sundays Sermon? And Elder Kyle Thompson tearfully described how God had used Wagner to disciple and grow and to model for me what faithfulness looks like more than anybody else, period., Elder Mickey Friedrich then urged the church not to try and judge whose version of events is right or wrong. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. We didnt share our financial information until almost a year into our meeting. Darren, I think I get where youre coming from with the idea of a teaching statement. Maybe Im straining at a gnat. I have however heard Todd Wagner say from the pulpit if youre not comfortable giving here thats ok, please give somewhere meaningful to you. Thanks for giving up the last word. search clear. This is maybe a time for correction for Todd as it seems (2 Tim 3:16-17) havent you ever done anything wrong? Perhaps its appropriate for an elder who retired after many years of exemplary service and is available on occasion to give counsel. This church sounds exhausting and prideful. The Asbury Revival Is Over. Just because you havent personally experienced or have personal knowledge of these things happening does NOT mean they didnt happen to someone else. All of the years I attended Kanakuk I had awesome and incredible counselors except for Todd. Thanks to you for writing and Susan for sharing. Having been a Watermark (now CityBridge) member since 2016 have never EVER heard these messages thatSusan speaks of. And then they agree to work on the same board? Speculation, in this context, equates to gossip, and at its heart, is pride. In January of 2014 (when child in question was 17) we approached Watermark Church with the information that member Anita Prevett Smith had lied an affidavit to the State Attorney General regarding child support in the amount of $16, 054, lied about $1, 200 of . Worth 1-2 million. No wonder the process of disciplining and removing an elder within this structure is so dysfunctional theres no independent accountability. i felt like i was watching and listening to animated cardboard characters. He didnt even buy the house, it was gifted by a member years ago. I am so tired of the evangelical industrial complex justifying there greed and sexual abuse and bullying. I merely want to get the facts out on the table. Not that difficult, really. To donate, Pastor of Dallas Megachurch Dogged by Allegations of Spiritual Abuse Announces Hes Taking a Break, https://www.wadeburleson.org/2015/05/five-reasons-to-say-no-to-church.html, Vineyard Pastor Resigns, Wont Cooperate With Probe Into Sons Alleged Misconduct. There is another Todd Wagner in Dallas he is an entrapenuer Its not Wagner the pastor. Show me one bit of Biblical historicity in favor of the modern seeker-oriented megachurch. Humility, self-awareness of our own sins, repentance, forgiveness and grace for others, these should not be forgotten. Listening for root issues and how they cause hurt for make more senses than listening to reply in a sermon. Its extremely worrisome that they feel they have to hide and be afraid of what Watermark Church may say or do in response to them telling the truth about their abuse. Sounds like something Whoopie Goldburg would say. trying to figure out what happened in an effort to understand if the leadership is healthy or unhealthy. Friends, theres a lot of speculation here. The womans story you shared sounded like her personal interpretation of events that has no factual evidence to back it up.. We areRead more . These overly dramatic talks tend to make me feel like Im not spiritual enough or theyre covering up something. But, you provide NO evidence, NO situations What do you mean exactly by re-victimization. David (elder) Himself had lot to grow in area of discernment, the way he is reacting isnt ok either. The house was gifted to him by an extremely successful member of the church. Gateway Church. Todd Wagner is a guy that would jump in a foxhole with me with the bullets are flying, and I for him. It sounds like maybe you want Todd to fall in line with the way you think things should be instead of what is biblical. Ill meet you. Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation to help our journalists continue to report the truth and restore the church? Evangelical Church. business Top 100. The man and his wife were Watermark members. They gave you a false fraudulent form of love, because it was ConditionalRead more , I dont want to make light of this, but I do want to say that this is beyond misleading. Smarmy Dictionary But not everyone wants that, and for those people there are lots of other churches that offer community groups, small groups, life groups, etc. Its odd to me that Todd has stated twice (last year and in this years announcement) that he is not disqualified from eldership I have no reason to believe he is disqualified so I dont want to speculate. It was amazing for marriages and community within marriage. A former member of Shekinah Church, who lost a lawsuit against Shinn in which she alleged he swindled her out of $4 million, has issued a dire warning for those who have been lured into the. We are talking about a CHURCH here, not the mafia. You may be thinking of a different Todd Wagner, who is a longtime partner of Mark Cuban. Regardless we know Romans 8:28 maybe its a season of 2 Tim 3:16-17. Watermark Community church says it relies on this New Testament passage to justify its policy of disciplining members: "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. Grace Community Church will be paid $800,000 by Los Angeles County and the state of California after reaching a legal settlement to a lawsuit over COVID-19 restrictions in churches. Please would you please explain a bit more about this take on Christs death. They did create it. Ive been at Watermark for 7 years and experienced people in my community group leaving the church; there are NO such requirements or stipulations that prevent you from leaving the group or the church entirely. Im confused about your statement that the crowd Jesus drew wanted to see him tortured to death in the most cruel way possible. It is not as simple as walking away. The only remaining elders at Watermark are Mickey Friedrich and Kyle Thompson, though a third man, Blake Holmes, has been named a candidate for eldership. What does being your authentic self really mean, in the context of community groups? It also lists Fellowship Church and Village Church in its top 10 on cults (Village likely is, Fellowship is more of a personality cult centered around Ed), strangely Gateway Church isnt listed (and several people think it may be more of a personality cult than Watermark or Village). Products. As stated above, dont confuse Todd Wagner the billionaire with Todd Wagner the pastor though Todd Wagner the pastor does live in a home valued between 1 and 2 million dollars. Oh, I wouldnt be so sure of that. I am not sure what is wrong with elder rule since it is biblical. The reason for this is because, as an elder, he will be responsible for teaching others. In these community groups you are enmeshing your entire life into the church. I was a member for nearly 14 years, sure bunch of us saw some challenges (as some churches may face) not doubt. I covered this in my previous post, When Is a Church Member Fair Game, referencing a case of church discipline that Watermark carried out publicly against one of its members. A pastor or elder does not automatically have spiritual authority due to his position in a church. that is perceived as insincere or excessive: That is only for the married folk. He counseled my former fiance and after several meetings with him my fiance broke up the engagement and I was left devastated. Im also a bit a sad with respond of David (elder) who is in the leadership role to show the love with staring at the congregation (may be because of challenges). My people hath been lost sheep: I have NEVER been asked to, let alone forced, to disclose financial information. For much of Wagners speech in the video, Leventhal did not look at Wagner, but stared straight ahead. Watermark, a fast-growing nondenominational church in northeast Dallas, says the case involves accusations of adultery, a wife who wanted to save her marriage, a husband who sat on a board of a national Christian organization, and another woman who works for another church. Sure, we made friends with our peers in the class and had fun at summer camp, and it all developed out of normal human interaction. Even through this challenges we can be so judgements these day. Readers write about Watermark Community Church's stance on gays, Ken Paxton suing Brownsville, black lives also matter, Michelle Obama and Dallas Stars fans. For ye were as *sheep going astray;* even if 100% true (zero exaggeration or embroidery), it almost makes it sound like Todd was an unwitting victim of disproportionate generosity and was utterly helpless. Very humble of you. 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