Is Watershed a safe for someone who doesn’t fully ascribe to a Christian worldview?
Absolutely! Even though we are a community that recognizes itself as Christian, we believe the love we see lived out in Jesus calls us to be radically inclusive and loving towards people from all walks of life.
How inclusive of other religions are you at Watershed?
Part of being Christian, we feel, is claiming truth regardless of its origin. But our starting point and filter for what we see as worthy of including begins with the life and teachings of Jesus.
How does someone become a member at Watershed? Are there any hidden expectations to be a part of the Watershed Community or culture?
At Watershed, there is no such thing as membership. The moment a person connects to our community via a Sunday gathering or Bloc, in our economy, that person or family is “in,” so to speak. There are no hidden agendas at Watershed. Our hope is that at some point when someone who is attending gets involved and begins to experience spiritual growth that they would begin to call Watershed their church home and would then begin sacrificing their time, energy and resources as a way of caring for their community and participating in its mission.
Is Watershed a safe place to ask hard questions?
Not only is it safe but it’s also essential. Our experience has been that often the most unexamined faith journey are those who have had one the longest. So our goal is that of a learning community that’s learning to think critically about itself, its life with God and all aspects of life. We are convinced that the best questions play a powerful role in opening us up to ourselves, each other and God. So, curiosity, dialogue and inquiry are deeply valued here.
What type of leadership opportunities exist at Watershed? How does someone become a leader at Watershed?
There are a variety of leadership roles ranging from some of our serving teams on Sunday, our kids and student ministry areas, our justice initiatives throughout our city and world, as well as leadership opportunities within our micro-communites we call blocs. We take leadership seriously at Watershed. To take on a leadership role here, we ask for you to attend for at least three to six months, go through our intro bloc called Preface, complete the leadership application, and go through the interview process with the staff pastor that oversees the area of leadership for which you are applying.
What causes or initiatives outside itself does Watershed support?
Check out the Justice section of our website, which spells out the variety of initiatives we are giving ourselves to here in Charlotte and abroad.
What sort of accountability and/or governing systems exist at Watershed?
Watershed is self governing. We are a Pastoral/staff led church. Matt O’Neil and Scott Hofert are the final decision makers when it comes to crucial decisions. However, major decisions at Watershed are not made apart from a vetting process that begins with our full time staff team and the continues on with our lead team (elders). Our lead team holds staff accountable to the integrity to our missional, personal, spiritual and financial endeavors.
How did Watershed begin?
Watershed started as a friendship between two families. The Hoferts and the O’Neils became friends in 1996. In 2005, the two families moved to Charlotte to create Watershed. Watershed started on September 17, 2005 in Actors' Theatre in Uptown Charlotte with a core of 18 adults and 120 brand new people. Watershed has moved several times to accommodate its growth. We have resided in Plaza-Midwood since November 2013.
How and why was the name “Watershed” chosen?
The point of Watershed has always been about transformation. Often when we feel the nudging of God’s interest in our life, it’s usually followed by a watershed moment. A moment when there’s a redirection, a separation from what used to be the routine of life. We chose the name Watershed because of its symbolism and power as a metaphor of transformation.
What opportunities exist for kids or students at Watershed?
We have opportunities for kids to get involved through our GreenHouse kids ministry . For grades 6-8 we offer MSB (Middle School Bloc) and for students grades 9-12 we offer HSB (High School Bloc).