Overflow Church: a Central Wesleyan Church Campus FAQs:
Rev. Brian Bennett, Lead Pastor
Pastor Cindy Bennett, Co-Pastor
Still the Local Church
- Where is Central Wesleyan Church (CWC)? How did we get connected?
CWC is located in Holland, Michigan (50 minutes north). CWC has served as Overflow’s “adopted mother” since 2007 providing coaching and support. The partnership with CWC has been the strongest support Overflow has received over the past decade and has blessed our church family time and time again.
- What is the Water’s Edge Network?
On May 3, 2015, CWC unveiled a vision to transition to a multi-site church. Since that vision was cast, the church has grown to six campuses stretching from Holland to South East Asia. The mission of the church is to, “Amplify the hope and life of Jesus” and a key way of achieving this is through the creation of an expanding network of churches, run under the name of the Water’s Edge Network (WEN). The WEN is a “Family of kingdom-minded, missionally motivated churches.” Each church is served by a Lead Pastor who leads that church. CWC serves as the hub for this new network of churches. Using a house of brands approach (rather than a branded house), the WEN is committed to empowering the local church. More information can be found here: http://watersedge.org/
- What about Overflow’s unique DNA (mission, vision, and values)?
Overflow’s unique DNA (our mission, vision, and values) will be broadened, not changed. CWC has a true missiological approach believing each local church knows how to best reach its community. Overflow’s unique DNA would not only be preserved, but would grow as it integrates with other WEN churches. A church’s DNA is something that is valued by the network. Our own DNA can inform others, and at the same time, we gain in new ways that help us grow and mature.
- What would this change at Overflow Church?
The greatest changes at Overflow will be experienced in administration and process integration. So, the staff and leadership teams at the center of our ministry will be impacted the most. In these areas, new ways of doing ministry are being introduced and the changes will usher in a period of transition for us all. The goal however is not to limit staff but to empower the church to reach more people. Those committed to Overflow and/or in the crowd will likely only experience changes that are interpreted as new levels of “excellence.” With such changes and challenges will also come greater support from a larger team which should contribute to the health of our leaders. Benefits that we cannot provide will become available both in tangible and intangible ways through a partnership with a larger church and a family of churches. Overflow’s staff model has already been adjusted to reflect the changes within the WEN. With the Waters Edge Network, leadership is localized and ministry decisions decentralized, determining that Overflow is best served by a change leadership structure. Rather than continuing to be served by our current deacon and lead team, a new Leadership Advisory Team structure is forming, with provisions in the WEN for eventual representation on the Network’s Mission Council and Board of Elders.
How will this help Overflow Church?
Overflow has experienced great growth and witnessed many transformed lives in our first 10 years. Over the past few years, Overflow has also experienced a revolving door of staff and leadership challenges. The support that the WEN provides can help create a healthier operational and leadership culture so Overflow can truly flourish in the years ahead. The WEN will directly help by providing: 1) Guest service systems, 2) Business and HR systems, 3) Marketing and communication systems, 4) Global outreach systems, and 5) Financial efficiencies and support. Each of these items is an area that would alleviate pressure on Overflow and create more margin for ministering to people. Globally, CWC has given more than $25 million to global missions since 2002 and Overflow will now be able to participate in this (money and volunteers), making a larger global impact.
What is the financial benefit of this partnership?
Initial indications suggest that if current giving levels are maintained, the WEN’s ability to replicate systems and processes could result in efficiency savings of an estimated $55,000 annually. We’ll control our local budget and operations, yet be blessed in being part of their larger operation and accountability systems. The goal is not, however, to save money. The money saved would be reinvested into Overflow’s mission. The vision is for Overflow to grow and, with God’s grace, one day do for others what the WEN has offered to Overflow.
What does it mean for Overflow Church to be a campus in the Water’s Edge Network?
Overflow Church is a part of the Wesleyan denomination and the West MI District of the Wesleyan Church. As a church plant, Overflow has been in “development” status since 2007. Rather, than formally and legally establishing a church, we will be formally and legally part of CWC. As a campus, we maintain our unique DNA and local leadership, an d move our direct reporting structure and support systems away from the West MI District of the Wesleyan Church to the WEN (CWC).
How will Overflow Church contribute to the Water’s Edge Network?
Pastor Brian’s experience of local outreach and community development as been identified as an enormous benefit to the WEN. Furthermore, Overflow is a unique church, doing a unique ministry in a unique place and has a lot to offer and teach WEN churches. This is a unique two-way street, allowing Overflow’s outreach (“Go now and be the church”), vision, and heartbeat to bless “our region and beyond.” Overflow will not just participate in the WEN, we will help shape it together with our new family. Our new family is open and celebrating our “four d’s” as a part of who we are: diversity, discipleship, development, and denominationally open.