How to Join in God's Restoration
Pathway: the process by which one becomes a fully active disciple in the life of a church
Highland's Restoration Vision is the intentional pursuit to partner with God in the restoration of all things through restoring Highland, restoring Abilene, and restoring the world. The Pathway was created for you to embrace the restoration of God in your own life and to join with Highland in the Restoration Vision. The Pathway provides opportunities for you to share in the life and vision of Highland through four primary steps: Worship, Table, Baptism, and Cross.
Knowing the True Nature of God
Psalm 117 calls the people of God to sing songs of praise to God because the steadfast love and faithfulness of the Lord endure forever. The songs we sing together on Sunday morning join this choir that echoes through the ages in praising the God whose love for you will never see its end. A day will never exist in your life when God does not completely love you.
The steadfast love of the Lord is only one truth of many about the nature of God. We pray that each time you enter into worship and grow in experiencing God, you will leave with a greater understanding of who God is. The first step of the Pathway is coming to know God on a deeper level as you learn truth of God’s nature, and worship Him.
Our two Sunday morning services offer both a cappella (1st service) and instrumental (2nd service) style worship, communion, and a biblically-focused message. Each time we gather we say The Lord’s Prayer together. Our worship services are offered in-person and online.
Freedom Fellowship and Grace Fellowship both offer Wednesday evening worship services after sharing a meal together.
Knowing and Being Known in Community
The gospel of Luke tells us that tables are important for followers of Jesus because
the table is where Jesus teaches the values of the Kingdom of God. He shows that all people have a place at the table, and society is often wrong about who does not deserve a place at the table. The tables in Luke tell us how important love, humility, inclusion, service, and kindness are to Jesus.
We want you to be in relationship with people at Highland that you know, and that know you well. One of the gifts of the Christian life is that we get to walk through life with friends that are like family because of the life we share in Jesus. The second step of the pathway means finding a seat at a table at Highland where you come to know people as they come to know you. Then most importantly, together you will come to know more about Jesus.
We were made to be in community. We believe that there is power in doing life together and that God works through intentional relationships. But finding those relationships isn’t always easy. Our small group system is currently in transition. If you are interested in joining a small group, we recommended joining a Bible class. The Bible class leaders will work to help connect you with others in the class. You can also email Suzetta Nutt with questions about small groups.
Huddles are the longest standing Highland tradition. Huddles are grade based small group discussions led by adult volunteers for all of our 6-12th Graders. Huddles meet on Wednesday nights during the school year.
Knowing Your Identity in Jesus Christ
When John the Baptist lifted Jesus out of the waters of the Jordan River, scripture says the heavens opened, the Spirit descended like a dove, and a voice came from heaven saying, “you are my Son.” In baptism, Jesus received affirmation as the Son of God before launching his ministry to the world.
In this next step of our Pathway, we are invited to go deeper into our relationship with God. Baptism grants us an opportunity to learn more about our identity in Jesus Christ. If you have never been baptized, then we invite you to consider this step of entering a new life in Christ. If you have already been baptized, it is our prayer that this step in the Pathway will call you to remember your baptism story, and be reminded of God’s promises and the joy of your salvation in Christ.
Exploring God’s Word together is one way to be reminded of our identity in Jesus. We have Bible classes for children all the way through senior adulthood.
The area around our baptistry contains names written on rocks. These rocks represent people and stories that have led our congregation into the waters of baptism, supported us along the way, and instilled in us the story of Jesus Christ. The act of baptism is a sacred act in the journey of being a lifelong disciple of Jesus Christ. We believe your baptism story is an important one. It is not just the moment you are in the water, but a compilation of moments and people that call you towards a gospel led life.
Knowing the Joy of Self-Emptying Service
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:6-8
Philippians 2 tells us to have the same attitude that Jesus had by emptying himself and taking the form of a servant for the sake of the world. The cross step in the Pathway combines your identity found in Christ with the self-emptying attitude of Jesus and gives you the freedom to serve God, in all ways, including the Restoration Vision initiatives at Highland.
There are an abundance of ways to serve in our mission to Restore Highland and Restore Abilene.
Knowing God's Preferred Future
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” These words from the penultimate chapter of the Bible speak a bold vision of God’s preferred future for the world.
For many years, Highland has prayed The Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6 during worship services. Every time we gather together we pray, “…Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We do not sit idly by and wait for God to restore creation. We believe that God’s Kingdom is present in the here and now of everyday life, and we seek to partner with God, through the Holy Spirit, to work towards the restoration of all things.