Highland Church of Christ

Let me begin by saying this has been one of the strangest seasons of our little families life. For the past few months we have been in dialogue with the Highland church in Abilene about my coming on board as their new Preaching Minister. But we’ve had a few other things going on as well, like trying to stay plugged into my family as a good husband and father, a full time job (that I already loved) and did I mention that we had a brand new baby?

All that to say that these past few weeks have felt like it we didn’t have solid ground under our feet, everything was up in the air, and we’ve spent a lot of time trying to discern God’s will for us. Today, Leslie and I made public our decision to join the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, beginning in August.

This transition is bittersweet.

First the bitter:

This was a very difficult decision. We’ve prayed and cried, gotten wisdom from mentors, and prayed some more. We feel God has called us to this new leadership role. To leave the Richland Hills church was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever made. Both Leslie and I felt like it was a place we could spend the rest of our lives at. Working with Rick for the past several years has been amazing. Having one of the best preachers in the world two doors down from me was a dream job. One of my favorite parts at RHCC has been just talking through a sermon, or dreaming of ministry plans with him. He’s one of the best men I know, and I will miss working with him and partnering with him in preaching (though I will still be listening).RHCC family, We hope you know that you have embedded yourself in the Storment family DNA. It’s hard to leave a job you love, and people you care about, and the only reason I can come up with for doing so is because we honestly feel called by God.

So now the sweet:

I don’t know of a church out there closer to the missional spirit I learned at RHCC. We have spent the last 9 years learning at Richland Hills what God could do with a group of people who are willing to get beyond their own four walls to bless the world. Leslie and I couldn’t just go to any church, but Highland isn’t just any church. Hearing them talk about their passion for setting the world right, and seeing what they are already doing let us know that this was a church with a kindred spirit. I’ve seen too many of my friends get beat up by churches with a begrudging or unhealthy leadership. I believe it’s one of the main reason RHCC stands out in our tribe, and spending time with the shepherds at Highland I realized that these shepherds are cut from the same cloth. They are great men with great hearts.

We are excited about partnering with Highland in doing Kingdom work. We are looking forward to getting to know the staff (everything I’ve heard and know about the men and women there is glowing), we’re stoked about joining in the variety of social justice ministries they have going on already, and watching them expand. I’m excited that Mike Cope is still in the pews at Highland, I hope to gain a lot of insight and direction from his friendship. Leslie and I saw how well that worked at RHCC between Rick and Jon Jones and, knowing Mike, I’m sure that this will be just as great.

I’m especially pumped about the prospect of raising up new young preachers from our time there. Rick has taught me the value in that, and one of the best ways I can honor that is by passing it on. One of the main things that convinced Leslie and I that this was where God wanted us was seeing how excited the Highland leadership was when we talked about this. Hearing them talk about wanting Highland to be a launching pad for people to learn ministry was music to our ears.

Highland Church, know that Leslie and I (She’s the best part of us coming…and I mean that) are excited about joining in the mission God has called you for. We believe that the church is God’s dream for setting the world right. She’s the only institution in the world that doesn’t exist for self-preservation. We see that in you and want to join in.

We’re looking forward to being with you in August.

About jonathanstorment

My family and I love reading, traveling, daddy/daughter dates, playing hide and seek, good music, and long meals with friends. We still miss LOST, and all four of us have Superman uniforms. We are passionate about bringing Heaven to Earth and want to follow Jesus while repainting discipleship for those around us. We are followers of Jesus and I preach at the Highland Church of Christ. We participate in something called A Restoration Movement, and we've come to realize that might be larger than we thought.

28 thoughts on “Highland Church of Christ

  1. Storment, I echo your bittersweet comment. We will be praying for you and your family in this transition. At the same time we will sorely miss you at RHCC.

  2. Sad for us … happy for you … and delighted that you have sought God’s perfect purpose for you and your family in makng your decision. God is honored when His children put seeking His will and glorifying Him at the top of their decision processes. Congratulations, Highland friends … you’re getting a good one!

  3. I am so excited about your family’s decision to come to Highland. We love HCC and know that the Lord will bless you and us. We miss RHCC after being there for many years and are pumped that part of the RH family is coming west. Dinner on us when you get to town.

  4. Hey Jonathan! Congrats. I will be praying for you and your family as you head out to Abilene. Highland will be blessed to have you!

  5. Storment, congrats man! I know this must have been a big decision for your family. May God bless you in your new role leading a great Church into greater areas of God’s mission. May His kingdom go global through the efforts of the Highland Church.

  6. Guess it’s time to start watching live streaming of Highland’s sermons, eh? Please ask them to look into that for the RHCC family who will miss how you “illustrate” so well. Listening to a Jonathan sermon is never the same as seeing one. I know this decision was not made lightly. We will all miss you, but know the Lord is guiding you and Leslie. Blessings on the Storment and Highland family!

  7. Jonathan,
    Congratulations to you and Leslie on this new adventure. I’m sure the Highland Church will be richly blessed. It was great to bump into you this week at Pepperdine. You did an amazing job in your keynote address. Knowing guys like you are the reason I decided that my passion was in ministry rather than in academia.
    Peace,
    Blake

  8. Jonathan,

    My family and hundreds of others here at Highland have been praying for you for almost a year now! We feel supremely blessed that you and your sweet family will joining us in the Kingdom work here in Abilene! Certainly God’s perfect answer to our prayers! We cannot wait to meet you and walk beside you as we serve God together!! Blessings, Cheryl Cunningham

  9. Jonathan, I knew this day would come. You are a very talented, spirit-led preacher, and some church was bound to snap you up. I will certainly miss you and your sweet family. But I know the Highland Church will be better for having you there. I wonder how a Harding Grad will do in ACU land, though.

  10. Your ministry will be missed here at RHCC but I believe you will do great things for the kingdom in Abilene. The universities there need a voice like yours and a family like yours to look up to. There are so many great families at that church but connect with Jim Reese and Bob Strader quickly…both are great men (and families) and elders at Highland and have had great influence on my life.

  11. Our office staff will be very blessed to have the opportunity to work daily with a man of God who hungers to share his love for the One who is worthy of all glory and praise. Your lovely wife and precious babies will also be a wonderful blessing to this church body. Hurry August!!!!!!!

  12. Jonathan and Leslie…You know I love you and you know I will miss you terriblly at RHCC, but I know you both are destined for great things. I love you both bunches and I want you to follow God’s lead always. Please…just find a way to keep us at RHCC in touch with you so we will know how to pray for you.
    Love’s Prayers,
    Dottie

  13. I grew up at Highland and my dad is one of the elders……been hearing lots of good things and will look forward to hearing more as you move and get settled in Abilene. Prayers for your transition time!

  14. Congrats Jonathan and family on being hired to preach at Highland. This church is getting the most joyous and energetic man I know. And one of the best preachers in our brotherhood. God bless you Jonathan and family and this new ministry y’all are undertaking. I hope and pray the Highland church will grow in the grace, love, and knowledge of Jesus during you and your family’s ministry there. God bless. Grace and Peace.

  15. A little off topic, but where in the world do all these WEIRD pingbacks keep coming from? “7 month old west highland white terrier keeps throwing up yellow foam?” … seriously? lol

    Anyway, congrats on the job – I hope the transition is a smooth one for you and the fam.

  16. Don’t know you (yet) but our family attends Highland (LOVE that place) and boy, have we been prayin’ y’all in!!! So thrilled for your decision…and excited to help your family settle into dusty ol’ Abilene.

  17. Thanks everyone! We just got back home from a very long car ride from Malibu. But we are overwhelmed with support and encouragement from all of you. We are excited about what God is going to do with this new season in our life. Thanks for everything!

  18. I can’t wait for you to get here. When you came and preached for us, my spirit leaped. I so wanted you to be our new Pastor- Preacher. I learned of the announcement as I was traveling back from Branson, Mo Sunday. There was a bitter-sweet moment in the car. My two nieces, Margaret Bagley and Denise Herrold were traveling with me. I knew how they felt about you and I was so excited for us but sad for them and the others at RHC. I look so forward to working with you in this Body of Christ. My best to your family. I am all smiles.

  19. Welcome to Highland, Jonathan. We look forward to your arrival this summer! We pray that God will bless you and your family richly during this time of transition. We are excited about how God will use you and your family in Abilene.

    Brad, Jennifer, Jonathan & Caleb Crisp

  20. Last summer I asked my good friend from, ironically, Richland Hills church, who did he know that might want to move to Abilene to preach for us. He immediately mentioned you! Brother Jonathan, we are blessed that you and your family said “Yes” to the call to come to Highland. My wife Marsha and I are thrilled to soon be serving with you at the Highlnad church. We love the Storment family already. May energy, patience, and peace be upon you in this time of transtion.

  21. I can’t wait for you to get here. When you came and preached for us, my spirit leaped. I so wanted you to be our new Pastor- Preacher. I learned of the announcement as I was traveling back from Branson, Mo Sunday. There was a bitter-sweet moment in the car. My two nieces, Margaret Bagley and Denise Herrold were traveling with me. I knew how they felt about you and I was so excited for us but sad for them and the others at RHC. I look so forward to working with you in this Body of Christ. My best to your family. I am all smiles.

  22. Jonathan, Leslie and babies – you have NO idea how intense have been the prayers and supplications at the Throne of God for our soon to be new preacher at Highland. I am SO pleased.
    After hearing you last Fall, you went right on my short list of the three I prayed would accept us as a new church home, with all of our warts and wrinkles. 😉

    My prayers have been for the energetic young preacher, with all vision youth can bring to us… the one who is ready and able to lead Highland into its next stage of development in the Kingdom of God! I’m excited and August seems years away! May it come quickly, bringing us the Storment family to bless, teach and become part of our family at Highland.

    Thank you for accepting the offer- thank you for taking us on. 😉 Looking forward to June 6 when we finally get to meet you, Storment family!! Welcome to West Texas and Highland!!

    In the Light of His eternal love, grace and mercy!!

  23. Jonathan,

    Wow! Let me the 1115th to congratulate you. You don’t know we very well. But I have been tracking you for some time – and am delighted that you are moving into the Highland pulpit.

    As you likely know, my heart is still deeply entwined with Highland, even though it is almost 20 years since I left that pulpit. So your move there means a lot to me.

    After hearing of your announcement Carolyn and I relived the excitement and anticipation we felt back in the summer of 1971. When I went to Highland I had no training or background for that job – but you have excellent training and experience in a large church setting. (Those elders “took me to raise” when I was 34 years old. And for 19 years they were my guides, mentors and coaches.)

    One of the frequent sayings of the older elders was “let the young men try.” This attitude fostered a forward thinking, flexible elder culture of life-time learners with kingdom vision that has only grown richer with each generation.) I don’t know all of the current elders – though I hear rave notices about them all. But I do know that most of them are mentored in a rich tradition of shepherding.

    In the years during the time I served at Highland and in the 20 years since I have preached the funerals of 11 Highland elders beside whom I served. Each time I felt as if I was burying another Father and friend. You will grow to love them more deeply every week as they will you ( ok, there may be a few off weeks, but not very many, ha.)

    We are delighted too that Mike Cope is still there cheering you on. (as my predecessor John Allen Chalk did for me.) Mike is among the absolute best encouragers and mentors you could possibly have.

    Also I am also delighted that Highland’s new preacher bears the “soul-tracks” of Rick Atchley, another of my heroes – beside whom I was privileged to serve for a number of years in Abilene. You are positioned between two great men – Mike and Rick – both of whom love you enormously. And I expect even greater things from you

    Please know our thoughts and prayers go with you as you approach your “inauguration” day.

    Please pardon this lengthy post, but I couldn’t help myself!

    Lynn and Carolyn Anderson
    San Antonio, TX.

    .

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