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.