On April 18, 2012

A Restoration Movement

So this past weekend at the Highland Church of Christ, we talked about the vision for Highland for the next 10 years of her existence. It was the product of 18 months of the staff and shepherd praying, fasting and discerning what we would be about of the next decade. It was one of my favorite weekends in ministry so far. We plan to adopt a housing first model to address the disproportional amount of homelessness in Abilene, we plan to adopt a local at-risk school, develop two community centers in lower socio-economic areas of town, host service events on our campus a few times a year, get into micro-financing, water-wells, church planting and triple the amount of money that goes out externally.

You know the basics.

And we are doing it all to partner with God in his dream of Restoration. We’re calling it A Restoration Movement.

It’s new, and it’s old, it’s ancient/future. And we believe it’s from God.

But we are also hoping that it will be a Restoration Movement which means we believe that there are other churches that are out there who might be interested in how to go about creating, casting and implementing a vision for their church to become externally focused. And if we can, we’d like to help you get there. We are still working out the kinks on what that might look like, but I would imagine if your church is interested in something like this we can give you study resources, suggested reading lists and conversation partners, and more.

In the words of Jerry Taylor, “The Restoration Movement hasn’t restored very much, and it hasn’t moved anywhere in a long time.” But the language that we have used is great! It’s the language of the younger emergent Jesus followers, and the language of their parents and grandparents, and even better…it’s the language that is old as the Christian story itself. It’s God dream of Restoring, and the church is called to partner with this dream.

I believe that in the 70’s and 80’s people looked back on the churches of their past and asked, “How could we have been so racist?” I believe that in the 2000’s people stared looking back and asking, “How could we have been so patriarchal? or Sectarian?” And I believe that the next question we are going to (and already are) looking back and asking is, “How could we have been so selfish?”

Why do churches spend so much money on themselves? We spend over 90% on our church budgets devoted primarily to meeting the needs of the people who are in the buildings that we worship for one hour a week in. That’s ungodly. It’s time to do something about that. It’s time for churches to move toward blessing the communities and world around them.

It’s time for a movement.

You can read more about the Highland vision at www.arestorationmovement.com


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  • tri3tsch

    Great start to a great future. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for us.

  • http://outoftheoverflow.com/ Wes Woodell

    Who are you planning to work with for the church planting? Are you targeting specific locations for plants?

  • http://twitter.com/r2wkeele Jeffrey Keele

    Sounds exciting!  Can’t wait to hear more information about what you are planning to share with other ministers and congregations.

  • Rosten

    Very exciting sir.  I look forward to hearing more.  See you in class!

  • Jcwadeaz

    A very interesting vision.

  • http://twitter.com/theocomm Steven Tramel Gaines

    Thanks for sharing this vision! Serve on, brother!

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Thanks Steven! 

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment


  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Thanks Rosten! It’s been good getting to know you this semester!

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Jeffrey, some of our shepherds are willing to go to other churches in the process and share, as well as reading lists, and resources about why the language of Restoration is more important than we ever dreamed. 

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Wes, we haven’t got close to determining a location yet. We just know outside of the Bible Belt.

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Thanks Bro. Jim! And thanks for all your hard work in getting us to this point!

  • David Fraze

    Love this! Proud for you, Highland, Abilene, World…The Kingdom of God is on the move!