Through much prayer and study of the Word in asking God to help us brand ourselves with a name that would speak to what God is calling us to, we began to read through the Old Testament Prophets and specifically their prayers. In Habakkuk 3:19, the prophet says, “The Sovereign LORD is my strength; ...he enables me to go on ‘The Heights.’” In and of ourselves is nothing to be able to make a difference in the Kingdom of God, but in His strength and by His grace we desire to go on “The Heights” and lead others to go there with us.
A NEW STYLE OF CHURCH (WELL... SORT OF)
The Heights Church might end up being different than any other church out there, but not just to be different for different’s sake. Instead of looking at other churches and discovering what they were doing that was different and catching the eye of the culture we have wrestled with one question - What would it look like for a group of committed followers of Jesus to actually live as the church instead of just going to the church?
The church model in the New Testament was less of a formal institution than what we see today in most American churches. It met weekly and was more about the people living out their faith and meeting needs, on a daily basis, both their own and those of others (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37; 5:42; James 1:22-25).
Leadership was strong, but there wasn’t a distinct model where the “clergy” did all the work while the “lay people” merely received. At The Heights Church everyone works towards the church’s mission (Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Peter 4:10).
The mission of The Heights Church is the same mission that God has for His people: Just as Jesus was sent into the world, so we are sent into our world and even more specifically, we are sent into Marshall, Texas. We are sent to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, salvation that is found in Him, and a life that is abundant when lived according to His Word (John 10:10; 14:6; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
A New Testament Church equips its people to do ministry, so the church can live out God’s mission in concert with each another (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:11-22).
The gospel is not a one time “exchange” from [insert sin] to Jesus, but an abundant, yet challenging life where God transforms everything we are, so we can pour our lives into others (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:17-22; 1 Peter 1:14-16).
What Scripture teaches about the church is vastly different from what we see in our typical, 21st century, Bible-belt engrained, American model, which has become so institutional. If we were to set ourselves up after that model we would be clamoring for the same 15-20% of the population that is already plugged in to other great churches in Marshall. The Heights Church is returning to her roots, “being the church”... being different because we believe this return is necessary for those who aren’t being reached by existing models.