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Changes and New Initiatives

Highlands Family,

This morning, I spent some time announcing some key changes and initiatives happening at Highlands. The video of me explaining all of this is at the bottom of this letter to you.

1) Today, we celebrated Betty Stiles’ 41st anniversary on staff. Praise God for her faithfulness! We honored her with a gift, and she was so thankful.

2) Scotty and Penny Marcum (Executive Pastor and wife) are beginning a process of moving to Nashville. Pastor Scotty came to me a few months ago to tell me this was something he and Penny had been praying about. Penny moved there about a month ago, and is staying in their daughter’s house. She already has a new job there. Scotty is splitting time between Chattanooga and Nashville.

Scotty is leaving under great terms, there was no push from myself for him to make a move, it is just the right timing and season in their lives to move closer to family. Especially since their grandson, Cade, has a lot of health problems, it would be beneficial for Scotty and Penny to live in Nashville.

We don’t know when, exactly, Scotty’s time will come to a close here, but will likely be in the next few months. I want to make sure we honor him, and allow him to leave well. Mel Leatherman (deacon chairman) and I have begun thinking and praying through various options of what to do after Pastor Scotty moves.

Again, I want to emphasize that we want to honor the Marcums for their dedication at our church through good and difficult times since 1998, and make sure they leave with encouragement and blessing from our church family.

3) We are revamping our community group ministry and putting a much heavier emphasis on it. David Ellis has agreed to become the new (on a voluntary basis) community group director.

4) I have been dissatisfied with our new members’ class for some time. I personally wrote it, so I’m not happy with my own work. Beginning in February, we will have a new version of our Starting Point class. This will allow us to raise the level of expectations we have on church members.

The class will be 3 weeks in length instead of just one 60-minute class that we’ve been doing. Most of it will be taught by me via video, and other parts of it will be taught via a facilitator with curriculum I’m nearly finished writing.

5) Our media ministry will begin some new initiatives in 2016. We will start live streaming services and start having some video testimonies of lives changed at our church. The testimony videos will start being played on Easter Sunday, March 27th. Also, we are about to charge hard with pushing the church podcasts of all of our preaching here, and we’ll need your help pushing it via social media.

6) Since last September, Pastor Scotty, Mel Leatherman, and I have been working with two of the professional men of law enforcement in our church—Greg Piper and Daniel Francis. These two men are developing a thorough security plan for our church. Our entire church will undergo training on a Sunday morning to explain what we all need to do in various scenarios to ensure safety is attained.

7) We are launching our new “Family Ministry” plan effective immediately. Jonathan Tuley’s title will change from “Worship and Kids Pastor” to “Worship and Family Pastor.” He is excited about it, and so am I. This was thoroughly explained in the video below. Basically, we will become much more intentional in making sure that birth through teens and their parents/guardians are equipped for the work of the Gospel ministry.

You can buy my new book, 40 Days of Family, to learn every little detail, or of course, attend church every Sunday of this series.

8) I have attached an updated flow chart of our personnel.

9) Our Greater Things campaign to raise money for our future building will come to a close in mid-March of this year. Thank you so much for your faithfulness in giving! I want us to finish this last quarter with strength. Please make sure you are up-to-date with fulfilling your pledge.

Please know I am here to serve you in any way possible, and I love serving as your pastor. Let’s all do our part to see 2016 is the best year ever at Church of the Highlands!

Reaching Our Community, America, and the World for Jesus Christ,
Pastor Jeremy

2016 Initiatives from Church of the Highlands on Vimeo.

Posted by Jeremy Roberts at 6:09 PM