Highland Church of Christ will begin hosting an instrumental service on Sunday nights at the Grace campus beginning February 10 at 5 p.m., in hopes of spreading the gospel to the surrounding neighborhoods.
The church currently occupies two campuses in poverty-stricken neighborhoods in Abilene, hosting various prayer walks around the neighborhoods, as well as Wednesday night services.Â They are hoping to use the instrumental service as a way to reach even deeper into the community.
Jonathan Storment, the preaching minister at Highland, said, “We’re wanting to reach into that community hopefully where neighbors can just walk down the street instead of drive and come to a church 20 blocks away.”
The ministry team at Highland chose to do an instrumental service at the Grace campus, 910 Cypress St., because they believe it will allow people to experience a new and unique worship experience.Â Instead of being uncomfortable singing aloud as one might feel in the a capella-worship setting, the ministry hopes that the instrumental music will make newcomers feel welcome to worship in whatever way they like.
“That’s one thing that we want is to open those doors so that people feel at home there and they feel that it’s a familiar feeling to them,” worship minister, Brandon Scott Thomas, said. “They can come in and really enter into meaningful worship time.”
Highland is also eager to introduce college students to the community of Abilene, empowering them to spread Christ’s love.
“Our hope is that it will be a place where we can ask a lot out of the students who participate for that area, and equip them as they leave to go back to the different places in the world,” Storment said.
While the service will be instrumental and at a different campus, every other aspect of the service will be much like the Sunday morning services held at Highland.Â Storment will preach the same sermon from that morning, participants can take communion and elders will be present.
“This is actually a Highland campus; it’s going to actually be a Highland service,” Storment said.
Students attending Highland are excited the church is reaching out to the surrounding public in a fresh way.
“I think it’s a great idea. It shows that Church of Christ, we don’t just stick to ourselves.Â We reach out to the entire community and that’s what’s important,” said Kendyl Cooper, junior family studies major from Mineral Wells and member of Highland.
Highland has high hopes for the service in being able to link Abilene’s college students with the community around it creating a welcoming environment that isn’t focused on race, age or status, but on sharing Christ’s love.
Storment said, “The win for us [will be] helping connect college students with people who are older, people who are poorer, people who they could serve with the resources they aren’t aware of, and to equip them with that kind of life as they’re sent back out to wherever they’re from.”