Hey Highlands family,

Courtney and I are so grateful to be back in the Northwest and serving with you in Kent! I want to briefly share some of what we’re excited about for Highlands Kent, some of what you can expect from me as your pastor, and some of what the next few months might look like.

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT

Personally, we love the Seattle metro area. I started praying for the Pacific Northwest while I was a student in Bible college and have always loved the idea of pastoring here. Courtney grew up in Bothell and still has immediate family very close to us. This is an incredible place and we will love living here. In terms of ministry, there are so many opportunities ahead of us. We want to see the good news of Jesus transform lives here.

  • I’m excited to hear baptism stories from people who were invited to church by a friend and came to faith in Jesus.
  • I’m excited to hear about people who had always felt uncomfortable at church start to connect because they found a place to belong at Highlands.
  • I’m excited to hear about kids who are coming to faith and asking to serve on Sundays because their parents came to Highlands and were equipped to disciple them at home.
  • I’m excited to hear about internationals living in Kent who came to faith and learned to read and write in English because they were pursued by someone from Highlands.
  • I’m excited to hear about people who found the Bible confusing and hard to read but have started reading it for themselves because the sermons were so helpful.
  • I’m excited to see an auditorium with standing-room only because so many people are eager to experience what God is doing at Highlands.
  • I’m excited to hear stories from local Kent leadership about how much our church has made a positive difference in the lives of hurting families and systems in our city. There is so much potential for our church to reach our city, and I’m excited to get to work!

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ME

I know getting used to a new pastor or leader can take time and be an adjustment. I’ve had to live that myself before. So, I thought it might be helpful to let you know a few things you can expect from me.

  • Expect me to make mistakes. The main thing you need to know about me is that I’m not perfect and I don’t have all the answers. I’m young and I’ll make plenty of mistakes. You probably have more wisdom than me in a lot of areas. But I’m confident in the power of God to work through the Scriptures, and I’m committed to helping you follow Jesus as I strive to follow Jesus.
  • Expect me to pray for you. I really want prayer to be foundational to my life and ministry. Sometimes this is more aspirational than actual, but my hope is to be a man of prayer. Expect me to regularly pray for you by name in my personal quiet time. Normally I’ll just be praying a simple prayer from Scripture. For example, I might pray Proverbs 3:5-6 for you one day-- “Father, help Mike trust you with all his heart and lean not on his own understanding. Would you give him the humility to acknowledge you in all his ways?” But whatever the prayer may be, expect me to pray for you.
  • Expect me to preach the Bible. Along with prayer, I believe this is the most important thing God has called me to do for you. One great sermon may not change your life, but consistently listening to biblical preaching will, because the Bible is where we encounter Jesus. My style is pretty simple. I just want to be clear so you can understand what the sermon is about, practical so you know how the sermon relates to your life, and gospel-centered so you remember that God accepts you based on your trust in Jesus rather than how good or bad you are.
  • Expect me to love you to the best of my ability. Ultimately, being a pastor is about laying down your life for the church. I am here to serve you and your family. I don’t always know what that will look like. I’m an introvert who craves alone time and can be exhausted by being on the go constantly. So, I likely won’t be the pastor who has dinner with someone from the church every night of the week – this would not be healthy for me or my family. But I am committed to helping you belong to a community where you are known, loved, and cared for as you walk through the ups and downs of life. The church is a body with many members, and one of my jobs is to equip the members to serve one another.

MOVING FORWARD

You might be wondering like me – What are the next few months going to look like for Highlands Kent? I don’t have all the answers but I’ll tell you what I know.

  • My main priorities until December are 1) learning about the campus and community, 2) getting to know people from the church, on Highlands' staff, and in the community, and 3) studying and preaching when I have the opportunity.
  • In coming weeks, we will be conducting a brief campus-wide survey to help me learn more about Highlands Kent. Please complete that when it’s made available. That will be a big help!
  • We are working to create some opportunities for us to be together again as a campus. Obviously, that’s a tricky thing right now, but stay tuned for more info as it comes out!
  • We are diligently exploring possibilities that would allow us to meet together in Kent on Sundays once life goes back to normal (whatever that means). We will update you as soon as we have something to share. Courtney and I really look forward to meeting you! In the meantime, know that I’m here learning and working to get us back together, and feel free to text or email anytime. My contact info is included below.

See you soon, Lord willing!

Nate
natee@highlandscc.org