Highlands Kent Update

May 27, 2021

Highlands Family, 

We want to make you aware about the future of Highlands Kent. Last Thursday evening we had a meeting with people from the Kent Campus to discuss the future of Highlands Kent. Below is the communication from Pastor Nate to our Highlands Kent family following the meeting: 

As you know, this past year has been nothing like what any of us expected. We have been asked numerous times about the future of the Kent Campus and there have been so many moving parts it’s been hard to have a good answer. We hope this communication lets you see our thought process and what we see moving forward. It's important to understand how the situation at Highlands has changed over the past year and how these changes have caused us to move slowly in discerning the future of Highlands Kent.

First, our staffing situation is different than it was a year ago. One year ago, our church staff was led by four pastors who made up the Executive Team. Now, all four of those men are no longer on staff at Highlands. These transitions have raised questions about the overall vision and direction of our church that we have had to work through. Additionally, we have had other staff members transition out for a variety of reasons. Consequently, many of the responsibilities on staff have shifted and we continue to learn as we go. This has also affected the Highlands Kent staff, and each member of the Kent team is now doing something different than they were originally hired to do.

Second, our financial situation is different than it was a year ago. Due to a variety of factors, we have reduced our overall budget and continue to consider further reductions. This has made it difficult to plan with much certainty regarding Highlands Kent.

Third, there have been ongoing questions about a facility for Highlands Kent. The Kent School District is not currently allowing outside groups to use their facilities due to COVID-19. Additionally, while we have toured and considered other potential locations, we have not committed to anything due to the transient nature of the season we find ourselves in as a church.

The reality is, as we look at all these factors and as we continue to look ahead at how uncertain the future is, we do not foresee the possibility of reopening the Kent Campus. If and when we talk about future congregations or campuses, it would be years down the road. We are so sorry for the loss this is for so many of you who knew and loved Highlands Kent.

Moving forward, for those who belonged to Highlands Kent, we would love for you to continue to being a part of Highlands. You are welcome here and we would love to help you connect at the Renton Campus. I hope that the future of Highlands is bright and healthy. I believe we are moving in that direction after a hard year, and I’d love for you to be part of helping us pursue health and gospel priorities here at Highlands. I also know that for some of you, there may be many reasons you cannot make that decision. We want to do our best to connect you with a healthy, gospel-preaching church in Kent. We have several we are happy to recommend. Regardless of what you decide, we hope you will find a place to belong where you are loved and taught God’s Word.

For over a decade, many of you have invested your life in the Kent Campus, and our staff and elders are so grateful for your investment. There are many life-long, life-changing relationships that have been built because of the work God did at the Kent Campus, and we know things will be different now. I am so sorry about this. We hope you know that the work and relationships were not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). Many people have come to know Jesus and have had their lives changed eternally as result of the ministry of Highlands Kent. To Pastor Scott Wilson and Pastor Jay Haugh, thank you for your faithful work. So many people have been blessed because of your investment here.

We realize this may be surprising news to some of you. Below is a word from Pastor Nate for those who have been part of Highlands Renton.

I know this past year has been difficult on all of us. There have been so many changes to life in general, and our church has been no exception. This has been especially true for our Highlands Kent brothers and sisters. They have not been able to meet together for a normal gathering since March 1, 2020. Now, this latest news will likely cause a wide range of emotions for them. Would you commit to praying for our Highlands Kent family? If you know people who belong to Highlands Kent, would you text them or call them to check in and see how they’re doing? We have a great opportunity to prove we really were “one church in two locations.” Would you intentionally be the church to them? I also realize this news could raise questions about the overall health, stability, and future of Highlands. The truth is, none of us know the future. I do believe, however, that Highlands is pursuing a future marked by more integrity, humility, and transparency. I believe over time, if we seek to please the Lord in these ways, we will see God do incredible things through our church. I’m very encouraged by the elder on-boarding process currently taking place, some of the new things coming next fall, and the number of new people continuing to join our community here. I believe renewed vision and hope is on the horizon for our church. Let’s stay focused on honoring God, seeking Christ, and walking in the power of the Spirit together.

If you have questions, as always, you can contact the elders.


Pastor Nate