So as of yesterday, my four year position as youth pastor at Highland Community Church officially ended. As we gear up to leave town permanently, I think it’s only fitting to post what I’ll miss about Highland.
Here we go.
1. Tropical Sno – According to their website, Tropical Sno is “a ten-minute vacation, an affordable luxury, a bit of self-indulgence, and a retreat from the heat of the day.” I loved going here in the summer to get a sno-cone with the teenagers, my wife, and even our daughter. It is a great treat and, in my opinion, Highland’s best kept secret.
2. GeNESIS – Some people don’t know this but GeNESIS was built from the ground up. I remember back in the early days we had one junior high student show up on a Sunday night. As we finished this year in the end of May we had over 20 junior high students pouring into our doors to hear about Jesus. We have done so many things with young people in this town that the list goes on for awhile. I can’t even imagine how much I will miss the staff and community that backed our teenagers and us as they watched, mentored, and contributed to helping teenagers grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
3. The Farm House – Bethany and I moved into “the farmhouse” almost four years ago. We got a great deal from the guy in the church that moved to California. While I have always loathed mowing the yard for four hours and other various tasks that go along with a load of land, it has been our home. We will miss hitting golf balls in the front yard, letting Towzer chase tennis balls around, and watching the forth of July fireworks from our front porch. Thank God we bought a house in the country in Bremen! We’re country folk for sure!
4. The Community Mindset – There is a lot going on, community wise, in Highland (maybe it’s because of the closeness to the city of Saint Louis). From the PB & J fest to easter egg hunts to the parades. We love embracing a community that gathers often to celebrate the family.
5. Highland High School – Bethany and I had a good relationship with the people at the Highland High. We meet a lot of great people/teens that were never a part of our “youth group” or “church” but had a big impact on us. Bethany accompanied the choirs and coached tennis while I subbed and coached baseball and wrestling. I will remember speaking at powerhour often and acting like royalty in the Madrigal dinner. We loved the youth/adults we came in contact with and the way they impacted us. It’s amazing how many of those people rallied around us when they found out we were going to Indiana.
6. Jonathan David Eckberg – Jonathan is my/our (Bethany and I’s) best friend in the world. He is seriously a one of a kind guy with a massive heart for Jesus. It kills me venture to Bremen without him. I/we always thought God wouldn’t break us apart but it seems that distance will come between our friendship. Jonathan has played/recorded music with me, held me accountable in my spiritual walk, and watched Bethany and I grow into parents. If I ever had a brother, Jonathan would be it.
7. “The Hook Up’s” – We’ve had it pretty good when it comes to people helping us out. Our doctor (Dave) is a friend of our family, our pharmacist (Dan) and his wife (Twila) held our daughter the night she was born, and our dentist (Steve) let the youth have parties at his pool. We are/were so blessed to have these people take care of our earthly needs while getting to experience their families and growing spiritually.
There is so much more but moving on is upon us…
While we will miss you Highland, we continue to pray for you always.
Here we come Bremen!