Highrock began in 1999 around a dinner table. A small group of believers shared a dream for a church where people of all backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities could encounter Jesus. In time, this small group became a congregation, outgrowing several spaces in Cambridge and Somerville. In the Spring of 2006, Highrock set down roots in Arlington. Today Highrock is a dynamic and diverse spiritual community with congregations worshiping and serving in Arlington, Brookline, Quincy, Salem, Acton, Cambridge, Malden, Haverhill, Needham, and Roslindale. We're excited about Jesus and what God can do through the lives of ordinary people. We hope you’ll take the time to get to know us and join in what God is doing at Highrock!
The original vision of the church has remained strong over the years and is encapsulated in a single simple statement:
“Transformation through Connecting with God Personally, God's People, and God's Purposes.”
All churches share the common call from God to fulfill the Great commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). In addition, Scripture offers models for the role of the Church in Ephesians 4:11-16, Acts 2:42-47, 1 Corinthians, and throughout the whole Bible. Beyond that general call, our Lord gives particular calls to churches and individuals to serve as certain parts of Christ's worldwide body, which Christ fills with his Spirit and through which he continues the work of serving, speaking, and suffering for the salvation of all creation. Highrock’s founders, leaders, and members have discerned God’s call to us as articulated in the following Vision Statement:
To see God transforming every neighborhood and institution in Greater Boston through locally-focused congregations who live and love in such a compelling and Christ-like way that our neighbors are challenged to seriously consider the claims of Christ, be reconciled to God, engage in Christian community, and serve others in the unique ways God designed them to, so that Boston becomes a “city on a hill” that will be a blessing to the world.
Everything we do at Highrock is driven by our mission to cultivate a loving Christian community through which sinners are transformed individually and collectively into the Body of Christ by connecting with God Personally, with God's People, and with God's Purposes. Our goal is transformation into Christ-likeness, and we do this by:
Connecting to God Personally
Continually drawn by God's love, filled by God's Spirit, shaped by God's Word, and attentive to God's presence, we worship the living God with our hearts, minds, souls, and strength above all else and in all else. This includes practicing praise, prayer, obedience, sacraments, Sabbath, study, service, singing, silence, confession, celebration, fasting, feasting, forgiving, thanksgiving, and seeking God's presence, power, and purposes in every aspect of our lives.
Connecting to God's People
Most of God's promises are made not to individuals, but to the collective Christian community called the Church, and apply to all who belong to her. In our uniqueness that results from diverse ethnicities, experiences, preferences, and perspectives, we are reconciled in Christ's one body by a love that compels us to confront, confess, comfort, counsel, and celebrate each other in God's name so that we might all grow in Christlikeness and reflect Christ to a world that longs to see Him still alive among them. We cannot love God, follow Christ, or fully preach the Gospel if we do not love one another, including our enemies. The primary context for individual spiritual growth and Gospel proclamation is Christian community. Through shared laughter, tears, prayers, experiences, and mutual submission, our relationships will become environments in which mutual dignity is protected, truth is shared, and forgiveness is sought, extended and received, resulting in repentance and reconciliation as we enter into the battle for each other's souls against the power of sin and death.
Connecting to God's Purposes
We continue God's work of creation and redemption of all creation in our worship, our work, and our relationships as we engage the world as servants of Christ, empowered, energized, and equipped even to suffer for the Gospel so that God's will "will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven," and in order to hasten the day when "every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the Glory of God the Father." As the body of Christ, we want God to do through our body the very kinds of things He did through Christ's body as we imitate our Lord's passion for the least, the lost, and the left out and the lonely. We have been created and called by God, and we want to use "whatever gifts we have received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." We pray for and invite those who are estranged from our Savior and His Church to experience His Spirit alive in our community. Seeing our love for them and one another that transcends our differences and sins, they will get to taste of our Lord's own love, and long to enter into community, initially with us and ultimately with God Himself.
God's grace is the sole basis of our salvation in this life and the next, leaving no room for shame, fear, boasting, or condemnation. We are all sinners who fall short of God’s intended design for us. Therefore, we strive for Highrock to be a place of safety for anyone and everyone who walks through our doors.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith --- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God --- not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
We are compelled by Christ's compassion and commands to share the Good News about God's love for sinners, which is most clearly evident in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the invitation to reconciliation and new life that is only available through Christ. We do this through word and deed in ways that are proactive, practical, personal, prayerful, relevant, and respectful, and long to reach those who are estranged from God and Christ's body on earth, the Church.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
Though sin has isolated us, every individual is invited to be reconciled at once to God and to God's family on earth, which is the Church. God's very own self is community: Father, Son, and Spirit, and we cannot have fellowship with, fully experience, or reflect our Lord to the world unless we are in committed community with all who belong to the truine God. God saves us to and through Christian community.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By all this men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
Just as Jesus was during the incarnation, so we are the body of Christ, sent by God to suffer passionately for the salvation of the world. God created and called each of us to join Christ as he continues his work of creation and redemption through us. Salvation includes restoration to our true purpose, and our lives become meaningful as we serve according to the gifts God has given us. The church is not a corporation that ministers to the members, but members ministering to God and others, both in and out of the congregation, in the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. By giving our lives in ministry that gives life to others, we will find true life ourselves.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are all parts of his body, and each of us has different works to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others. (Romans 12:4-5)
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
The task of local congregations in every age and every culture is to offer the unchanging Gospel in ways that are attractive, accessible, and allow people to respond to the whole truth of God's transforming love for sinners. Because culture is constantly changing, the Church must constantly contextualize God's Good News for the people they have been called to serve. For this reason, rather than looking for the "best" church model, we realize that all areas of our congregational life will have to be subject to reconsideration in order to continue reaching contemporary people with God's truth. Therefore, we commit ourselves to careful but continual creativity, prayerful innovation, theological reflection, cultural sensitivity, and listening to God at each step.
Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
In Hawaiian culture, the idea of Ohana is that family is defined not by blood ties but by some other means. Similarly, being a part of God's family is not because of a certain bloodline you belong to but by the blood of Christ shed for all humankind. To that end, as God's family we seek to welcome and love all who come through our doors as well as whenever and wherever we gather.
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27)
The combination of a house, an upwardly directed arrow, and a starburst, our logo is representative of the three core aspects of what we are all about: Transformation through connecting to God personally, connecting to God's people, and connecting to God's purposes.