Church of the Highlands Exposed: Myths vs. Reality

In the world of megachurches, the Church of the Highlands (COH) occupies a prominent space. With its energetic worship services, emphasis on personal growth, and charismatic leadership, COH has built a large and devoted congregation.

However, alongside its popularity, discussions critical of the church, sometimes phrased as “Church of the Highlands exposed,” have also emerged.

To help you decide whether Church of the Highlands is a good fit for you, in this blog we will explore some of the ongoing discussions about its practices as well as the positive aspects of the church.

Myth #1: Church of the Highlands is a progressive and inclusive church.

Reality: Church of the Highlands adheres to a conservative theological stance. The church emphasizes traditional gender roles, with a strong emphasis on male leadership. LGBTQ+ issues are not openly discussed or affirmed.

Myth #2: The Church of the Highlands is financially transparent.

Reality: Financial accountability has been a point of contention for some former members and critics. The Church of the Highlands is not required to disclose its finances publicly as a private organization. This lack of transparency can raise questions about how tithes and offerings are used.

Myth #3: Church of the Highlands fosters a genuine sense of community.

Reality: While Church of the Highlands offers various small groups and activities, some former members report feeling pressure to conform and a lack of authentic connection within the church. While large events can be inspiring, individual needs for pastoral care and support might be neglected.

Myth #4: Church of the Highlands leadership is beyond reproach.

Reality: Lead Pastor Chris Hodges has been involved in past controversies, including accusations of plagiarism and a legal dispute connected to his business ventures. The Church of the Highlands continues to express confidence in his leadership, but these issues have raised questions for some members.

Myth #5: Church of the Highlands is the only way to experience a genuine relationship with God.

Reality: A core Christian belief is that salvation is available through faith in Jesus Christ, not through affiliation with a specific church. Many other churches offer vibrant worship, strong communities, and opportunities for spiritual growth.

Beyond the Myths: Exploring Realities

Here’s a deeper look into some of the realities surroundingChurch of the Highlands:

  • Focus on Growth: Church of the Highlands prioritizes numerical growth and church expansion. This focus can sometimes overshadow individual spiritual development and pastoral care.
  • Emphasis on Tithing: Giving financially is heavily emphasized at COH. While tithing is a biblical principle, some critics feel the church creates a culture of pressure and obligation around giving.
  • Celebrity Culture: The lead pastor and his family are often placed on a pedestal, potentially hindering genuine connection within the church body.

Finding the Right Church Fit

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not Church of the Highlands is the right fit for you depends on your individual beliefs and needs in a church. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What are your core theological beliefs?

Theological Beliefs: Different religions and denominations have varying core beliefs about God, the afterlife, and the purpose of life. You can explore religious texts: or websites of different religions to learn more about their specific beliefs.

  • Do you value a traditional or more progressive theological perspective?

Theological Perspective: Within many religions, there are traditional and progressive viewpoints. Traditionalists often focus on established interpretations, while progressives might seek to adapt religious ideas to modern contexts.

  • How important is financial transparency to you in a church?

Financial Transparency: Financial transparency can vary greatly between churches. You can usually find information about a church’s finances on their website or by requesting an annual report.

  • What kind of community atmosphere are you seeking?

Community Atmosphere: Different churches cultivate different vibes. Some are formal and structured, while others are casual and welcoming. Visiting a church service is the best way to get a feel for the atmosphere.


So, is Church of the Highlands your spiritual dream team, or is it all “Church of the Highlands exposed” smoke and mirrors? The truth, like most things in life, is probably somewhere in between.

This church offers a dynamic atmosphere, growth programs, and a chance to connect with others. But there are some things to consider. If financial transparency and progressive theology are deal breakers for you, Church of the Highlands might not be the best fit. Additionally, the focus on numbers and celebrity pastors might leave you feeling like a cog in a machine.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Reflect on what matters most in a church – the vibe, the teachings, or the community.  Use the questions at the end of this article to figure out your priorities. Remember, there are plenty of great churches out there, and COH is just one option. Take your time, pray about it, and find the place where you feel your faith flourish!


Q1:  Is the Church of the Highlands welcoming to LGBTQ+ individuals?

Church of the Highlands stance on LGBTQ+ issues is generally conservative and does not openly affirm same-sex relationships.

Q2:  How much emphasis does the Church of the Highlands put on tithing?

Tithing (giving 10% of your income) is heavily emphasized at Church of the Highlands. While financial giving is a part of many Christian traditions, some may feel pressure associated with the way it’s presented at Church of the Highlands.

Q3:  Does COH have a clear path to becoming a member?

Yes, Church of the Highlands (COH) has a membership process that includes classes and an interview. This structured approach might appeal to some but feel restrictive to others.

Q4:  Have there been any controversies surrounding COH leadership?

Yes, there have been allegations of plagiarism and business dealings against Lead Pastor Chris Hodges. The church maintains its support for Hodges, but these issues have caused some to question his leadership.

Q5:  How can I decide if Church of the Highlands is the right church for me?

Consider your core beliefs, desired community atmosphere, and comfort level with the church’s practices. Researching the Church of the Highlands and visiting other churches can help you make an informed decision.

Q6:  Are there other churches with a similar worship style to COH?

Yes, many churches offer contemporary worship experiences. Explore churches in your area to find one that aligns with your beliefs and values.

Cheryl Henson

Cheryl Henson is a passionate blogger and digital marketing professional who loves writing, reading, and sharing blogs on various topics.

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