Frequently Asked Questions

What do I wear for worship?20130726_144257
Is there something for kids during worship?
Will I be asked to give money?
Will I be singled out if I visit you?
Where do I go for Sunday School?
Could I sing with the choir?
What will worship be about?
What’s involved in joining the church? What does it mean to be a member?
How does someone become a Christian?
What does it mean to be baptized?
What does it mean to be a Baptist?
Is it okay to visit your church even if I ________?

What do I wear for worship?

Whatever is comfortable for you. Some people like to dress casual so they don’t feel restricted. Other people like to dress more formal because it helps them get ready for worship. Either way, come as you are!

Is there something for kids during worship?20130726_144522

Yes. Every Sunday there’s a children’s message in worship, when all kids are invited to the front of the sanctuary to hear a story and to pray. Once a month there is a Kids Church class. It meets in the Fellowship Hall during the sermon (the second half of worship). In 2013 it was Kids on Mission, where they “traveled” to a different country to learn how God is worshiped and is working there. In 2014 it is Kids on Worship, where they learn about all the aspects of our worship service. We also provide coloring clipboards, with crayons and sheets for anyone to use during worship. They’re on the floor by the table in the foyer. Keep your pictures, then just return the clipboards when you’re done.

Will I be asked to give money?

You will not be asked or pressured to give money at all. We do provide a time during worship for people to financially support the church and contribute to God’s work in the world. This is when the offering plates are passed around. The money that’s collected goes to helping improve people’s lives in our local community and around the world. (If you would like to give money electronically, you can do so online by clicking here.)

Will I be singled out if I visit you?20130726_144418

No, but you will be cheerfully greeted by many warm people. We do provide a moment during worship for people to walk around and pass the peace of Christ by saying good morning to each other, shaking hands, and giving hugs.

Where do I go for Sunday School?

At 10:00, the adults gather in the sanctuary for a minute to share any announcements or prayer requests before going to Bible Study groups based on age. If you’re looking at the church from the outside, the left building has classes for teenagers, young/median adults, and senior adults. The building directly right of the sanctuary has classes for infants/toddlers, early elementary, and older elementary kids. The building to the far right (the Fellowship Hall) has a Sunday School class in Spanish.

Could I sing with the choir?

Absolutely! There are no try-outs or musical requirements involved; just enjoy making a joyful noise. We have a fun practice time on Wednesdays at 7:45 p.m. If you like to sing, then we would love to have you.

What will worship be about?20130726_144404

Every week in worship involves 4 P’s: praise, prayer, penance, and proclamation. Honest worship is a dialogue of us speaking our hearts to God and also listening to God’s message for us. We use Bible verses based on the Christian calendar and the Lectionary to help focus our worship around an appropriate theme. Feel free to read the verses ahead of time so you can be thinking about what God wants you to hear that week.

What’s involved in joining the church? What does it mean to be a member?

Becoming a member of Hickory Rock means that you want to be an important part of this community. It means 1) you commit to following the way of Jesus, 2) you commit to helping Hickory Rock be the best church it can be, and 3) it means the rest of the congregation commits to supporting you be the best you can be. Every person has gifts to offer, so we expect members to pitch in by using their gifts. And you can expect to be loved.

To join the church, you can speak with the pastor or simply walk down the sanctuary aisle during the last hymn of worship (the Hymn of Response) so that we can joyfully welcome you into this family of faith.

How does someone become a Christian?20130726_144344

By giving your life over to God and devoting yourself to follow the way of Jesus. It is both simple and infinitely profound. Connecting with God through prayer, confess that you aren’t perfect and never will be. With gratitude, accept the loving forgiveness God offers. Acknowledge and affirm the divinity of Jesus Christ, who was God manifested in human form and who showed us the best way to live. Then be intentional the rest of your life about seeking God’s guidance and following the example of Jesus. It is a lifelong journey toward holiness that all of us are on as well.

What does it mean to be baptized?

Baptism is a public symbol of someone’s decision to devote their life to following Jesus. It is an outer sign of the inner grace you have received. When someone decides to become a Christian, baptism is the special, holy ritual that celebrates that decision. It visually and powerfully symbolizes that even though our lives were imperfect and dirty, God washes us clean.

What does it mean to be a Baptist?

A lot of good things. Historically, the Baptist church began under persecution, first in England (1609) and later when it spread to colonial America (1638). So freedom is an important underlying value of Baptist principles. The early Baptists were arrested and harassed for not following the state-endorsed church, so Baptists have always favored religious liberty in the separation of church and state.

20130726_144436Baptists recognize that every person is free to connect with God directly, a principle we call “the priesthood of the believer,” because you don’t need a priest to dispense God’s grace for you; it is freely and directly available to all. That being the case, Baptists respect “soul competency,” meaning that every person or soul is free to read the Bible, listen to the Holy Spirit, and follow God on their own without needing another person’s direction or authority. This corresponds to church authority as well, as Baptists believe in “local church autonomy.” Although we enjoy the blessings of associating with other Baptist churches locally, nationally, and globally–cooperating to pool our resources–there is no Baptist church hierarchy.

Is it okay to visit your church even if I ________?

Yes! God’s love is available to all, and we are missionaries of that love. No matter who you are or what you’re like, God loves you, and so will we.