FAQ

1. How should I dress for church?

2. How can I join your church?

3. What does Church Membership mean?

4. Can anyone become a member?

5. What is baptism?

6. Do I have to be baptized to be a member?

7. I am not a member. Can I take communion?

8. When do you have communion service?

9. Do I have to be a member to get married in your church?

10. Can anyone ask for a funeral service or memorial service for a loved one?

11. What do you mean by ‘Dedication of Parents, and Presentation of Children?’

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

1. How should I dress for church?

We don’t have a dress code. God looks on the heart, and not the outward appearance. Some people come in suit and tie, others in their jeans and a t-shirt and some from different parts of the world, in their own traditional dress. However you are dressed, you will find you will be welcomed warmly.

2. How can I join your church?

There are three basic routes for membership at Highland Baptist Church:

– Upon profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and a commitment to be his disciple, you may be baptised in the church. From time to time, there are enquirer’s classes which outline what it means to be a follower of Christ. We practice baptism by immersion.

– You may also be received on transfer of membership from another Christian church. We accept the validity of your profession of faith and commitment to Christ, in whatever Christian denomination it was made. If you are a member in good standing, you will be received at Highland Baptist Church.

– You can also be received on the basis of Christian experience. In some cases, it is not possible to obtain a letter of transfer, and on your profession of faith, we take your word that you were a member of another Christian Church and in good standing.

If you are interested in baptism and/or church membership, please call the church office (519-745-9461) or use our contact page. We look forward to you being a part of our church family.

3. What does Church Membership mean?

It is our expectation that members make a commitment to work out what it means to be a follower of Christ in the context of Highland Baptist Church.

We have a high view of the church. We believe that the local church is the building block of God’s Kingdom. It is the place where you can experience what it means to be a part of GodÕs family on earth. You can expect to receive spiritual nurture, enjoy Christian fellowship (in a small group or larger gatherings) and be directed in worship in meaningful ways. But there are also obligations. We expect the member to make a commitment to maintain the vitality of his/her relationship with Christ, support the local church and serve in areas where one may be gifted or interested. You are also invited to share in the support of the local church and a support of the mission of the Christian Church around the globe. As you can see, there is an element of accountability in membership, but we view that as an aid in our faithful discipleship. To summarize, we expect that all members have a living ongoing relationship with Christ, are faithful in worship, participate in a small group, find a place for service, and are faithful in the stewardship of their resources to meet needs locally and beyond.

Whether you are a member of the church or not, you will be treated with equal respect and dignity in the church. You will also be fully welcomed to participate in any of the activities of the church that are of interest to you.

4. Can anyone become a member?

We are a welcoming church. Anyone who is committed to Jesus Christ, and wishes to be his faithful disciple in fellowship with his Church, can become a member.

5. What is baptism?

Some speak of baptism as an initiation rite into the Christian church. It is by all means a vivid symbol of ones commitment to Jesus Christ. At Highland Baptist Church, the only mode of baptism that we practice, is baptism by immersion of the believer (unless there is a health or related issue which precludes submersion in water).

Drawing on the imagery of Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 6, we believe that immersion in the water is symbolic of a burial, an entering into the tomb of the old self. And that rising out of the water, points to the resurrection as a new person in Jesus Christ. It is our conviction that baptism by immersion was normative in the early church, that it follows the example of Christ and is consistent with the witness of Scripture.

6. Do I have to be baptized to be a member?

No. Baptism is one route to church membership, but there are other ways to join. See question 1.

7. I am not a member. Can I take communion?

In our church we speak of having an ‘open table’. This means that anyone who loves our Jesus Christ, and seeks to serve him, is welcome at ‘The Lord’s Table.’ Members from other churches, those with no church affiliation, members and non-members alike, are free to participate at the Table. In Baptist churches, you will hear this memorial of Christ’s death, life, and return, referred to as Communion, The Lord’s Supper, or as a Sacrament. There are different truths that the different expressions emphasize.

At communion, we recognise the ‘living presence’ of Christ, and our fellowship with one another. At the ‘Lord’s Supper,’ we emphasize that Jesus is the host, and it is a practice he instituted. When we speak of it as a sacrament, we are reminded of our commitment (or oath) to be his faithful followers. All of these different expressions have valid truths which they convey.

8. When do you have communion service?

We normally have communion once a month, on the first Sunday of the month. Sometimes, in the middle of summer, it is changed to the second Sunday. Communion generally follows as a seamless addition to the regular worship service.

9. Do I have to be a member to get married in your church?

No. Anyone can get married in our church. However, it is expected that those who wish to get married have been in touch with the minister, have booked the space (sanctuary or other room) with the church office, and are committed to a short pre-marital course. There are various fees for these services. For further details, please call our church office at 519-745-9461.

10. Can anyone ask for a funeral service or memorial service for a loved one?

Yes. Anyone can request a service for a departed love one. If a minister or the facilities are not otherwise booked, we will do everything we can to accommodate your wishes.

11. What do you mean by ‘Dedication of Parents, and Presentation of Children?’

We recognize that in the early years, the influence and impact of the parent(s) is very important for the religious development and curiosity of the child. This may be in the example that is given in Christian living in the home, participation in the church, and with the support of the church, an introduction to matters of faith. To this end, the focus of this service is on the parent(s) and their commitment to bring up the child or children in the knowledge and love of God. Anyone can request such a service, but it does not mean much if it does not go hand in hand with a commitment to faithful discipleship in the context of the church.

At the same time, there is also a ‘presentation of the children’. We give thanks to God for the gift of children, pray for their well-being, and that in due time he or she will be fully committed to Christ. There is generally a prayer of thanksgiving and the invocation of a blessing.