Frequently Asked QuestionsHere are some of the most common questions about Wildwind, and our best answers. Don't be intimidated by the amount of stuff on this page. Start by selecting a category, which will help you narrow everything down, and then go from there. Or try using the Search page. And if you still can't get your question answered, drop us a note!
Do I have to be baptized at Wildwind in order to attend there and/or be a member there?
No. Baptism is important for Christians and was both modeled and commanded by Jesus, but you do not have to be baptized in our particular church.
Do you baptize by immersion or sprinkling?
Yes. Both/and. Either/or.
What is baptism, and do I have to be baptized?
Christian baptism is immersion in water (or sprinkling with water) that serves as a public testimony that a person has given their life and allegiance to Jesus Christ. Because Jesus commanded it, and was baptized himself, we believe baptism is essential for all believers. It is is not something we do once we arrive at a certain level of spiritual maturity. We don't have to "work our way up" to it, or take classes on it (though doing so is definitely fine!). Baptism, rather, is to be the very first thing a Christian pursues once they have made the decision to be a Christ-follower.
I want to be baptized. What do I do?
Baptism is an important moment in the life of a Christian. If you are a Christian and have not been baptized, send email to baptizeme at wildwindchurch dot com and tell our pastor you desire to be baptized. There are three parts to baptism at Wildwind.
a. Complete and submit testimony worksheet
b. Schedule and record video
c. Get dipped!
First, download the Testimony Worksheet in a format that works best for you. This will help you write down the story of your spiritual journey. There is a sample included in the download so you can see what the goal is in doing this. Email baptizeme at wildwindchurch dot com if you need any help or have questions. Submit the worksheet by the date you and the pastor have agreed to.
After that you will be contacted by someone at Wildwind to set up an appointment to shoot your baptism video. Check out a sample video here. If you watch the video, you will see how powerful the videos turn out. Consider that you are doing your testimony worksheet for yourself, but you are doing the video for the community you're being baptized into.
You will get a detailed email from the pastor walking you through the actual day of the service and giving you a list of things to remember (what to wear, bring a towel, etc.!). On the day of your baptism you and everyone else being baptized will come forward together and give one-word responses to five simple questions. Then, one at a time, we will roll a video and then baptize that person, then roll the next video and baptize that person. We will proceed this way until we are done.
At the end of the service we will take a group picture and you will receive a certificate of baptism. Then we'll have a desert reception to celebrate with you. Then you'll remember that day for the rest of your life!
How old does my child have to be in order to be baptized?
We will baptize anyone who is willing and able to make a conscious profession of faith in Christ,
under three conditions:
1. The child has to be able to articulate to the parent what baptism means and why they are doing it.
2. The child has to be able to stand up front and answer his/her baptism questions. No fingers in mouth, picking at shirt (or nose!), or staring bashfully at the floor.
3. The child must be able to make his/her baptism video (check out a sample), just like the adults do. The videos children make are very short usually, but they can be just as powerful as the ones made by adults -- sometimes moreso.
Will you baptize my baby?
Certainly. But we encourage a practice called infant dedication. Dedication is when parents bring their baby forward and make a pubilc declaration of their intention to raise the child in ways that are likely to result in the child growing up to make the conscious and free choice to live for God. We anoint the baby's head with a small amount of water as a symbol of that dedication, and the congregation stands as a way of affirming their support.
What do I do with my baby?
We have a nursery equipped with people who love babies and are good with them, and you are welcome to leave your baby there. If you prefer to keep your baby with you, that is fine too. If during the service your baby gets fussy, please do not feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, as we are a family church! Just slip out quietly to the lobby area. It is wired with a speaker so you can tend to your baby and still hear what's happening in the service. Feel free to come back in when your baby is ready.
What is your children's program like?
Our chidlren's program features both small and large group activities. Wildwind believes all people should be connected closely to a group of friends who can support them and this is how we encourage this among our children. The goal is always to help kids understand more about God and to see them commit to serving him with their lives. Our staff is trained and committed to children. We believe your child will love our program.
When do I pick up my children?
Little ones in the nursery can stay right until the end of the service, then parents need to pick them up in the nursery. When the children's service gets out, children will be brought back to the auditorium. Parents, please keep your child with you at that time, or designate another adult for your child to sit with. It is critical that we not have children running back and forth between seats in the auditorium as we are wrapping up our service.
I have children older than fifth grade. What does Wildwind have for them?
We have a teen program for those in grades 6-12. It is led by passionate and well-trained adult volunteers. Teen services are Sunday mornings at the same time as the adult service. Everyone begins in the auditorium, then we dismiss teens and children to go to their programs.
There are monthly social events for both high school and middle school. In addition, there is a small group for high schoolers which meets on Sunday evenings. There is currently no middle school small group.
How do I connect to Wildwind online?
There are many ways to connect to our community online.
This feed is the general website feed. It will provide direct links to all changes to the website that have occurred within the past 15 days.
Wildwind Church on Facebook. Very active page.
Wildwind Church on Twitter. Very active feed.
This feed directs you to our pastor's personal blog. If you find the sermons interesting and thought-provoking, the blog may suit you as well.
How do I subscribe to podcasts from Wildwind?
If you use iTunes, click the Advanced menu and select Subscribe to Podcast, and then enter the above address into the box.
Alternatively, simply go to our Downloads page and click on the iTunes or RSS link to subscribe.
Am I going to be embarrassed by anyone when I get there?
Quite the opposite we hope. At Wildwind, being sensitive to how visitors feel is a big concern. You can be assured when you get to Wildwind that your experience and your feelings are a big priority for us.
Am I going to have to give someone all my personal information and then get a ton of phone calls, letters, visits, emails, and other contacts?
Nope. We're pretty low key about that stuff. On your second visit you'll receive a contact card from us but no one will stand over you while you fill it out. Getting your contact info to us will basically be your responsibility, but please realize that we will not be able to get you into our database or onto our e-list until we have that information. You can also submit it here on our website.
- How do I learn more about Wildwind?
How will I be notified if activities at the church are canceled?
In the event of a cancellation of a service or activity at Wildwind, we notify you in the following ways:
1. An announcement on our website
2. A message on our e-list (subscribe here)
3. Messages on our Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ pages
4. An outgoing message when you call the church phone number (810.309.9463, a.k.a., 309-WIND)
If weather seems bad, and especially if other organizations in the community are closing, be watching one of the above for a notice from us. Additionally, if the cancellation is for a regular Sunday morning service, we will get the announcement on ABC12.
We will have weather-related cancellation announcements on our website by 7 a.m. for Sunday services.
If services/activities must be cancelled less than two hours in advance, and/or if the reason for cancellation is something other than a weather emergency, we will do our best to make phone calls to those concerned.
I'm new. What sermon would best introduce me to what is most important at Wildwind Church?
Perhaps this one
What do you think about other churches?
We do not believe Wildwind is for everybody and have no illusions that our way of doing church is "better" than all other ways. We are just doing what we know we are supposed to do. Find a church that is right for you!
What does Wildwind want from me?
We hope you will come with a desire for God, or a desire for more of God, and a sense that there is a great deal to be learned.
What if I drink, smoke, swear, or have other habits?
Welcome to the club! We all have things that dog us. Some of them we get over. Others we might struggle with all our lives. Others we decide in the scheme of things aren't as bad as we thought. Either way, Wildwind is a place where we want to be able to admit those flaws and encourage one another.
What ministries do you have?
Wildwind focuses on simplicity. We have been very careful to keep the number of ministries we do to a minimum. Here are the things we currently are doing:
*Sunday morning worship
*Adult and Sr. high small groups (meeting in homes throughout the week)
*Teen program (kids 6th-12th grade)
*Children's Ministry50+ group (social and service events)
*Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University
*Serve dinner monthly at men's homeless shelter
*Periodic food/clothing distributions
*Leadership training program
*Pastor's mentoring program
*Operation Christmas Child
These are all of our formal ministries. Each of these ministries requires staffing, and many of them require budgets. The people of Wildwind provide the work that is required to make these things happen.
In addition to these, a new church was recently birthed out of Wildwind and that took about three years of training and preparation. We are committed to this work.
Our greatest desire is to move into a position over the next couple of years that will allow us to do much more substantial work than we are currently doing to help those in poverty. If you have a passion/gift for that kind of work, please bring us your ideas!
How do I get involved in service at Wildwind?
Involvement at Wildwind comes as people begin attending services and getting a feel for what the church is like. View available opportunities here. Once you get to that spot, you can send an information request to area coordinators and ask questions or get more info about any particular areas that interest you.Also, we invite you to complete our brief Interest and Skill Survey to let us know where your previous experiences and passions might be directing you to serve. Filling this out does not force you to serve in any particular area, it only helps us get you plugged into the place that is right for you.Whether or not you decide to serve, we would urge you to sign up for Discovery. There you will learn all about why we believe serving is important, and you'll also learn important things like how Wildwind chooses leaders for its ministries and how each ministry is expected to relate to the rest of the church, along with other vital information about Wildwind.
What if I want to serve in a ministry at Wildwind but I'm not a Christian?
Then we hope to put you into a position of service that will help you along on your journey. There are positions that require much commitment, and positions that require only a little commitment -- positions that require a person to be a Christian and those that do not -- positions that require membership and those that do not. There is a place for you to serve at Wildwind and we want to help you find the place that is right for you.
Every year around budget time there's a line for East Michigan Conference. What is that and why do we pay money to it?
Wildwind is a Free Methodist Church. The national Free Methodist Church is organized into "conferences," which is easier to understand if you think simply of districts. The East Michigan Conference is a grouping of around 50 Free Methodist churches on the Eastern side of Michigan.
Our conference office is on Vienna Rd. in downtown Clio. At the office is a superintendent who looks after all the pastors in the conference. If you pastor a church in the East Michigan Conference, he is your boss. The office also employs a full-time secretary and a full-time accountant.
Conference offices have several purposes. The most obvious one is to convey to local churches the denomination's ideas, plans, and strategies. Another is to provide friendship, encouragement, training, and accountability to pastors and their staffs. This is critical, as a common difficulty pastors have is a sense of isolation. The conference also provides guidance, training, resources, and evaluation for pastors who are planting new churches. Another is to handle critical things that need to be done in an organization full of pastors. We will cover that in the paragraphs below.
The conference is made up of several boards and committees. The Administrative Board tends to the administrative affairs of the conference. The Board of Ministerial Education and Guidance exists to coach and encourage pastors through the ordination process and track their progress, as well as to regularly review the mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional health of each conference pastor and assess his/her ongoing fitness for ministry. The Ministerial Appointments Committee is responsible for determining the specific church locations where pastors serve. Determinations and new appointments are made every year. This is also the group responsible for recruiting and filling a position when a pastors leaves a church for any reason. There is also a Vision Team made up of roughly ten conference pastors who, in coorperation with the superintendent, brainstorm ways the conference can provide a framework that can help local churches grow and help people know God.
Money that is paid to the Conference Office falls into a few categories. First is allocations. Allocations are monies sent to the conference by each local church that supports the work of the conference and denomination. Think of these monies as "dues." The conference also has an insurance plan that is offered to each full-time pastor, and many pastors are insured though that program. Furthermore, the conference maintains short and long term disability coverage for pastors. Finally, each pastor also has a pension plan. Whereas the insurance costs are often fixed, the allocation level is determined by a formula involving weekly attendance and contribution levels.
Why is church membership important?
We believe nothing in life that is worthwhile is achieved without commitment. Becoming a member of a church means making a commitment to us, to partner with us in fulfilling God's purpose for our church in this community.
Can I be part of Wildwind without becoming a member?
Absolutely! Some of Wildwind's most dedicated people are not currently members of our church. We cannot imagine our community without them. Yet most of them are moving toward membership and looking forward to the time when they will be ready to take this step.
The difference between being a member and not being a member is not that members are better, more holy, more spiritually evolved, or anything like that. Members are simply people who say, "I embrace the values and purpose of this church and I commit to partner with these people to fulfill that purpose." Membership involves commitment and accountability.
If you don't want to pursue membership, don't. If you want to see what it's all about, attend Discovery where it's spelled out clearly for you.
What are the commitments for membership at Wildwind?
No one has to be a member at Wildwind. For those who wish to pursue membership, we ask for two commitments in each of two key areas of life:
1. Connect to God through serving Jesus Christ as the leader of your life.
2. Connect to others through partipation in a small group.
1. Contribute your time by serving in a Wildwind ministry using the gifts and skills God has given you (which we'll help you find if you're unsure!)
2. Contribute your money by supporting Wildwind financially. The members of an organization must be committed to helping it grow and succeed.
What kinds of sermons are preached at Wildwind?
Good ones, we think! The approach is journey-based, with the pastor leading the congregation in thinking through issues and how they relate to our lives. The best way to get familiar with the sermons is to listen to a few.
What if I hear something I don't agree with?
Count on it! We're all individuals and we have different opinions, even in regard to how to interpret certain things in the Bible. While we do believe it's important to have a few essentials, we have tried to articulate those essentials as clearly as possible so we can grant large amounts of freedom and space to individuals on their journeys.
We hope you'll remember one thing and that is that the church is not a place that is supposed to determine what it believes based on how it can best conform to the culture. The church's unique task is to hold fast to spiritual truth and to teach it, which then informs our value system, from which springs our basic approach to things. If you hear something in a sermon that offends you, we encourage you to:
1. Place it in context by making sure you have heard the whole sermon series (always on our website)
2. Send the pastor an email and ask a question.
3. Stick it out and see if the impression you got is consistent with the other things we say and do.
4. Sign up for Discovery which will give you many of the Why's behind who we are and what we teach.
5. Consider that Wildwind may not be the right church for you. We are fully aware of this possibility, but would like first to see people explore the options that will help them arrive at this conclusion with confidence.
My last church didn't teach anything about being in a small group. Why does Wildwind encourage it so much?
Wildwind encourages all our people to be in a small group because people can be impressed from a distance, but they can only be impacted from up close. The Sunday morning service can inspire you, get you pumped up, and teach you some important things, but it cannot replace a network of personal relationships.
As Wildwind gets larger it will naturally become more difficult to connect with others and build relationships. Small group participation will assure that every person has the opportunity to have a network of friends to share life's journey with.
If after this explanation you still do not understand why it is so important, that is because you have probably never been part of an effective small group before. All we ask is that you give it a try. Everyone who has ever joined a group has been nervous at first -- that is a natural feeling. But everyone who has ever done it has also understood very quickly why we encourage it so much!
What if I never join a small group?
We cannot make you, and even if we could that would be missing the point! But we will consistently encourage all of our people to connect in this way.
What if I've been too nervous to join a small group?
Believe me, we’ve all been there. Stepping out of our comfort zone is never easy, yet God reward’s that kind of by-faith action step. You’ll be glad to know that our small group leaders have gone through specific training in the area of helping new comers to feel comfortable and at ease.
What if I don’t like so and so in my group?
E.G.R.(extra grace required) people are often times not fun to be around. Have you ever considered that “so and so” may be just the reason that God has placed you in the group? One of the best ways to grow in Jesus is through the buffering of those who rub us the wrong way.
What about when new people come into my group and it isn’t the same?
New people can change the dynamics of a group. Change by nature rocks the boat, yet in the end new blood can create added depth to a group. Also, remember Rick Warren’s words on day one of the 40 days of purpose…”It’s not about you.” There are times when we need to willingly let the focus shift to the needs of the new member(s) of the group.
What if I am not growing spiritually?
All of us experience seasons of decelerated spiritual growth. That’s how the Christian life works. It’s while going through those chapters in your life that you need the support and accountability of your small group more than ever.
What do I do if group just doesn’t seem to be working for me any more?
Being a part of a small group can be compared to being in a marriage. There will be times of great celebration as well as times when it might seem easy to just bale on the commitment. We believe that when it come to the relationships in our lives, God wants us to ride out those low times, realizing that better days may be just around the corner. This quality of relational consistency is called faithfulness.
What if I don’t like the material we’re doing?
We all have topics that don’t get us all that excited. When the material in your group isn't "doing it" for you, remember that the main reason you are in the group is the relationships, not the resources! Always be positive about the material your group is doing, realizing that God may be using it to change the life of another person. We just cannot always know what the needs are of other people.
What if I couldn’t get into a group with so and so?
It’s only human to want to be placed in a group with friends we know well. Although that seems like the best route, it can create cliques that end up leaving other people out in the cold. The developing of new relationships is a good thing for you as well as for the overall health of the church. Our small groups are arranged to make it likely that close friends can get into groups together. But also each group will be likely to have newcomers.
I am upset that my group has to multiply and start a new group. What if I want to keep it the way it is?
As members of a small group, we can relate to your sentiment. It’s difficult to multiply a group and have to separate from those individuals with whom you’ve invested deeply. The fact is that when groups don’t multiply they inevitably begin to deteriorate and eventually become toxic. We acknowledge that multiplication is not easy, yet it is essential for the overall health of our small group ministry. Wildwind MUST remain focused on continuin to offer opportunities for everyone to be in a group, and we can only do that as our people remain committed to offering to others what has been offered to them.
What do I do when the time commitment has started to get to me?
We agree that it’s not always easy to carve out time for small group participation. Yet no worthwhile activity comes without a price. Please remember that for many people growth happens primarily within the small group setting and not one of us can risk not investing needed time in this valuable asset. We have structured our groups on a "semester" system, so breaks up to a month long are built right into the schedule and from there you small group leader will work with your group to set a schedule that is right for the group.
What is the biggest difference being in a small group will make in my life?
If you go back and read all the FAQ's in the small group section, you'll notice that, naturally, they are all questions about "me." Small group helps us get over ourselves! But even small group is just a step in that direction. Groups will plan service projects and other things that will help us contniue growing to become less about ourselves and more about God and others.
What are your services like?
Church at Wildwind is different from most church experiences. In itself this is neither good nor bad - just factual. If you have been to other churches before and enjoyed it, you may or may not appreciate Wildwind. If you have not been to church much before, or if you have never felt very comfortable in most churches, Wildwind may be for you.
What do I wear?
Wear whatever you want. Most of us wear jeans and t-shirts, but if you like to dress up, dress up. It doesn't matter at all.
What is your music like?
Drums, guitars, etc. We just play what we like to hear in worship. It's not like heavy metal, but it's not traditional either. Most important, it's well done. Our band has been together a long time, they are good friends, and they know what they are doing and are an important part of Wildwind's environment.
What time is your service?
Sundays, 10 a.m.
Am I going to be hounded for money?
Nope. Never. Period. That doesn't mean we don't ever TALK about money. We do, since it's one of the biggest things that messes up our lives. But no, we'll never hound you.
- What if I want to contribute something?There's a box in the back with a slot in it. We do not take offerings at Wildwind.
- What if I want to contribute something?