Northrock Church officially opens Jan. 18

Northrock Church service

With a casual dress code, modern music, open door policy and school grounds in lieu of a steeple, the Northrock Church in Stone Oak is hoping to redefine Sunday worship.  Celebrating its grand opening Sunday, Jan. 18 at Hardy Oak Elementary School, the nondenominational church revolves around a laid back, nonjudgmental atmosphere in the hopes of attracting those who currently avoid or dislike organized religion. 

 

“We didn’t come to Stone Oak to take a bunch of people from other churches,” says Jonathan Moore, Northrock’s lead pastor.  “In general, we’re trying to reach people who don’t go to church or like church.  That’s who I feel we’re called to reach, the un-churched people.”

 

And when those individuals do cross Northrock’s threshold, they will be met with passionate, yet practical messages revolving around the church’s main theme of “Life re[defined].”  For Moore, this includes not only redefining faith, but one’s priorities, goals and purpose.    

 

Unfortunately, for many people, church is like an auto mechanic in that they only come to visit when something breaks down, says Moore.  “I believe we can do more…we want to help people be better people, dads be better dads, spouses be better husbands or wives.  We’re out to create better people.”

 

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Moore graduated from seminary in 1993 and served as a student pastor for eight years and a staff and family ministries pastor for another seven.  In answering his calling to start Northrock, the married, father of two left a steady, full-time paying job at a church in Austin.  That parish, as well as family and friends, are helping to financially support Northrock until it becomes well-established. 

 

“It’s very humbling to have people believe in you,” says Moore who, to date, is pleased with the community’s response.  Northrock held three sneak peek services over the last few months, which were each attended by roughly 60 people.  “We’re happy with those numbers.  Obviously we’re hoping for bigger numbers once we open, but it’s not all about numbers, it’s about lives.”

 

Aside from weekly worship services, Northrock will immediately offer KidzRock, a children’s ministry program, every Sunday.  In March, the church will initiate its Journey Groups, or a small gathering of parishioners who meet at each other’s homes to support one another and help grow in their faith.  Later in the year, Moore plans to add a teen ministry as well.

 

Although not ruling out the possibility of building his own church in the future, Moore says meeting at Hardy Oak has an advantage in that people are automatically comfortable walking into a school.  “A school is a safe environment.  People are not intimidated to go to a school their children attend”, he says, adding, “You can have a very effective and tremendous growth with a portable church.”

 

With its appealing, modern and unconventional image, Northrock Church will probably see the growth Moore hopes for.  Given the lead pastor’s ambitions, it seems fitting the theme of Northrock’s first official service will be “Dreaming.” 

 

“I’m thoroughly enjoying Erwin McManus’ new book called ‘Wide Awake,’ Moore writes in his on-line blog.  “In it he states, ‘The future isn’t waiting for us.  It’s waiting within us.’  I will discuss this premise on Launch day!”

 

Beginning Jan. 18, Northrock will meet at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday at Hardy Oak Elementary, 22900 Hardy Oak Blvd.  Services run one hour and 15 minutes and child care will be provided.

 

“I want people to understand [Northrock] is a safe environment for people to come and worship the Lord and hear the message of Jesus,” says Moore.  “We’re not out to judge anyone.”

 

For more information on the Northrock Church, visit www.northrocksa.com.