Updated: May 24
Church Update: This church was originally checked under "C3 Church" but has since changed their name to "Awaken at C3 Church". Their logo and website address have both changed, and so we've updated that information as of 5/24/20.
Basic Church Information
Old site: https://c3saltlakecity.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AwakenChurchSLC
This church stonewalled every attempt I made to speak with someone. Whether it was Facebook Messenger, email, or even calling their church office, I couldn’t get anyone to respond to me. So, as usual, let’s see what we can find out on our own in regard to the Questionnaire.
It took a few weeks, but campus pastor Vince Craig with C3 (Awaken) Finally PM-ed me back on Facebook. He suggested I text him, so I did. The conversation that followed only confirmed the initial stonewalling of this church.
Me: Hi Vince. This is Sarah Young. You asked me to text you regarding some questions I have about your church?
Vince Craig: Yeah, do you have any?
Me: Yes, several actually. I tried emailing them but I don't think anyone saw them. Here they are: 1. What is your church's official position on tithing? 2. Do you have church membership and are there requirements for someone to become a member of your church? 3. Is your church transparent with its financial information? Can you provide how much they bring in through donations and how that money is distributed? 4. Which denomination does your church align with the most, if any? 5. If a member has a disagreement with the pastor or leadership on a non-essential or other issue, how is it handled? 6. Does your church require that it's members be baptized? 7. How many people do you have on staff, both paid and volunteer? 8. What is the pastor's educational history? 9. How does the church discipline it's members with their sin? 10. How is the pastor compensated? (Income, benefits, bonuses, housing, etc) 11. What is the size of your church and any other space the church owns for meetings and services? Thanks! Vince: Hey Sara, have you been to the church yet? Me: Not in person. I've just listened to sermons online. Vince: I see. I'm happy to answer questions to anyone who is genuinely seeking to find a church home or has questions about the church after they've attended a service with the intention of connecting to God and a church family. However, I don't feel comfortable answering a list of questions like the above. As it feels very impersonal and could unintentionally end up religious, and divisive. I trust you'll understand my heart. Thanks for understanding. Me: I'm asking these questions primarily in a genuine search to help other Christians find a church home. These are questions that many Christians have about their church and I'm asking them to provide them with the information they have trouble finding just by attending services. My intention is not to be religious or divisive, but to find the truth about churches so Christians can know more about the church they seek to attend. I really just want to know the truth and the facts about your church. Does it really matter if it's my church home or not? Vince: I don't doubt your heart, thanks for understanding my position. Me: Yes, I think I do understand.
Anyway, here's what we're able to find out on our own.
1. What is your church's official position on tithing?
They clearly teach and preach it. Whether they teach it as a requirement or not has yet to be seen, but they very strongly pressure it. You can observe this on their Give page.
2. Does your church have a particular set of rules or requirements that members must follow or abide by in order to retain their membership status with the church?
We don’t see anything on the church’s website to suggest that they have membership requirements, but this church does have several groups you can join to get “connected” at their church. Whether these groups introduce the church’s requirements in the form of an official membership or not is still unknown. We will find this out after further research in the coming months as we continually check up on this church.
3. Are you transparent with your church's financial information? How much does your church bring in through donations and tithing, and how is that money distributed?
Again, we see nothing to suggest that this church is financially transparent. The fact that they pressure giving so much is a sign that they aren’t transparent at all, as well as the fact that no one will respond to our inquiries. Until we can find out for sure, however, we can’t say one way or the other. They certainly aren’t transparent when it comes to answering our questions.
4. Which denomination does your church align with the most, if any?
While Google search results describe this church as non-denominational, I would argue that there are strong signs of the Prosperity and/or Health & Wealth Movement in this church, as well as Charismatic doctrines in general. It does not come off as very non-denominational in its prevalence of prosperity teachings. It also has ties to the Charismatic Hillsong Church through lead pastor Jurgen Matthesius’ attendance at Hillsong College.
5. Is your church's pastor available for other questions or comments regarding the church, its doctrines, etc.?
There is no way to contact the pastors directly via the church’s website, but I was able to find pastor Vince Craig’s Facebook page. I PM-ed him and was eventually able to connect with him via text. Lead pastor Jurgen Matthesius provides no way of contacting him, even on his Facebook Page.
6. How is your church's doctrinal tolerance? If a member has a disagreement with the pastor or leadership on a non-essential certain doctrine, how is it handled? Does the church change its position on non-essential doctrines fairly often, if at all?
Until I can get someone to speak to me about this at Awaken/C3, I have no information that tells us anything regarding doctrinal tolerance or how they handle disagreements within the church.
7. Does your church require that its members be baptized? What is your church's official position on baptism?
Once again, no way of knowing this without doing further and perhaps even in-person checking of this church. So far we see nothing to suggest they require baptism, but will update the check as we’re given more information on this topic.
8. Please describe what a typical service and/or meeting looks like in your church.
There is nothing on the church’s website that tells us what a typical service looks like but we know that they teach topical/expository style sermons.
9. How many people do you have on staff at your church, both paid and volunteer?
C3 doesn’t provide any of this information on their website. The only staff listed are the campus pastors and lead pastors.
10. What is the pastor's educational history?
According to the San Diego C3 Church website, pastor Jurgen Matthesius attended Hillsong College, which is a training college within Hillsong Church. Campus pastor Vince Craig shows no pastoral education on the website or his Facebook Page.
11. How does the church discipline its members with their sin?
Until we can get one of the pastors to answer this question, or find out for ourselves through more in-person research, we don’t know the answer to this.
12. How is the pastor compensated (income, benefits, bonuses, etc.)?
We will probably never know this. We can make an educated guess at how much money each of these pastors makes based on the number of people that attend, but the point is that no one will tell us. No transparency.
13. What is the size of your church and any other space the church owns for meetings and church services?
C3 Sandy’s Facebook page has nearly 2,000 likes and follows. This means they probably have at least 500 regularly attending members. However, they don’t appear to have their own building yet because they meet in the Jordan Commons Megaplex Theatre on Sundays.