Updated: May 24, 2020
Church Website: https://www.elevation.cc/#welcome
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ElevationChurchUtah
Church Address: 375 State St. Clearfield, Utah 84015
At first, Pastor Matt seemed willing to answer our questions, but as is sometimes typical of church pastors, he wanted to avoid giving any answers in written form and insisted on speaking on the phone.
In the end, my schedule and circumstances (two little boys and three big dogs) prevented me from a phone conversation, and he still refuses to send his answers to our Questionnaire in writing. So, until he does, we’ll have to find the answers ourselves. Let’s see what we can muster up for you, church checkers.
1. What is your church's official position on tithing?
This church’s views on tithing are a little confusing. While on the one hand, they seem to acknowledge that the law of tithing is an Old Testament Law that no longer applies to Christians, on the other, they continually invoke the term on Christians as if it does, suggesting that even struggling, poor Christians who can’t afford to tithe should still give, even beyond their ability. (https://www.elevation.cc/online-giving)
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?
While we couldn’t find any kind of church membership agreement on this church’s website, there was one statement that seemed to suggest that they do in fact have one. We saw it on their Give Page (emphasis mine):
“Those that have said Elevation is their home church community have agreed to give as a sacrifice of joy.”
We’ll have to do further research to find out what this means for sure.
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?
While some information regarding the church’s financial information is in fact given on their Give Page, this is still a far cry from true financial transparency. We need to know if the church provides its members, or even better, the public, with a report or information on how the church money is spent and distributed.
Here is the statement on their Give Page that does provide us with a little bit of information, however:
“Does Elevation have controls for ensuring my contributions are handled safely?
Yes. Not only are the monies counted by two people, but a record of giving is kept in two different digital formats and databases. Our workers who count the offerings are not the ones who balance or determine spending. A budget team allocates the monies, while a separate volunteer balances the books, and an independent accountant reviews our records every month.”
4. Which denomination does your church align with the most, if any?
A Google search result tells us that Elevation is an “interdenominational” church, while their Facebook Page says they are Evangelical.
5. Is your church's pastor available for other questions or comments regarding the church, its doctrines, etc.?
Pastor Matt provides an email address to contact him through on the church’s website, but besides this information, how available he makes himself for answering questions or comments, I’m not sure. He seemed willing to speak with me on the phone initially but refused to answer questions in writing. How open he is to the questions of other Christians, I can’t say for sure.
6. How is your church's doctrinal flexibility and tolerance regarding non-essential doctrines? If a member has a disagreement with the pastor or leadership on a certain doctrine, how is it handled? Does the church change its position on non-essential doctrines fairly often, if at all?
We don’t know this either. Further research will need to be done to find out more about this question.
7. Does your church require that its members be baptized? What is your church's official position on baptism?
You can read all about Elevation Church’s positions regarding baptism on their website here. It doesn’t appear that they require members to be baptized, as their general attitude seems fairly laid back and gracious on this topic.
8. Please describe what a typical service and/or meeting looks like in your church.
On the church’s I’m New Page, you can read this about their Sunday services:
“We are a community of multi-generational, multi-cultural Christ followers that gather together each week to welcome the presence of God and to live out the calling He has placed on our lives. We strive to provide an atmosphere that is welcoming, easy-going, and family friendly. When you join us on a Sunday morning you can expect a Bible-based message that will grow your faith and help you in your walk with God. We pray that you will be changed as you encounter His presence.”
9. How many people do you have on staff at your church, both paid and volunteer?
Elevation Church’s website has a Team Page that lists its main staff at the church, but who is paid and who is strictly volunteer is not shared.
10. What is the pastor's educational history?
There is no educational information on Pastor Matt Miller on the website or the church’s Facebook Page.
11. How does the church discipline its members with their sin?
Another question that will require further research to answer. There is nothing on the website that answers this question, but perhaps with an in-person check or a visit to their Newcomers Lunch, we’ll find out the answer to this one.
12. How is the pastor compensated (income, benefits, bonuses, etc.)?
As usual, this information is nowhere on the website and since the Questionnaire was stonewalled by Pastor Matt, we will probably never know. We may be able to ask this question if we are to attend their Newcomers Lunch when the time comes, however.
13. What is the size of your church and any other space the church owns for meetings and church services?
Elevation Church has over 1,000 likes and follows on their Facebook Page, so they probably have a regular attendance or membership of 200-300 people. As for their building, they are at 375 S. State Street in Clearfield, Utah in what looks like a section of a strip mall building.