Updated: Aug 30, 2020
Basic Church Information
Church Website: https://www.genesisutah.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thegenesisprojectogden
Online Services: https://www.genesisutah.com/sunday-services
Address: 3525 Riverdale Road, Ogden, Utah 84405
Answered the Questionnaire: Yes
Financially Transparent: Yes
Tithing/Pressured Giving: Yes
Preaching Style: Topical
Affiliations: ARC (Association of Relational Churches)
Lead Pastor Matt Roberts answered the Questionnaire for us. I've emailed him some follow-up questions for more clarification on a few things and will update the check accordingly.
1. What is your church’s official position on tithing?
"We believe in the New Testament principle of total generosity within the Christian life. Therefore, we encourage those who are a part of The Genesis Project to exercise generosity in the giving of their time, talents and resources. We believe this call to generosity also informs how we give and serve as a church as well."
The Genesis Project also has a "Commitments" page on their website, and Commitment #3 says:
"For over a decade the largest expense that The Genesis Project has had to wrestle with is the ongoing need to provide adequate space to house the various ministries of our growing church. Today, God has given us the opportunity to purchase a campus that will meet the needs of our ministry for generations to come. As we take on this new debt we have dedicated ourselves to the goal of paying off this mortgage within the next 10 years so that we may pass along a fully owned campus to the next generation of The Genesis Project. The third commitment we ask you to make is a commitment to giving a $12 weekly offering above and beyond your regular giving to The Genesis Project with the purpose of creating a debt free future for our church."
2. Does your church have official memberships, and if so, does it include a membership agreement or contract?
"We do not. One of our core values is that because of the Gospel, there is no such thing as “us and them” there is only “us”, broken people in desperate need of a Savior. This value informs why we do not have an official membership as a church."
We do find that they have the Commitment page, as linked in Question #1, where they ask attendees of the Genesis Project to commit to certain actions for the church.
3. Is your church financially transparent or accountable to either the local church, a third party (such as the ECFA), or the universal church/public?
"Yes, we are open annually to an audit process as well as a national Board of Directors. We share all financial info yearly at a church business meeting that our congregation is invited to attend. Also, at any time, anyone who is an active contributor to the Genesis Project can request access to our financial records."
I have spoken with Pastor Matt regarding this information, and they do in fact share their financial records with full transparency with the exception of specific staff salaries, which in order to prevent tension between staff, they do not disclose to anyone. They do disclose the total amount of money spent per year on salaries, however.
4. Which denomination does your church align with, if any at all?
"We are a Non-Denominational Church with an independent 501(c)3. We have 4 churches that are a part of The Genesis Project family. (Ogden, Provo, Fort Collins CO and Portland OR)"
5. Is the church's pastor available for questions or comments regarding the church's doctrines or policies?
"Yes! Our beliefs are published on our website but we know that the way in which we practice those beliefs is becoming more and more complex in the world around us. We encourage open dialogue / questions."
I must speak personally on this question to point out that Pastor Matt was very accommodating to all of my questions and open to answering additional and much more specific questions in our email and phone conversations. I've also noticed that Pastor Matt has been giving Facebook Live teachings where he welcomes viewers to comment and ask questions. The only other Pastor I have seen do anything similar to this is Shawn McCraney of CAMPUS Church in Murray.
6. Is your church tolerant and accepting of differing non-essential doctrinal views, such as differences in eschatology or ecclesiology?
"We believe in majoring on the major things. First and foremost that is ALWAYS the Gospel of Jesus. We welcome diverse views on things in which scripture opens up the opportunity for that diversity. On non-essential Issues we stay away from an arrogant view that declares the way we see it, is the way it is."
7. Does your church require its members to be baptized?
"We do not have membership. We encourage baptism as a public proclamation of ones decision to bravely follow after Jesus with their life! A beautiful celebration of death to the old and resurrection into the new through Jesus!"
8. Please describe what a typical service and/or meeting looks like at your church.
"Covid has changes typical for us in the last few months. But in our services we engage together in energetic, modern worship, celebrate in communion and baptism, and share practical, challenging and encouraging messages directly from the Bible."
9. How many people do you have on staff at your church, both paid and volunteer?
"We are built as a church to function very lean because of a focus on ministry and outreach. All of our staff work outside of the church to offset expense to the church. We currently have 6 Pastors on staff. All 6 are paid at various levels of part time equivalent."
10. What is your/the pastor's educational background?
"I, personally, attended Bible College (undergraduate) and Seminary (graduate) in a formal process of ministry training."
11. How does the church discipline its members with sin? Does the church have a discipline policy or official protocol?
"No. We do not have members. We do believe that to be a part of the Body of Christ requires confrontation and hard conversations at times. We see this as a part of ongoing relationship and discipleship. These conversations happen regularly in our Circles (small groups) which, for us, is a best case scenario in the context of relationship. If council is not received we intervene as a Pastoral Staff."
12. How is the pastor compensated (income, bonuses, benefits, etc...) and how is that compensation established (Ex: board of elders, church vote, etc..)?
"All of our staff, including myself, are paid a straight monthly salary without any bonus and / or added benefits. All salaries are approved based on 35% of our current years budget that is allocated to staffing. Every year our budget is approved by our national board of directors and presented to our congregation in a business meeting."
As mentioned above, Pastor Matt is willing to disclose church financial information to genuinely interested individuals. He has sent me a copy of last year's budget, but for legal purposes, we will not be publishing it here.
13. What is the size of your congregation and any space or buildings used for church services or meetings?
"Again…pre-Covid…our weekend attendance was about 850 on any given Sunday. That is running about 50% as we have started meeting again.
We own an old building, that was once used as a Coca-Cola bottling plant, at 3525 Riverdale Road in Ogden. Our total space is right around 30,000 sq. Ft."