Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Basic Church Information
Church Website: https://www.discoverychristian.org/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/discoverychristian.org
Address: 5929 S. 900 E. Salt Lake City, UT 84121
Online Services: https://www.discoverychristian.org/sermons-2/
Did this church choose to answer the Questionnaire?
1. What is your church's official position on tithing?
While Discovery’s church website does not mention tithing at all, nor does their Giving page make any mention of their doctrinal positions regarding giving, stewardship, or tithing, I learned a lot by going to the CMA (Christian & Missionary Alliance) website (their denominational affiliation).
Long story short, if Discovery aligns with the CMA, to which they donate 10% their own funds, then they absolutely believe in some form of mandatory, or at least strongly encouraged/pressured giving to the church.
Read CMA’s Stewardship and The Kingdom of God PDF and you'll see several arguments made in support for preaching tithing and strongly encouraging or mandating financial giving to the church.
Some statements of concern in CMA’s Stewardship PDF:
“We Will Be Held Accountable for Our Stewardship...The judgment for poor stewardship will not result in the loss of salvation, but there will still be loss: “If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:14,15). To put it bluntly, He will be saved, but with the smell of smoke all over him.”
Then there are some interesting explanations given for why some Christians resist being told how to handle their own money: (emphasis mine)
“Why are Christians resistant to the issues of stewardship? Why do we not live as Jesus taught us to live? Two possible answers to these questions are hard-heartedness (we know what God says, and we don't care) and ignorance (we don't know because we haven't been taught). Certainly these are issues that need to be addressed, but could it be we are overlooking another possible cause? In our Western sophistication we have often neglected the influence of the spirit-realm.”
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?
I don’t see anything on their website that suggests this, so without them answering this question themselves or further in-person research (which I assure you, I will do eventually), we don’t know the answer to this.
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?
According to what pastor John said to me in our Facebook conversation, they are financially transparent with their church. This is what he said:
“Btw we are very open with our church about our finances, posting them publicly in our building.”
I will have to meander in there and see if this is true for myself, but if anyone out there would like to check this for us, feel free.
4. Which denomination does your church align with the most, if any?
Their Our Beliefs & Family pages says this:
“Discovery Christian Community is part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), a Christ-centered, Acts 1:8, global family.”
As we noted earlier, one of the distinctive doctrines of this denomination is Healing. Besides the added emphasis on Stewardship, which is one of the Core Values of the CMA, I see no other distinctives worth noting about this denomination.
5. Is your church's pastor available for other questions or comments regarding the church, its doctrines, etc.?
Not in writing, according to what I was told:
“...You’re very welcome to come to Discovery! We’d be happy to meet you in person and talk with you about the concerns you have with the modern church. We have concerns too, but prefer to talk about these in person rather than written correspondence…”
6. How is your church's doctrinal flexibility and tolerance? 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 doctrines fairly often, if at all?
I imagine this church handles doctrinal differences the same way most others have said they do. If it’s on the essentials of Christianity or the doctrines that they are affiliated with denominationally, they probably do not deviate, but if it’s anything else, they may practice liberty.
Until someone answers this, we don’t know either way for sure.
7. Does your church require that its members be baptized? What is your church's official position on baptism?
While there is a section on Discovery’s website which explains and encourages baptism, I see nothing on the site that suggests one must be baptized in order to be a member of their church. This is their statement from the website:
“Jesus commanded us, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:18), and “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).
Jesus set the example for us to follow in being baptized (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, and Luke 3:21-23), which the Apostles and early church continued afterwards, baptizing all who believe (Acts 2:38-41; 8:37-38; 10:48).
Baptism is an outward, physical demonstration of the inward, spiritual reality of salvation that has taken place in a believer’s life. The immersion in water (the Greek word “baptize” literally means “to immerse, douse or saturate”) symbolizes the sin that has been washed away (Acts 22:16), the believer’s union with Christ in His death and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12) and thus their initiation into the global body of Christ (Galatians 3:26-28).
At Discovery, we regularly celebrate baptisms, which are one of the highlights of church life!”
8. Please describe what a typical service and/or meeting looks like in your church.
From their What To Expect page on the website:
“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve been: you’re welcome here at Discovery!There is no dress code, so just wear whatever you want.
Our worship services begin punctually at 10:30 am and last about 75—90 minutes. There are greeters at the door to welcome you and answer any questions you may have.
We worship God through prayer, song, Bible study and fellowship.
We have a great praise band that mostly sings contemporary, upbeat worship songs.The message is focused on studying the Bible and learning how to apply God’s truth to our lives.
We often testify of what God is doing in our lives and offer an invitation to follow Jesus….
...Feel free to stay afterwards, grab a coffee in our Coffee House, and let us get to know you, or come up to the front to receive prayer.”
9. How many people do you have on staff at your church, both paid and volunteer?
The website doesn’t tell us this. Under Leadership & Staff, it only shows pastor John Doss.
10. What is the pastor's educational history?
On the Leadership & Staff page, it refers to pastor John as “Rev John Doss, MDiv,” so he has a Master of Divinity degree, but we don’t know where he earned it.
11. How does the church discipline its members with their sin?
While the church's website doesn’t tell us, after some digging on the CMA website, I was able to spot a few documents that address this topic. If Discovery is obligated to abide by CMA's Discipline policies, this is what they are:
12. How is the pastor compensated (income, benefits, bonuses, etc.)?
Here is the CMA Policy and Procedure Finance Manual, which DIscovery more than likely abides by:
We're not told exactly how much the pastor is to be compensated, but are given a pretty good idea of how that is determined and what other benefits the pastor is to be given.
13. What is the size of your church and any other space the church owns for meetings and church services?
A little over 250 people have liked and followed Discovery Christian Community’s Facebook page. Based on our previously accurate estimates, this means Discovery probably has somewhere between 50-100 members.
As for building size or other property/space owned by the church, we don’t know this without them answering it themselves.
14. What is the pastor's preaching style?
Topical sermons, but very Bible-dense content.