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Church Check: Utah Valley Church in Spanish Fork, Utah

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

Basic Church Information

Address: 165 N. Main Street, Spanish Fork, UT 84660

Phone: 385-220-2624

Denomination: Non-Denominational

Affiliations: Financial Peace University, Real Life Ministries (Jim Putman)

Tithing: No

Memberships: No

Financial Transparency: Yes

Answered the Questionnaire: Yes

Preaching Style: Topical

The Questionnaire

Email from Pastor Matthew:

"...First, we're a very simple church. We own zero property, have zero debt, and have zero paid staff. We meet in homes during the week and in an old performing arts theatre on Sundays. Because of this, our operational cost is only around $850 per month allowing us to allocate the remainder of our giving to benevolence, church planting and foreign missions.

Secondly, we focus a lot more on equipping and sending people as missionaries into the places they live, work and play than we do on trying to gather a large crowd. We would rather plant more gospel-centered churches than become a mega church.

Thirdly, we have multiple teaching pastors and try to avoid being a personality-centric church.

Lastly, and most important, we have a high value on the Bible. We usually teach through books of the Bible verse by verse, but we also do some topical and topical exegetical preaching as well. At the end of the day, we try to get people into the Word on their own so that they don't become dependant on the pastor's teaching. We want to help people learn how to feed themselves on the Word...”

1. What is your church's official position on tithing?

  • “We live in a culture where, unfortunately, "Paying Tithing" is a religious requirement. Therefore, we tell our people, "We do not pay tithing because Jesus paid it all". That being said, Jesus is generous and we want to be like Him. Therefore, we believe in the Biblical principle of generosity in all things, not limited to financial. Since we do not pay salaries or mortgages we have the opportunity to be a generous church and people love to participate in that! We've never felt the need to preach specifically on financial 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?

  • "We do not have any official church membership. We often say, “You can belong before you believe”."

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?

  • "We are very transparent with the people who attend our gatherings. We do not brag, print, or publicly post numbers online. With that said, our operating expenses are less than $1K/ month and the remainder of all giving is allocated to local benevolence, domestic church planting, and global missions."

4. Which denomination does your church align with the most, if any?

  • "We are a gospel-centered, bible believing, non-denominational Christian church. We tend to relate more with other gospel-centered churches who also have an emphasis on Jesus' method of disciple-making. This isn’t denominationally specific."

5. 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?

  • "We're a gospel-centered, grace-based church that emphasizes an allegiance to Jesus and His Word. We talk about but do not focus on trivial or non-essential doctrine. We try to major on the majors and minor on the minors. We're very clear on essential Christian doctrine, and one of our non-negotiables is that we will not be divisive over non-essential doctrine. For example, Calvinists and Arminianists not only get along, but they also worship, pray and serve together in our church. As far as disagreements are concerned, if it is within the pale of orthodoxy, we graciously agree to disagree and not divide. We're pretty transparent about stuff like that. If it was a disagreement that undermined God, His Word, or the gospel of grace, we would graciously and lovingly lead that person back to scripture and let the Bible have the final say, with the intent of maintaining fellowship."

6. Does your church require that its members be baptized? What is your church's official position on baptism?

  • "Baptism isn't a requirement since we don't have official membership. As far as what we teach on baptism, we try to follow the pattern we see in scripture. The Greek word used in the Bible for baptism literally means to dip or sink, so we baptize by immersion. Jesus commanded us to baptize those who believe (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15-17). In the book of Acts, every single person who put their faith in Christ was immediately baptized, so we typically follow in the same manner. We see baptism as a faith response to God's grace through the gospel as an identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Rom 6:3, Col 2:12). We think of it as a way of putting on the team jersey that states you belong to Jesus, being clothed with Christ (Gal 3:26-27). The only prerequisites for baptism are faith in Christ alone and repentance (Acts 2:37-38). It also illustrates the forgiveness of our sin."

7. How many people do you have on staff at your church, both paid and volunteer?

  • "We have zero paid staff and about 75 volunteers."

8. What is the pastor's educational history?

  • "We have multiple pastors with education ranging from bachelors in pastoral ministry to 18 years of practical experience in pastoral ministry."

9. How does the church discipline its members with their sin?

  • "We follow the process Jesus outlined in Matthew 18. He said, "If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love."

10. How is the pastor compensated (income, benefits, bonuses, etc.)?

  • "We have no paid staff and give no benefits or bonuses."


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