FAQ

Click here if you'd like to read our Statement of Faith.

Q:  What denomination is Valley Family Church?

A: VFC is a nondenominational, Bible-believing church. We believe Jesus is Lord and God's Word is the final authority on all matters pertaining to life and godliness. In the church world, we would be known as a Christian, Spirit-filled, word of faith church.

Q: What is a Christian, Spirit-filled, word of faith church?

A: Unfortunately, labels have become a part of our culture. These days, it seems like it's not enough to say that you are a Christian, but rather, we are required to define what type of Christian.

By definition a "Christian" is a Christ-follower; a believer. As Christians, we believe that Jesus is Lord and that through His shed blood and death on the cross, His burial and His resurrection, we received forgiveness from sin and eternal life. Jesus' blood is God's only remedy for man's sin. We believe that Jesus was raised from the dead and those who believe and confess Him as Lord are born-again, saved and redeemed and will also be raised from the dead and will spend eternity with God in heaven. At VFC, Jesus is Lord and we are passionate about helping people find Him as their Lord and Savior.

By definition "Spirit-filled" means to be full of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, a Spirit-filled or charismatic church would be a church that is full of God's grace and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. At VFC, often people will say things like, "This church is different...you can sense the Spirit...there is a freedom to worship...it's alive and on fire...everyone seems happy and friendly, etc." These are all indications of the Holy Spirit's grace and His gifts.

By definition "word of faith" comes from Romans 10:8-10, "But what does it say? 'The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,' that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" NIV. The "word of faith" is sometimes known as the "spirit of faith". 2 Corinthians 4:13, "It is written: 'I believed; therefore I have spoken.' With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak..." NIV.

At VFC, we take God at His Word. We believe He meant what He said, and He expects us to believe it and speak it! To be a "word of faith" church simply means we preach the Word - we believe it in our hearts and speak it with our mouths. True faith is more than mental assent; it is to believe God's Word in our hearts, to speak it and ultimately to obey it!

Q: How big is VFC?

A: Currently, around 3000 people regularly attend our services weekly and with the addition of new campuses and our online campus at www.valleyfamilychurch.tv - we are growing each week.

Q: What does VFC do to help the poor, needy, widows and orphans?

A: Since 1991, we have made it our goal to give up to 10% of our non-designated annual funds to local, regional, national and international outreach ministries, missionaries, orphanages, Bible School and those in need. We are intentional about helping the poor and supporting Bible Schools and Churches around the world because we believe when nationals are equipped in the Word; they can make a difference in their own communities and countries. We have also endeavored to work in collaborative ways with other churches and organizations in the greater Kalamazoo area to provide services and practical assistance to those in our area. In addition, we host at least one mission's trip annually to give VFCers a firsthand opportunity to minister the love of God to those in need.

In recent years, VFC raised and contributed over $20,000 dollars to Haiti for their disaster relief. These funds were evenly distributed between Adventures in Missions, The Red Cross (via the Portage Rotarians), Samaritan's Purse and the Salvation Army. We were also able to send a mission's team to Guatemala to build homes for widows as well as serve meals and distribute shoes to local children. VFC contributed a used play-structure to Kids Alive, an organization that builds orphanages and runs programs world-wide. Kids Alive refurbished and assembled the structure at their orphanage in Zambia and brought incredible joy to children that had never seen a slide before.

Beginning in 2011, we have worked to launch major, church-wide outreach initiatives to support the Southwest Michigan community at large, including Valley Girls Give Back (VGGB), the Valley Christmas Dinner, and Love Week. These initiatives allow for us to incorporate the VFC body at-large to serve our community in simple, yet needful ways, as well as creating opportunities for families to serve their community together.

The Valley Girls Give Back began as an off-shoot of our annual women's conference, Valley Girls Go Global.  With VGGB, we were able to deliver much-needed supplies to some of the outstanding supportive ministries in the community including Next Door, Alternatives of Kalamazoo, and the YWCA. VFC women delivered flat screen TVs, computers, thousands of diapers and wipes, as well as clothing, toys and books for the women and children these organizations serve. In addition, we delivered 944 dozen cookies to local police, fire and military offices!

Through Valley Christmas Dinner, we saw over 300 volunteers come together to prepare and deliver nearly 1,000 hot meals on Christmas Day to people all over SW Michigan. Additionally, we were able to donate over 600 toys to kids in need, all contributed by our VFC family!

In July 2012, we launched Love Week, an outreach initiative to simply love on our community through kindness and service. Nearly 600 volunteers came together to serve 2,000 hours across 60 different projects in feeding the hungry, building homes for the homeless, and serving local outreach organizations. Additionally, we were able to contribute over 500 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to Kalamazoo County schools.

Most recently, we launched our Car Giveaway ministry. Through the donations of our congregation and local auto parts suppliers, we have been able to refurbish quality used cars and donate them to individuals and families in need. Widows, single moms, and families in need of solid working vehicles have all been the recipients of our cars and we're looking forward to giving away many more.

For a complete list of those we support on a monthly and regular basis, please Click Here.

Q: Do you believe in a literal heaven and a literal hell? Who goes to heaven and who goes to hell?

A: Great question and the answer is: yes! We believe there is a real heaven to gain and a real hell to shun. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ - so that whoever would believe on Him and receive Him as Lord and Savior would not perish in a place called hell; but would have eternal life in a place called heaven. Jesus said that unless a person is born-again he or she could not enter the kingdom of God. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me." (John 14:6) We believe what Jesus said. That's why we are so intentional about sharing the good news of God's love with people!

Q: What do you believe about God's sovereignty and man's authority?

A: We believe that God is Sovereign and Almighty. He is the Creator and Most High God and above Him there is no other. In His sovereignty, He has given us His Word and in His Word, He has established spiritual laws that require man's cooperation.

For example, He has given us the law of faith, the law of sowing and reaping, the law of love, the law of sin and death and many others. He wants us to cooperate with His spiritual laws and He has given us authority to do so. For example, He has given believers the authority to use Jesus' Name; to pray; to stand on His Word; to live by faith; to speak to 'mountains,' to reign in life and so much more!

These things do not just automatically or arbitrarily happen; we must appropriate His Word by faith to experience all that our Sovereign God has promised us. Thankfully, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can know His Word,  so that we can know His will and His ways. We believe the Lord expects us to study His Word to know what He has said and to proactively appropriate His Word in our lives; we don't believe it honors the Lord to be passive or fatalistic in our knowledge of His Word or in the day-to-day application of our faith.

Q: I heard VFC believes in being filled with the Spirit and speaking tongues. I was taught that speaking in tongues doesn't exist today, can you explain your view?

A: It's true, at VFC we definitely believe in being filled with the Spirit and praying and speaking in a heavenly language. We have found it to be one of God's wonderful gifts for enjoying hart-to-heart communion with Him and as a supernatural resource for the joy-filled, power-packed victorious Christian life.

At the same time, we are aware that in the church world there has been confusion and misunderstanding on this topic. There are some denominations that believe the gifts of the Spirit and specifically speaking in tongues have passed away. They are called "cessationists" because they believe these things have ceased. 

However, at VFC, we do not believe the gifts of the Spirit or the gift of speaking tongues has ceased. We believe God is still very much in the business of giving His people the gifts of the Spirit, including a divine spiritual language and that He expects all of His gifts to operate in and through our lives in a manner that is decent and orderly. There is no Bible evidence to suggest that these things have passed away at this time. We believe the Holy Spirit and all of His gifts are truly some of God's greatest blessings to believers.

We believe that there two experiences for every believer - to be "born of the Spirit", the Holy Spirit comes to live within the believer (salvation) and to be "filled with the Spirit", the Holy Spirit comes upon a believer and endues them with power (empowerment) and various gifts of the Spirit. In the Bible, we see these two experiences may happen in the life of a believer at practically the same time...or months or years apart. (John 3, Acts 2:4, 8:15-21, 10:44-46, 11:15-17, 19:1-6, 1 Corinthians 14:2, 4, 14-15).

Being born of the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit are wonderful experiences for the believer and we encourage you to study the Word on this topic for yourself so that you may enjoy all that the Lord has provided for you.

Q: Do you believe that God wants all believers to be blessed and prosperous and that they access these things through faith?

A: Yes, we believe that God is a good Father. Like any good Father, He wants all of His children to be blessed so that they can be a blessing to others. We believe God meant it when He gave us, 3 John 2, John 10:10, Ps 103, Matt 7:11, James 1:17, Is 1:19. We certainly don't believe that God is the type of Father that delights in seeing His kids suffer things needlessly. The Bible teaches that as we walk in the Word, the blessed, abundant, prosperous life is God's will for all believers. (Matthew 7:11). Isaiah 1:19 says that if we are willing and obedient we will eat the good of the land. It's always been God's plan to bless His willing and obedient children. This prosperity - or abundance - is progressive and includes every area of our lives: spiritual, physical, material, mental, emotional and relational. God's highest and best is that as we walk in the light of His Word over time, we prosper and are in health as our soul prospers.

We have found that of a lack of knowledge is the main reason people don't experience God's best. They simply don't know what they don't know. Hosea 4:6 says, "My people perish for a lack of knowledge". (That's why we are intentional about teaching people God's Word.) Many of God's people suffer needlessly because they don't know what God wants for them or how to cooperate with His Word to experience His goodness.

Unfortunately, sometimes people are not experiencing all that God wants for them because of a violation of the spiritual laws He has established. God has established laws like: the law of sowing and reaping, the law of faith, the law of love, the law of words, etc. (Galatians 6:7-9, Rom 3:27, Gal 5:6, Prov 18:21, etc.) and if people don't cooperate with God's spiritual laws they may not experience all that He desires for them. 

For example, if we don't know the law of gravity exists; it doesn't matter how sincere we are or how much we love  God; if we jump off a building we will fall to the ground. In the same way, someone may be a wonderful person and a committed Christian, but if they are ignorant of or violate His Word and the spiritual laws He has established, they cannot expect the blessings that are attached to obedience - no matter how sincere they are.

The remedy for these things is simple - obtain the knowledge of God, cooperate with Him and His Word. It's our job as believers to obtain the knowledge of God and His Word and as we are willing and obedient, we will experience His goodness in an increasing measure.

Finally, while the "blessed life" includes many good things; it should not be confused with the "tribulation free" life. Jesus said that when we live for Him and walk in His goodness, we will experience tribulation, stress, temptations, opposition and persecution. As believers, we realize that in the midst of blessings there will be pressure and temptations to resist; enemies to the faith, opposition and persecution to endure.  Jesus said that when we follow Him and His Word, people will mock, slander, diss and say all kinds of evil things about us. Persecution is a part of the "blessed life" - Jesus said we should rejoice and be glad when we are persecuted for righteousness sake for great is our reward in heaven.

Q: Do you believe that "positive confession" brings positive results and "negative confession" brings negative results." Is this true?

A: Yes, we absolutely believe that our words have the power to affect our lives. The Bible says the power of life and death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). We do eat the fruit of our words (Proverbs 12:14). We see this law at work all the time. For example, people who constantly say things like, "I am so worried. I am terrified. I'm a worry-wart. That just scares me to death..." can't figure out why they are so anxious and fearful all the time! They haven't made the connection that they are eating the fruit of their negative, unscriptural confession. This connection between faith in our heart and the words of our mouths is a principle that is found throughout the Word (Romans 10:9-10, Psalms 19:14, 2 Corinthians 4:13, Hebrews 10:23, etc.).

It should be noted that there is a difference between "positive confession" and "faith confession."  The phrase "positive confession" - is sometimes a bit misleading for people and they think they should just have happy thoughts and say positive things and life will be grand. While being positive is a good thing; the actual spiritual concept is more than "positive confession" - the Biblical phrase for speaking words of life is "a confession of faith, profession of our faith, or speaking words of life" that are based upon the Word of God. When we get our mouths in agreement with God and His Word - we are making faith declarations and these are much more powerful than simply being positive.

Q: How do you respond to people that criticize mega-churches? 

A: We actually take it as a compliment! Jesus said those that live godly in Christ Jesus will experience persecution. Success always breeds critics.

Unfortunately, what the critics don't see are the thousands of real kids, teens, moms, dads, men and women in Southwest Michigan, America and around the world whose lives have been helped, touched and changed by the Lord and His Word through the ministry of a mega-church. They don't know about the thousands of volunteer man hours that mega-churches give to better their communities. They don't know about the financial support mega-churches give to people around the world so starving kids can eat in Uganda, so an orphanage can exist in CAR, the Philippines and Nepal, so girls caught in the sex-trade can be rescued in Cambodia, so young people in America can find freedom from anorexia, abuse, drug-addiction and all sorts of bondages. We know the reality of what any church in any community can do and especially the multiplied power of a mega-church. The stories of lives helped and changed for the better, mute the criticism.

In most cases, people criticize things they have never experienced. In our culture, it's become fashionable to criticize mega-churches or to tag any church that passes 1000 people in attendance as a "cult." God doesn't seem to have a problem with big churches and in fact, He likes them. After all the first few churches in the New Testament were mega-churches with over 3000 people and over 5000 people respectively. (Acts 2 and 4)

Rick Warren, pastor of mega-church Saddleback said it well, "When the church is small; they'll dismiss you. When the church is growing; they'll be jealous of you. When the church is large; they'll criticize you. So forget who "they" are and keep busy obeying God." His words have been good advice.

Ultimately, the real verdict of anything is in the fruit - or as they say, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." For example, if people flock to a restaurant, wait in line for an hour and pack the place; that's a good sign they must be cooking up some amazing food. The same thing is true about church - if thousands of people are willing to flock to a mega-church, navigate crowds, wait in line and pack the place; it must be a good sign that the church is serving up some good food for kids, teens and adults!

When people say or write mean-spirited things or tell outright lies about VFC; of course, it's hurtful and disappointing. However, we've made it our policy to do these things: pray for our enemies, try to be a blessing and find common ground, and defend the truth and set the record straight when possible and necessary. Fortunately, we have had some wonderful mentors who have led by their example and taught us to walk in love towards those who are critical towards us. Over the years we've endeavored to do that and God has blessed us as a result. Love's way is the best way and ultimately, God is our defender.

Q: What does VFC believe about the role of women in the church?

A: We believe God has gifted, called, anointed and appointed both men and women for His purposes and the furtherance of His Church. At VFC, Jeff and Beth, have worked together as a pastoral ministry-team since they day they founded the church, much like Aquilla and Priscilla of the Book of Acts (Acts 18). They enjoy working together side-by-side as they compliment one another in serving the Lord and the congregation.

At VFC, you will find many men and women working together in a variety of roles and leadership positions, both staff and non-staff. Women have a high profile, along with men, as they fulfill their God-given roles.

We understand that people from certain religious backgrounds have all kinds of ideas about the role of women in the church. They often get stuck on two verses of Scripture which addressed cultural issues in the early church; while overlooking dozens of other passages in the Word that reveal God's heart towards women in ministry. As a result, they ask questions like: Can women teach the Bible? Can women teach men? Can women hold leadership offices in the church? Can women serve as Pastors? Can women serve as Senior Pastors? Are women only allowed to teach other women? Aren't women supposed to be silent in the church?

We believe the Bible gives us answers to each one of these questions that are consistent with our practice of welcoming women whom God has called and gifted into a variety of leadership and teaching roles. God the Father esteems women; Jesus esteems and calls women to preach - starting with Mary whom He called to preach the resurrection and help launch the start of His Church; the Holy Spirit esteems women and has been poured on "sons and daughters" so they can preach and proclaim the gospel and the apostle Paul esteemed, recognized and worked with women in leadership in his ministry. At VFC, we've seen God's favor, hand of blessing and confirmation on the women that work alongside the men in our church.

To answer the questions people have about the role of women in the church, Jeff taught a two-part series on this topic titled, "Putting Women In Their Proper Place - The Role of Women In The Church" and we recommend that you order this CD series to study this topic in more detail. There are also numerous other resources, taught and written by highly respected men and women on this subject and we would recommend these as well.

"Getting Women In The Game" - CD by Bill Hybels

"The Woman Question" - Book by Kenneth E. Hagin

"Beyond Sex Roles" - Book by Gilbert Bilezikian

"Who Said Women Can't Teach" - Book By Charles Trombley

"10 Lies The Church Tells Women" - Book by J. Lee Grady

"25 Tough Questions About Women And The Church" - Book by J. Lee Grady

"Help, I'm a Leader Trapped in a Women's Body" - Book by Nancy Beach

Q: What is VFC's view on the gay, lesbian or homosexual lifestyle?

A: The more important question is, "What is God's view on the gay, lesbian or homosexual lifestyle?"

If you listen to some people you'd get the idea that God hates homosexuals. The reality is that God loves everyone. He created sex as a good thing and He knew what He had in mind when He created men and women and the whole sexual process. God is not confused on the subject.

God loves every person, no matter what their sexual gender, views, experience or orientation may be. God's desire is that every person on the planet comes into a personal relationship with Him, continues to grow and be conformed to His image. That's the plan. While God loves every person, He does not condone everything a person believes or does. God loves everyone and so do we. God does not condone the things He calls sin and neither do we.

When it comes to sexual relations; we believe God sanctions sex solely within the context of marriage. The Bible recognizes marriage as exclusively the legal union of one man and one woman (Titus 1:6). Therefore, VFC does not condone any sexual behavior outside of marriage; and does not perform, or condone any marriage between individuals of the same gender or between more than one man and one woman. Sexual activities, such as, but not limited to, adultery, fornication, incest, homosexuality, pedophilia and bestiality violate the teachings of the Bible and the Church. Further, we believe that lascivious behavior, the creation and/or distribution and/or viewing of pornography, and efforts to alter one's gender, are sinful and incompatible with Christian behavior. (I Corinthians 6:9-10; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13).

The bottom line: God loves people and we love people - all people. The lifestyle someone lives does not determine their value in the eyes of the Lord nor in our eyes. While we are not against those who live or profess to be homosexual; we do not believe that homosexuality is the way God created men and women to relate to one another - the Bible says it is "against nature" and we agree with the Word. While we do not condone homosexuality; we do not condemn anyone who has ever struggled with this issue or who has called themselves gay. Jesus said, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved [healed and delivered]. (John 3:17)  We're working together with the Lord in the saving, healing and delivering business. For some, homosexuality is a complex issue - spiritually, emotionally and psychologically - and yet, we have seen God's love and power set people with the most complex issues free. There are countless testimonies of formerly homosexual people who decided to allow God to do what only He can do - transform them into the image of His Son by His amazing power working in them. For further study, these Scriptures respond to the basic question: What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Romans 1:24-27, Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Genesis 19:4-7, Leviticus 20:13 

Q: How is VFC governed and led? Do you have a board, elders, deacons or committees?

A: We believe that Jesus is the Head of the Church and He has delegated the primary responsibility for leading and feeding a local church to the Senior Leader.

In our church, our Senior Pastor, Jeff Jones is ultimately responsible for the leadership of the church; he has recognized the gifts and callings the Lord has given to his wife Beth and they operate as a husband/wife senior pastoral team, much like Aquilla and Priscilla of Acts 16.

It is their responsibility to teach and preach the Word, to obtain the vision for VFC and provide spiritual, strategic and organizational leadership to the church at large. They are responsible to follow Jesus, the Head of the Church. To do this effectively, they have surrounded themselves with many dynamic and gifted people; including, the VFC Executive Team, staff, lay leaders and volunteers, Advisory Teams as well as the Board of Directors.

VFC is a staff-led organization, accountable to the Board of Directors. The responsibility and authority for leadership and decision-making has been given to our Executive Team and staff as they operate under the leadership of the Senior Pastors and within the parameters of the VFC vision and mission. Here's a snapshot of how our church is governed. Of course, we believe that Jesus is the Head of the Church and focused on building His Church. (Eph 1:20-23, 5:23, Col 1:16-18) In serving the Lord, our leadership structure is as follows:

Senior Pastors - Responsible to provide vision, spiritual, creative, strategic and organizational leadership as they "lead and feed" the flock. The Biblical term for Senior Pastor is: Shepherd, Bishop, Elder, Pastor, Overseer. (Eph 4:11-14, Jer 3:15, 1 Peter 5:1-4, 1 Tim 3, Titus 1:7-9, 1 Thess 5:12, Heb 13:17, 1 Tim 5:17)

Executive Team/Staff - The Executive Team/Staff serving under the Senior Pastors is made up of Ministry Pastors, Directors, Coordinators and Support personnel and they are responsible for providing the management and leadership oversight of the day-to-day operations within their specific ministry division.

Board of Trustees - The Board of Trustee is responsible for the legal and financial oversight of VFC. The board consists of our Senior Pastors and five other men and women from both inside and outside of VFC. This team of people with experience in ministry, business, finance, law and growth.

Accountability - The Senior Pastors and many of our pastoral staff are accountable to, licensed and ordained through the Rhema Ministerial Association in Tulsa, OK. Many of our other pastors are licensed and ordained through the Assemblies of God or through Faith Christian Churches International. (Prov 11:14, 15:22) 

Q: Who sets the salaries for VFC staff?

A: Each person on staff at VFC has a set wage or salary. Compensation and benefits are dispersed in the same way that any person working in a full or part-time position at any non-profit organization in America would receive their compensation. (Comparable non-profits would be Schools, Hospitals, Red Cross, YMCA, NPR, United Way, Special Olympics, etc.)

The Senior Pastors and Staff Salaries: Dan Beurite & Associates, Attorney at Law of Tulsa, OK evaluates the Senior Pastors annual salaries to recommend compensation within the nationally accepted salary range for their role as founders, senior pastors and leaders of a comparable church or non-profit organization. Attorney Beurite evaluates this in light of the value the Senior Pastors provide as related to their executive responsibilities, church size, growth track and success and demographics of community. Annually, the Board of Directors meets to discuss the recommendations and set salaries for the Senior Pastors. During this discussion the Board of Directors excuses the Senior Pastors from the meeting and with the Senior Pastors not present; the trustees evaluate, discuss, set and notify the Senior Pastors of their compensation. The Senior Pastors and the Board evaluates the role and responsibilities of each staff member to recommend and approve the annual salaries for the VFC staff at large.

Additional financial and legal counsel is provided to VFC by CPA, Doug Eplee, attorneys Carson, Fisher and Associates of Bloomfield, MI; Dan Dalton and Associates of Farmington Hills, MI and Dan Beurite and Associates of Tulsa, OK.(Prov 11:14, 15:22)

Q: Does VFC publish an Annual Financial Report?

A: Yes, since its inception in 1991, VFC has made the Annual Report available to all of its active volunteers. 

Q: Can I promote my business, organization, ministry or cause at or through VFC? Your mailing list? Your Facebook groups? Your bulletin? Your website?

A: The short answer is: No. The long answer is: Here's why. We get many worthy requests from numerous people and organizations asking us to promote their events, businesses or causes. For the most part, for precedent reasons, we are not able to do so. There are several reasons that may be helpful to understand.

First - Our primary role as a church is to be a neutral place of worship where people may freely receive prayer, worship God, hear messages from the Bible and find encouragement for their own spiritual growth. We want VFC to be a safe, godly environment.

Second - We don't want anyone - businesspeople, organizations, ministries or causes - to be perceived as opportunist. We don't want to show favoritism in endorsing or promoting any one business, organization or person over another. We don't want anyone who attends VFC to be pressured, offended or feel that they are being prospected.

Third - We want to be sure that people are not inadvertently looking at the "big" church as a pool for their own customers, members, donors - but rather, we want to protect the privacy and integrity of those who attend VFC.

Finally, on occasions, we are able to promote large, community-wide events - the Red Cross Blood Drives, regional concerts, joint-effort church ministry events and the like, but as a rule, for sheer volume sake, we do not promote many non-VFC related events, businesses, organizations, ministries or causes.