Frequently Asked Questions

Church Structure/Beliefs

What Are The Beliefs of PV?

Our Statement of Beliefs can be found here.

Is PV Non-Denominational?

No. PV is formally aligned with an established denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). Read more at www.efca.org.

Since PV is part of the Evangelical Free Church of America, what does "Evangelical" mean?

The word evangelical is an adjective, a describing word, that means we are committed to sharing the gospel and to the authority of the Bible as our guide to follow in our Christian lives.

Read more at www.efca.org.

Since PV is part of the Evangelical Free Church of America, what does "Free" mean?

The word free is an adjective, a describing word, that refers to our form of church government. As an EFCA church, we are not governed by the denomination, we are “free” to depend on the active participation of pastors and lay people for the direction of our church.

Read more at www.efca.org.

Does the EFCA have any authority over PV?

While PV is a self-governing body responsible only to Jesus Christ as its Head, it also recognizes the advantages of mutual counsel and cooperation with other Evangelical Free Churches and voluntarily agrees to affiliate with and support the Evangelical Free Church of America.

How is the Pleasant Valley Church Governance Board structured?

The Governance Board consists of the Senior Pastor and eight voting members (four elders and four non-elders). Each Governance Board member serves for four years, terms are scheduled so that two members rotate off the Board each year.  Several months before the annual business meeting, the Board asks the church membership for nominations to the Board. The Board considers the nominees, asking them to complete a detailed application and interview. The Board then recommends their choices to the chuch membership at the annual business meeting for their affirmation. The Board votes each year to elect a Chairman.  A non-voting secretary is appointed to the Board.

What functions do Elders have as part of the Governance Board?

In addition to general Board responsibilities, Elders will shepherd by taking responsibility to:

  • Maintain doctrinal purity among all ministry entities directly related to PVC and encourage sound doctrine among all attendees.
  • Be servant leaders, modeling Christ-likeness and ensure that this is accomplished through mutual accountability.
  • Pray for the healing of the sick and for those who directly request elder care.
  • Interview and recommend prospective candidates for church membership.
  • Act on discipline and conflict resolution issues.

Elders will provide prayer support, encouragement, accountability and counsel to the Senior Pastor whenever sought.

 

Baptism/Dedications/Memberships/Weddings

Can I get married at Pleasant Valley Church?

Weddings at Pleasant Valley are for regular attendees, members, and children of such. If you fit that criteria, and would like to talk further, please call the church office, 507.452.5518. The next step is to meet with the pastor you’d like to officiate at your wedding. The pastor will speak with you about things he feels are important in your journey and future plans. Once the pastor agrees to perform your ceremony, our office staff will talk through scheduling and fees with you.

How do I become a member of Pleasant Valley Church?

Church membership is one of the avenues God will use in your life to cause growth and commitment to occur.

The membership process has a few steps:

First, we’d like you to attend for 6 months before considering membership; make sure that Pleasant Valley is for you.

Second, it is required that you attend the membership class.  Please watch the PV Happenings for the date.  This is a two-hour class designed to answer the basics of who we are, what we are called to do, and how you can come alongside and become a participating member.

Third, read through the Church Constitution and a Membership Application form that you will receive at the seminar.    Constitution     Membership Application
After attending the class, fill out the application and return it to the church office.  The Board will schedule two members to come and meet with you.  This is a wonderful time of getting to know each other, answering any questions you may have about the church and learning about your spiritual journey and your desire to participate at Pleasant Valley Church.

Finally, a recommendation is made to the Board. At their next meeting, the Board will take a vote on your request and you will be notified by letter of your membership.

Why aren't babies baptized at Pleasant Valley Church?

In the Bible, parents brought their children to Jesus and asked Him to  pray for them.  However, nowhere in  the Bible do we see babies being baptized with water.  This is because baptism is designed by God for those who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.

Children can be baptized at our church, but at an older age, after they make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ  and can understand the significance of  a commitment and of baptism.

What does Parent/Child dedication mean?

The Bible teaches that parents have the primary responsibility to nurture the faith of their children.  Parent/Child Dedication is an opportunity for parents to publically present their children to the Lord and commit to be godly parents. By dedicating your child, our church is committing to do all we can to support and encourage you in your role.

Parents are encouraged to dedicate children of any age.  Dedications are not only for babies.

Parent/Child Dedications are planned three times a year during our Sunday worship celebrations.  A private dedication can be arranged if you should desire one.

If you are interested in participating in our next Parent/Child Dedication, watch the PV Happenings for the dates of upcoming Dedication Sundays or call the office, 452.5518.  Please plan to attend the preparation meeting held before the Dedication date that you choose. Prior to the event, the church office will need a picture of your child and, if you desire, a scripture verse of your choice for the ceremony.

What does Pleasant Valley Church believe about Baptism?

From the EFCA Statement of Faith, on the Church: “We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.”

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

read more….

 

Other

Is financial help available?

Pleasant Valley Church does have what is called a Benevolence Fund. This fund is made up of money that has been given by the church family specifically to help others in the church family who are in financial need. We are at times able to assist community members as well. Each circumstance is looked at individually.

The Benevolence Fund is intended as a source of last resort to be used when the family or individual requesting assistance has explored all other possibilities of help from family, friends, savings, investments, sale of unnecessary goods, or eliminating unnecessary items in one’s budget.  Such gifts are intended to be a temporary help during a time of crisis.

Anyone requesting financial help must meet with a pastor. If you would like to set up an appointment, please call the church office, 452.5518.

 

 

Chair Time

Chair Time Questions Is Journaling just writing your thoughts down? 

We like to think of journaling as praying with a pen. It's a way for you to acknowledge the things God is teaching you through your time in the chair. It can be as simple as writing down a portion of the passage you read in the Bible and then jotting down a few thoughts. You can also direct your writing to Jesus and ask Him to transform your heart according to His Word. There are no set rules, but it always helps to start with Scripture and let it
"read you" as you write down your thoughts.


How can you distinguish between a personal experience with God versus a personal experience with people?

One of the wonderful things about being human is that we are made in His image. So, the way you interact with people is a good place to begin as you think about interacting with God. One of the stereotypes of religion is that God is ready to strike you down if you don't come into His presence with perfection. We know from Scripture that He is a holy God and we need to be holy to stand before Him, but this is why Jesus becoming fully human while being fully God is so amazing. His perfect life, his death, resurrection and now His glorification make it possible for us to come close. He is the one that tells us to approach God as "Abba" or Daddy. Hebrews tells us to approach Him with confidence all because of Jesus. Jesus also said that He now calls us friends. There are other places in Scripture that speak to this, but the overarching theme is a God who desires close intimate relationship with us. He doesn't just clean us up and put us in right standing with Him, He makes us a part of His forever family. So, yes it starts with our limited understanding of interacting with another person, but Scripture reveals that it is to be so much more.


How does God talk to you? Is it out loud and in a language that you can understand? If it is only in your thoughts, how would you know the difference? 

First and foremost, we hear His voice through Scripture. It speaks loudly of God's heart, His plan, His desire for our lives, as well as our inability to save ourselves. Hebrews 1 tells us that God's primary way of speaking was and is through Jesus. He truly is God's final Word to humanity. If the Bible isn't your primary means of hearing His voice, anything else can and will create confusion and a lack of clarity. That being said, He does use (according to Scripture) dreams, His creation, other people, a still small voice in our hearts, and occasionally an audible voice. If you believe you are hearing God through one of these secondary means, you must always check it with the Bible. If it is contrary to His will revealed in Scripture, then it's not Him. There is also wisdom to be found in a multitude of counselors. Sharing what you think God might be saying to other believers who also have a solid Biblical foundation can be a way that God confirms something He is telling you. There may be times when He has someone confront you with something, or exhort you with a tough word. Always prayerfully consider these words and weigh them against Scripture.


In order to connect with God, are you supposed to pray out loud or can you just pray in your mind? 

There is a rich tradition and history in the body of Christ for both out loud prayers and silent, meditative prayers. would encourage you to develop a habit with both practices. Praying in your head and heart is a great way to stay connected with Him through the day at work or school. Short prayers that acknowledge His presence and your love for Him throughout the day are a great way to grow in your walk with Him. It is also a great thing to cultivate a time for out loud prayers. You will find yourself less distracted and more focused. I have also found that there are times when I am compelled to get on my knees as I pray. The important thing to remember is that a regular conversation with Jesus is the goal.


What is a good daily devotional for chair time with Jesus? 

Here is a complete list of resources from each Chair Time class. Our teachers all have favorites: Moments with the Savior by Ken Gire
Daily Light for Your Daily Path compiled by Samuel Bagster
7 Minutes with God: How to Plan a Daily Quiet Time by Robert Foster
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It's Impossible to Be Spiritually Mature, While Remaining Emotionally Immature
by Peter Scazzero
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day: A 40-Day Journey with the Daily Office by Peter Scazzero
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler
Praying the Names of Jesus by Ann Spangler
Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson
God's Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs by Timoth1(eller
Portraits of Devotion by Beth Moore