Sometimes you just want to ask a brilliant question and get a fairly intelligent answer. We get it. We’ve tried to anticipate your questions and launched right into an answer. If we didn’t prognosticate your query or satisfy your conundrum, shoot us an email and we’ll jump right on it.

Why is your building in a shopping mall?

Well, we like shopping, so, to us this just makes sense. Mainly, however, we’re here because God did a God-sized maneuver to acquire this place and give us the opportunity and funds to turn it into a classy, creative, and cozy home for our church. Since we’re a church that longs to meet people where they are and to do that in unique ways, this location fits us well for now. Come inside and you’ll see, this is a fun place to do church.

Why does River Valley Community Church exist?

We are where and how we are because of God’s leadership. In 1989 God placed the vision in a few people’s hearts to create a place where people could learn about God and come to know him. River Valley has developed over the years to be a dynamic and creative church with a compelling vision. We want to be a safe place for seekers to move towards Christ and a challenging place for believers to grow while serving the needs of others locally and globally. Concisely stated, we exist to glorify God by experiencing and sharing the incredible life he has planned for us.

How does River Valley carry out this mission?

There are three basic components that strategically drive us on our mission. We want to help people KNOW God and His ways, GROW in Christlikeness and Community, and GO share the gospel and serve the church and the local and global world. We do this in a few main ways.

Sunday Experience:

On Sundays, we create opportunities to experience God, to know him and his ways. We intentionally design an environment for adults and another one for children that’s geared to help the curious and disciple the saved.

Small Groups:

On weeknights, we offer various types of small groups for people to grow in community and Christlikeness. We believe that real life happens in relationships, and in real relationships you can find rich life.

Serving with Others:

All the time, we provide both training and options to serve other people along side other people. The best way to grow is really to go. By serving, your faith develops and you help others along the way.

Why do you have ‘membership’ in your church?

Many people think that once you decide to follow Christ by becoming a believer that there is no need to identify with a local church. We believe that this is a wrong understanding of both the biblical teaching and the practical value of church membership. There are at least five reasons why membership is important at River Valley:

The idea of membership is biblical and, therefore, important to us. Though the phrase “church membership” is not in the New Testament, many times people were urged to participate in a local gathering and many were identified with a specific church (Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:25-31; 14:12, 26; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Timothy 3:14-15).

Membership identifies people who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and who are ready to go public with that faith.

Formal membership helps the entire church function better. The leaders cannot lead and the shepherds cannot “shep” if those on the team are not identified. Can you imagine the chaos if a football team and the crowd were all mixed together without uniforms? They would play like the ________ (Bears, Packers, insert one).

Membership benefits the member by assisting them in making a public commitment to growth. Without commitment, little life-change happens.

Membership identifies those who have made personal commitments to support the ministries of River Valley with their time, talents, and treasure. It tells us who is on the team…who we can count on.

How do I become a member of River Valley?

Here are four simple steps to become a member of our church:

  1. Give your life to Jesus Christ and receive salvation.
  2. Though it is not a requirement of membership, we believe the Bible teaches that you should be baptized after you have accepted Christ.
  3. Complete the Newcomers Class.
  4. Sign and return the Membership Covenant, making a serious commitment to live it out.

What is your music like?

We have a band. They’re good. Enough said.

Will you yell at me?

Everything about our church is geared to help people. We don’t think yelling normally helps people. So, when it comes time for the biblical message, don’t expect sweat, fist-pounding, or high volume. We wouldn’t want you to yell at us, so we won’t yell at you. Our speakers teach, and they do it in a style that’s inviting, interesting, and easy to listen to. The truth is always taught; it’s just taught in a more creative and caring way.

What does ‘no experience necessary’ mean?

Well, to be technical, it means there is no experience necessary. OK, maybe more detail will be good. By that catchy phrase we hope to communicate what is true about this great church. You (or I) don’t need to have any experience with God, the Bible, church, churched people, church language, or the Christian life in order to be comfortable and helped here. You’ll be accepted right where you are. That’s right. No matter what you’ve done or who you’ve been, you’re welcome here. We’ll give you every opportunity we can to learn about God’s love, grace, and forgiveness while assisting you to experience the incredible life he has planned for you. When you walk into our building, you’ll realize how comfortable and safe it is. You won’t feel out of place. Really, there’s no experience necessary!

Why do you invest so much in pre-teens and youth?

We believe the children and youth today have the most potential of anyone in history to change the world for God and for good. We believe the church of tomorrow is found in our youth groups and children’s groups today. We know that growing up in today’s schools and world is a tough task. We want to help our kids grow up with confidence, commitment, and the courage to do the right things. We also believe that God clearly works to move children and teens toward Christ. National surveys reveal that people who embrace Christ before the age of 13 are more likely to remain absolutely committed to Christ in their adult years than are people who accept Christ in their teenage or adult years (www.barna.org, Barna Update, Oct. 11, 2004). Several other national studies confirm that two-thirds of all adults who were born again believers made their decision to follow Christ before the age of 18 (Barna, Evangelism that Works, 1995, 45, n. 5). Our hope for our young people is that we can lead them to Christ, develop within them a solid biblical foundation that will guide them in making good decisions, meet their felt needs, and connect them with a network of friends and adults who will support them through these difficult yet thrilling years. We love kids and teens and, frankly, we get a kick out of pouring our lives into them.

How do you invest in the younger children?

We want the babies and toddlers in the nursery to experience genuine love and care when they’re with us, so, we do everything we can, from their environment to the words we use, to show them that love. We hope to instill into the younger children that God loves them, we love them, and church is a fun place to be. We want the older kids to begin to learn the basics of the Bible, to understand how to become a Christ-follower, to experience worship, and to see that church is an awesome and exciting place to hang out.

I am a committed believer looking for a new church. Can I plug into River Valley?

Of course you can- if you fit! We want to grow our church primarily by growing God’s Kingdom. That means, more than anything in the world, we want to reach seeking people and help them become fully devoted followers of Christ. We do, however, pray that God will send us mature believers who buy into our vision and identify with our style so that they can help us (Matthew 9:37). If you are a believer and you are coming to play on the team the way we play, we would love to give you a uniform and plug you into the lineup. There are some volunteer teams you can join right away. Prior to taking on leadership roles, however, you will need to become a River Valley member (attend Igniter 101), invest some time in a C’Nex Group, and travel through a few of our Igniter Classes.

How do I become a Christian?

This is the most important question of your life. You were created to be in a loving, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, to allow his love and power to transform you into his image, and to change the world by loving and serving others in Christ’s power. The entire Bible is the story of God pursuing a love relationship with us. To become a Christian, you basically must give up your life into the control of Christ’s and do whatever he asks you to do because you love him. When he forgives your sin and comes into your life, he changes you at the core of your being. If you like practical steps, here are the ones for you to begin this relationship with Christ:

A. ADMIT that you have sinned and disappointed God.

B. BELIEVE that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died as a sacrifice for our sins, and that he came back to life.

C. COMMIT your entire life to him.

When you do this, you become a Christian (which means a follower of Christ). You then spend the rest of your life enjoying the intimate, love relationship with Christ and learning more and more how to be transformed into his image. When you die, you avoid hell, and you remain in his presence in heaven where he completes his transforming work and makes all believers and the world perfect.

If you have decided to put your Faith in Christ, or just have more questions, Tell us all about it here:

How do I know my kids will be safe and have fun?

First of all, we want our kids to be safe too. If it were not safe for our children, we wouldn’t put them in there. The KidZone offers creative experiences for all ages, birth through 5th grade. We know and trust each of the leaders. They are both screened and trained to be doing the important job of loving kids and helping them grow in a safe, fun, and enjoyable setting.

What if I have more questions?

If you have questions, we’d love to help provide the answers. Please feel free to come to a Small Group or a Sunday Experience, come by the Information Center, email the staff, drop by for a chat during the week, call, or even send it to us through snail mail. We’ll do everything we can to help you find the answers to the questions you have about our church, about the Bible, about life, or about God. Our blog is another great tool to find answers to your questions. Hop on that and post your questions; there is no telling what kind of conversation and resources this will generate. Plus, you’ll be like rad to the max if you become a blogger. Whatever you do, get answers and let us help. Remember, we exist to help you experience the incredible life God has planned for you, and there is no experience necessary.