Q. What should I expect if I attend a church service and what do people wear?
Both our services follow the same format. Our services are a little over one hour long and consist of a worship time with contemporary music for the first 35 minutes and a time of Bible teaching for the last 35 minutes. Most people at our services are dressed casually, particularly during the summer when some will come in shorts.
Each worship service provides contemporary music, including a keyboard, electric guitars and drums. We believe the music is tastefully done in a manner that exalts the Lord and assists our corporate worship of Him. We often include a hymn in with the music set.
Q. Is it okay to bring my children into the worship service?
Yes, this is not a problem. Some young children may find it difficult to leave their parents in an unfamiliar setting. Yet we believe our children's ministry, in the long run, is the best place for helping the children of Valley Bible Church learn more about God. We hope that families who begin to attend our church will come to appreciate the value of their children developing close friendships with their peers in the context of the local church.
Q. How big is Valley Bible?
On any given weekend we will have nearly 500 people attending one of our two worship services. This does not count around 200 children who enjoy our children's ministries rather than be in the worship services. If you count all the people that regularly attend Valley, we would be over one thousand people.
Q. How long has Valley Bible Church existed?
We were founded as an independent Bible church in 1956. Dale Whitehead was our primary teaching pastor since 1973 until he retired by the end of 2015. For more information about the history of our church, please view our history page.
Q. What Bible version do you use?
We use many Bible versions. The version most commonly used at Valley Bible is the English Standard Version, which is the translation of choice during our worship services. We find that the English Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible are probably the best word-for-word Bible translations. Some people who ask this question have been taught that the King James Version is the only acceptable Bible translation. We have written a position paper that addresses this view.
Q. Where does Valley Bible Church get the money to operate?
We are not supported by a denomination or any other outside entity. Our budget is funded entirely through the giving of the people who attend our church. The combined giving of the people of Valley Bible Church to both our general fund and our building fund surpasses half a million dollars annually.
Q. Why don't you take an offering?
While passing an offering plate during the worship service is not wrong, we have chosen to provide boxes in the rear of the auditorium instead. The main reason for this is to decrease the possibility of someone giving to Valley Bible Church under a sense of compulsion (2 Corinthians 9:7). We desire that the giving to Valley Bible Church be done by people who truly desire to give cheerfully and we believe that those people with this motivation will be able to find the box to place their giving.
Q. Who leads the church?
Our church is led by our elders. We believe this follows the pattern of government described in the New Testament. Currently there are four elders, Lance Richards, Dan Roland, Randy Thompson and Dale Whitehead. Our elders work as a pastoral team and agree before decisions are made. There is no time limit to the service of our elders. We also have deacons, who assist our elders in the leadership of Valley Bible Church. You can read more about our practice of church leadership here.
Q. Where did your pastor attend seminary?
Dale Whitehead attended Talbot Theological Seminary and graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 1973. Gerry Andersen attended Dallas Theological Seminary and graduated with a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies in 1987. Chris Williams leads our youth ministry and attended The Master's Seminary and graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 2014. One of our deacons, Daisuke Okada, whom we support in ministry in Japan, graduated from Master's Seminary in 2000 with a Masters of Divinity and earned his D.Min from there in 2015.
Q. Are you a charismatic church?
While we consider those who hold to doctrines that define the charismatic movement to be fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we do not agree with or support the charismatic movement. For more information on our concerns with charismatic theology, you might want to read these position papers on The Gift of Tongues and Healing.
Q. What does your church believe and what if I do not agree?
Our beliefs can be found in our What We Believe page and in our position papers for more in-depth doctrinal issues that we face from time to time. Our teaching is based upon what God says in the Bible and we certainly hope that it will be embraced by everyone. However, we expect that not everyone will agree with everything we teach. We do ask that you accept what we believe, even if you do not agree. What we mean by "accept" is that you will allow us to teach our beliefs without opposing us. We ask this not because we cannot be wrong but rather for the sake of the unity of the church. We are willing and eager to discuss doctrinal issues with everyone who attends Valley Bible.
Q. Do you have something for children and youth?
Yes, we believe we have a very strong children's ministry and youth ministry. If you have additional questions about our children's ministry and youth ministry, simply contact the church office (661-942-2218) for more information.
Q. Do you marry people from outside your church?
We have chosen to limit the weddings we conduct to people who attend our church. This is primarily because of the time constraints due to the demand of our church ministry.