How we "Do Church" at AV Chapel
There are many ways you can "do church." The people are obviously the church and not the building; however, we are called to assemble together and do some basic things such as prayer, worship, teaching, etc.
While the substance should always be the same, there are many differences in style when it comes to "Doing church." Most are neither right nor wrong, just different. Below are some of the ways we have chosen to be unique:
Pastor Mike Minghi leads our Sunday morning teaching and focuses on exploring the Books of the Bible one chapter at a time, with an emphasis on connecting Jesus and Biblical Truths to our daily lives. We don't shy away from the tough topics. If it's written, we are going to address it in truth, love, and context. Our goal is to make each week's passage clear and relatable while remaining true to the original Biblical stories. No agenda. No baggage. Just Jesus.
Although we hold strong Biblical beliefs, we strive to avoid causing divisions among God's followers over non-essential issues. We may even disagree on what issues are or are not essential, and we are always happy to have that discussion, but if the Bible speaks clearly, we must also. For other matters, we do our best to recognize both perspectives and aim to include everyone in the discussion without showing a preference for one side over the other.
When it comes to finances, we firmly believe that God will provide the funds necessary to carry out His work in Arcadia Valley. We also work hard to be good stewards and maintain a well-balanced budget. Because of this belief, our primary focus centers on discipleship, relationships, and ministry impact, with money being a much smaller part of our conversation. If money is relevant to the teaching, we will not shy away from talking about it; however, church finances are rarely, if ever, discussed in an open setting. Offerings are not collected during service, but mounted drop boxes are available on the wall exiting the auditorium and near the offices for anyone who wants to give. Giving online is an option for convenience. As a church, 10% of all giving goes to other ministries outside AV Chapel, supporting local, national, and global ministries. Some of these ministries include our local family resource center (Monarch: FRC) and schools in Africa that share the hope of Jesus Christ with orphans and impoverished children through Gospel-centered Christian education (Bethlehem Christian Academy).
Our discipleship efforts are rooted in core principles found in scriptures such as Matthew 28:19-20 (Make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to observe everything I (Jesus) have commanded you) and Ephesians 4:11-16 (Equip the saints for the work of ministry, build up the body of Christ, and promote unity in the faith, and speaking the truth in love).
Groups: We emphasize the importance of building meaningful relationships through gatherings such as small groups that meet twice a year for five weeks, intercessory prayer held every Sunday at 8:00 am, and meetings of our Men's and Women's groups throughout the year. These events provide opportunities for fellowship, prayer, and in-depth study and discussion about Scripture.
Children's Church: Our Children's Church spans birth to sixth grade and is staffed by volunteers, vetted through interviews and background checks. Children's Church is available every Sunday during the 10:30 am service (Nursery is also available during the 9:00 am service), where kids sing together, do projects and play games, and learn Scripture through The Gospel Project Curriculum.
Youth: We have a fantastic group of leaders from various backgrounds who lead our Youth Ministry every Sunday at 6:00 pm for grades seventh through graduation. Students gather for snacks, games, skits, worship, a message taught by youth leaders, and weekly small group discussion. There are also special events and the much anticipated Summer Camp in July each year.
Leadership & Governance
As part of the Calvary Chapel movement, we look to the Book of Acts as the model for the Church. It is a church filled with, led, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. We strive to hold fast to the four functions of the early Church found in Acts: 2:42, "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer."
Our Church is led by the senior pastor, with assistance from a board of directors and a team of elders, staff, and deacons. The board of directors helps with church business and budget decisions, while the elders offer spiritual guidance, prayer, and assist with teaching duties. The staff provides consistent support across all areas of ministry, while the deacons are available to assist with various practical needs as they arise.
This isn't a trendy phrase; this is truly how we operate. As we said above, there are many ways to "do church." The church can put on dozens of programs, classes, groups, studies, events, gatherings, or special services during a calendar year, and we have plenty, but all must be relevant to the time and season the church is in as well as simple enough to pull off without overly stressing our staff, leadership, volunteers, and finances. The last thing we want is for anyone to be exhausted by the church calendar or programs that have long overstayed their welcome.