OUR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What denomination is Heartland Bible Church?
Heartland Bible Church is a non-denominational church.
What can I expect when I attend a Heartland Bible Church service?
First of all, you can expect to feel at ease. There is no pressure at Heartland Bible Church to be something you’re not and there is no pressure to give financially. We do not pass an offering basket at Heartland, we simply have a offering box available in a designated area.
Our weekly church service resembles a Bible class more than a traditional church service. We begin with a time of fellowship which includes guided discussion questions designed to help us get to know one another on a deeper level. We then transition into a time of praise and worship, followed by an informal discussion surrounding the expository teaching lesson that is presented that week. Next we partake in the breaking of bread, or communion, every time we meet.
Lastly, you’ll be given an option to fill out a prayer card. These prayer cards are then randomly distributed (men to men and women to women) with the expectation that we pray for one another throughout the week. Jesus said,”My house will be a house of prayer…” (Matthew 21:13; Isaiah 5:6-7)
Here are the specific Scriptures that support why we do what we do during our weekly church service:
“Praising God” (Acts 2:47) is an important part of the gathering together of God’s people. Scripture tells us to enter into God’s presence with singing, praise and thanksgiving (Psalm 100:1-5)
Although the practice of taking communion at every gathering is not directly commanded in Scripture, there is strong evidence of this in Scripture. They “devoted themselves to the breaking of bread” (Acts 2:42, Acts 20:7)
A formal offering will not ever be taken, but the opportunity for giving will take the form of voluntary donations as people feel moved by God. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Teaching / Discussion
The central focus of any gathering will be “devotion to the Apostle’s teaching.” (Acts 2:42) The emphasis will be not only on teaching, but discussion (Deuteronomy 11:19), application (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and equipping for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Each service will include a time of prayer. Prayer is a foundational principal upon which the church is built. The believers in the early church devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 2:42). Believers are exhorted in Scripture to pray for ourselves (Philippians 4:6), for one another (James 5:16), for God’s people (Ephesians 6:18), and for all people (1 Timothy 2:1).
Food / Fellowship
Each gathering will include a time of sharing food along with an extended time of fellowship. The goal is to become more than a community of believers. The goal is to become a family of believers (brothers and sisters in Christ). Believers in the early church shared a meal together. (Acts 2:46) They got to know one another, so they could share one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), encourage one another, and build one another up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
What should I bring to a Heartland Bible Church service?
We are a discipleship-focused church so most people find it helpful to bring along a Bible (you can also use your mobile device!) and a notebook.
If you are able, please bring a simple snack/appetizer (nothing fancy!) to share during our time of fellowship.
*Believers in the early church shared a meal together. (Acts 2:46) They got to know one another, so they could share one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), encourage one another, and build one another up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
What does Heartland's church government look like?
Guard the Heart Ministries has a Board Of Directors which serves as Heartland’s Deacon Board. They strictly oversee Heartland’s financial accounting and approve church expenditures.
In addition, Heartland believes the Bible calls for the plurality of Elders. Our Elders focus on the spiritual direction of the church and are responsible for shepherding, overseeing, leading, and caring for church members.
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:2
(Although this Scripture specifically refers to the role of Elders, Heartland Bible Church believes this universal principle can be applied to ministry leaders as well.)
Why is Heartland Bible Church a house church?
We believe house churches are the optimal way to encourage discipleship, accountability, spiritual growth through the teaching of God’s Word, and fellowship with other believers.
Here are some specific details behind the general philosophy of House Churches…
There are no known church buildings prior to the time of Emperor Constantine in 312 a.d. During the apostolic era and for the next two centuries, churches met primarily in the private homes of its wealthier members. This meant that the typical congregation was smaller rather than larger.
Generally, the New Testament was written to churches that met in private homes. The relationships the New Testament describes seem to work best in situations where everyone knows each other.
These smaller settings foster the intimacy and accountability that characterized the New Testament church. A loving, family-like atmosphere is more easily developed in smaller groups of people.
One over-arching significance of the New Testament church lies in its theology of community. The church was depicted by apostolic writers in terms which describe a family.
Believers crave genuine relationships with other believers because God’s love is in their hearts. It is what the Bible refers to as fellowship: the genuine sharing of one’s life with other brothers and sisters. House churches tend to foster an environment where believers can do what believers are supposed to do (which is found in the New Testament “one another” passages.)
The desire for authentic relationships where we can open our lives, share our true selves, and safely be vulnerable seems to be a universal hunger. The shared life that takes place in house churches more easily allows people to find a place of community where practical living can be discussed, and the real struggles of life addressed. As relationships develop it becomes more possible to “encourage one another’ and bear one another’s burdens. The “masks” we so often wear tend to come off in such an intimate environment.
In large auditoriums of people, nominal Christianity can at times be harbored. It is easier to get inadvertently lost in the crowd of people, most of whom are relative strangers to each other.
Accountability naturally happens in smaller groups of people where people know each other on a personal level.
The average church in the United States can spend as much as 64% of its budget on staff salaries. Additionally, it will over time spend as much as 30% of its offerings on maintaining its buildings. Researchers say that many churches are often forced to spend between 82% – 96% of their financial resources on maintaining themselves.
Since little money is spent on buildings, rent, repairs, remodeling, or expansion, MORE can be used for ministry and outreach! We find this very exciting at Heartland Bible Church.
Consequently, what may have been spent on buildings can often be used to feed and clothe the poor, spread the gospel, and make disciples, just like it did in the book of Acts.
Most believers enjoy interaction, involvement, and shared meals with each other. Many look forward to having an opportunity to share the personal insights they gain concerning God and His Word. We have discovered house churches more easily provide that opportunity.
Have specific questions? We would love to answer them! Please email Pastor Rod directly.
Can I attend Heartland Bible Church if I attend another church?
Of course you can!
Does Heartland Bible Church offer childcare?
Heartland Bible Church does not offer childcare at this time.
What is your affiliation with Guard the Heart Ministries?
Heartland Bible Church is a subsidiary of Guard the Heart Ministries, Inc.
Guard the Heart Ministries, Inc. is a 501(C)(3) organization with an established Board of Directors. This Board of Directors oversees all the financial accounting of Heartland Bible Church.
(Heartland Bible Church believes all churches should have qualified Elders to oversee the spiritual direction of the church.)