What We Believe

Our Beliefs

Our methods and our expression might seem progressive to some, but our doctrine is traditional and quite similar to the vast majority of Christian churches. Element Church collaborates with a large number of churches ranging from charismatic to conservative evangelical. And even though we are a non-denominational church, we affiliate with several evangelical organizations including the Association of Related Churches and the Next Level Relational Network. Below is a list of a few of our essential beliefs.

Holy Bible

We believe that the Holy Bible, and only the Bible, is the authoritative Word of God. It alone is the final authority in determining all doctrinal truths. The Bible, in its original writing, is both inspired and inerrant. (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21; Proverbs 30:5; Romans 16:25-26)


We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence and obedience. (Mk 12:29; John 1:1-4; Mt. 28:19-20)

Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary. Jesus Christ is 100% man and 100% God. He is the only man ever to have lived a sinless life and is the Son of God. (Matthew 1:18, 20, 23; Luke 1:27-35; John 1:1 & 14, 20:28; I Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Php.2:5-6; I Timothy 2:5)


Man was created good and upright, but by voluntary transgression he fell; his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Genesis 1:26-31, 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21)


We are saved by grace (which is undeserved and unearned) through faith in Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection. Salvation is a gift from God, not a result of our good works or of any human efforts. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:16, 3:8; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 9:22)

Christ's Sacrifice

Because Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, His blood shed on the cross of Calvary is 100% sufficient to cleanse us of all sins when appropriated individually through repentance and faith. Jesus allowed Himself to be punished for the sins we have committed, enabling all who believe to be freed from the penalties of sin. (I John 1:7; Revelation 1:5, 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Romans 3:10-12 & 23; 5:9; John 1:29)


Repentance is a commitment to turn away from sin in our lives and to follow Christ. It is a change in the way we think, and therefore, in the way we live. (Acts 2:38, 3:19)

Christ indwells all believers

A Christian is a person who has invited the Lord Jesus Christ to come and live inside him by the Holy Spirit. He is putting his trust in what Christ accomplished for him when He died, was buried, and rose again from the dead. (John 1:12, 14:17, 23, 15:4; Romans 8:11; Revelation 3:20)

Water Baptism

After receiving Jesus Christ, the new believer is instructed by the Word of God to be baptized in water in the Name of the Lord Jesus: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38)

The Church

The church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of Christ’s great commission. Every person who is born of the spirit is an integral part of the church as member of the body of believers. (Ephesians 1:22, 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23)

The Lord's Supper

The Lord’s Supper is a unique time of communion in the presence of God when the elements of bread and wine/juice from grapes, expressing in some spiritual way the body and blood the Lord Jesus Christ, are taken by believers in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. (I Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-25; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12, 8:36-38, 10:47-48; Matthew 26:26-28)

Baptism/Infilling of the Holy Spirit

Initiated at Pentecost, this ongoing baptism (or infilling) is the promise of the Father, given by Jesus after His ascension, to empower the Church to supernaturally communicate the gospel throughout the whole earth (Acts 1:8; 8:15-16; 19:2; Mk.16:20). With this regular infilling, the believer has the potential of experiencing various manifestations such as scripturally based prophetic experiences, unknown tongues, and other visible outward signs. (Acts 10:46; 19:6; 8:18; 2:4-6; 7-18)


Sanctification is the ongoing process of being set apart for God, characterized by our yielding to God to complete the development of Christ’s character in us. A lifestyle of developing righteousness and holiness is the evidence to all men that Christ’s Spirit lives within us. (I Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23; II Corinthians 3:18, 6:14-18; II Thessalonians 2:1-3; Romans 8:29, 12:1-2; Hebrews 21:11)

Healing of the Sick

Healing of the sick is illustrated in the life and ministry of Jesus and is included in the commission of Jesus to His disciples. Healing is a provision of Christ’s atonement on the cross and is given as a sign which is to follow believers. (Matthew 8:16-17; Acts 8:6-7; James 5:14-16; III John 2; Psalm 103:2-3; Isaiah 53:5; Mark 16:17-18) (Note: This does not imply the false concept that immediate healing always accompanies true faith. There are many righteous people in scripture who didn’t immediately receive healing in this life. Rather, healing can also be a process which is finalized by entrance into heaven.)

Heaven & Hell

We believe Heaven and Hell are literal places, as outlined in Scripture, and that our eternal destination is determined by our response to the Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 5:3,12,20; Matthew 6:20; Matthew 19:21; Matthew 25:34; John 17:24; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 11:16; 1 Peter 1:4; Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:9-11; Revelation 20:12-15;Revelation 21:8)


We believe that Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the dead in a glorified body three days after His death on the cross. One day all believers in Christ will also be physically resurrected in glorified bodies to their reward in heaven with God. (Luke 24:16, 36, 39; Philippians 1:21-23, 3:21; I Corinthians 15:42, 44; John 2:19-21, 20:26-28, 21:4; Acts 24:15)

Second Coming

Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return to earth for the second time to establish His kingdom. This will occur at a time undisclosed by the Scriptures. (Revelation 1:7; Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:30, 26:63-64; I Thessalonians 4:15,17; II Thessalonians 1:7-8)

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a Non-Denominational Church structure differ from a Denominational Church structure? How is Element Structured?

Traditionally, a Christian “denomination” is an organized religious institution or group, such as the United Methodist Church, Southern Baptist Church, Presbyterian Church, or Lutheran Church. Churches within these denominations often have:

  •  a set of core beliefs and customs established and shared by the broader organization
  •  shared worship practices, teachings, and leadership structures
  •  organizational structures to help them stay connected to the broader denomination
  •  standardized belief system established by their respective denomination
  •  a hierarchy, direction and/or leadership that come from the denomination
  • sometimes shared legal, financial and/or legal structures

Element is Non-Denominational because it is not structurally directed by a larger organized Christian denomination or authority. Instead Element’s authority structure consists of three localized groups that offer checks and balances for accountability, direction and stewardship (under the ultimate authority of Jesus Christ).

Element Church is: guided by pastors, protected by trustees and strengthened by overseers.

1. Guided by Pastors
The Pastoral staff team is led by the Lead Pastor. This team oversees the day-to-day ministry and operations of the church. These staff pastors serve the congregation and are responsible for the development of the spiritual life of the church. The Pastoral Leadership Team members serve as Staff Elders.

2. Protected by our board of Trustees
The Trustees are members of the congregation who oversee the finances and direct the provision of the facilities needed by the church. As the board of our 501c3 they provide counsel to the Pastoral Leadership Team regarding the major financial commitments of the church. The Trustees serve as Non-staff Elders.

3. Strengthened by Overseers
The Overseers are pastors of respected congregations and ministries who love Element Church and are willing to provide spiritual protection to the church. They may be called in to help in accountability matters relating to the Lead Pastor and/or Pastoral Staff if requested by the Pastors or Trustees. The Overseers serve as Apostolic Elders.

What does Element Church believe about Gender and Human Sexuality? (language borrowed and edited from Bridgetown Church, Portland, OR)

One of the great difficulties in defining a biblical understanding of sexuality in our modern context is the unseen, inner pain a person often carries behind the question. In recent history, the church has mishandled the topic of sexuality from a variety of angles. The church’s witness has centered on what forms of sexual expression the Bible is against instead of the dignifying and beautiful version of sexual expression the Bible advocates for. Jesus majored in the latter; the church has often emphasized the former. More personally, while the church has historically held to an understanding of sexuality distinct from the surrounding culture, the application of that belief in recent history has become alienating to those whose sexual expression does not align with the church’s. The tragedy of that shift has been that many have been made to feel alienated by the Christian church because of sexual practice and/or sexual orientation.

Because of the complexity presented by recent history, we will succinctly define both our belief and how we express our belief, which carry equal importance.

We believe in the historically Christian view of marriage and sexual expression; namely, that marriage is a lifelong covenant union between two sexually different persons (male and female) and that all sexual relationships and expressions outside of marriage are sin.

How we Express Our Belief
The expression of this belief is often the more important question to people in search of a spiritual home:

  • Will I (or one of my loved ones) be welcomed at Element Church?
  • Is there a time where that welcome is worn out?

Regardless of sexual practice and/or orientation, Element Church welcomes all to worship with us.

One of the truly fascinating aspects of the life of Jesus is that the very people whose lives least aligned with his ethical teachings were most drawn to him. In the Bible, Jesus and a religious group called the Pharisees, often held similar beliefs. Both were uncompromising in their teachings and in calling people to align with those beliefs. However, people who felt alienated by the Pharisees also felt very welcomed by Jesus. Why? Because of how each expressed their beliefs: the Pharisees did so in pride, as their primary concern was being right, while Jesus did so in love, as His primary concern was compassion for the person and explanation behind the belief.

The church is called the Body of Christ. We are a communal expression of Jesus’ heart, so both our beliefs and our expression of those beliefs should mirror Jesus.

When it comes to sexuality, we carry three important convictions that inform our expression:

  • Our first responsibility is to be a living display of covenant love and sexuality. The church was not founded to critique the surrounding culture but to form a distinct counterculture where “life to the full” is on display as an invitation to all. However, in many ways (covenant love and sexuality being one obvious example) the church has mirrored the culture more than forming a counterculture. Therefore, our work is not to change anyone else’s mind or critique the world outside of our family, but to live with the sort of fidelity, service, and love within our own singleness and marriage covenants that we become a living witness to the fullest sort of life that Jesus offers to his followers.
  • Second, we must lead with a heart of love and compassion for people. The doors and the arms of our church family are open to anyone, regardless of belief. No one will ever be excluded from worshiping with us on Sundays for any misalignment of belief.
  • Third, we must differentiate between agreement and acceptance. Again, one of the truly fascinating aspects of the life of Jesus is that the very people whose lives least aligned with his ethical teachings were most drawn to him. His dinner company and close friends were often made up of people out-of-alignment with his teaching (e.g. Jesus teaches that to even look at a woman lustfully is to commit adultery, then is consistently surrounded by prostitutes who profited on lust; Jesus teaches an ethic of radical generosity, then welcomes a tax collector, whose life was defined by greed, into his inner circle of 12 disciples; etc.). In modern cultural rhetoric, agreement and acceptance are often used synonymously: “If you don’t agree with my ethical choices (belief), you don’t accept me (expression).” However, in Jesus, we observe the opposite phenomenon: Those who felt most accepted in his presence were those most obviously living in disagreement with his teaching. Therefore, as a church we are committed to becoming a community linked to Jesus in acceptance of all people but not all ideas. We are unapologetically aligned with every word of Jesus’ teaching. Equally, we are uncompromisingly insistent on becoming the sort of community where those out-of-alignment with Jesus’ beliefs (including sexuality) feel welcome and accepted in our fellowship.
What does Element Church believe about Women in Ministry? (language borrowed and edited from: Christ Fellowship, Palm Beach Gardens, FL & Bridgetown Church, Portland, OR)

The question of how men and women relate and engage in church leadership offices (particularly pastor and elder) has been a subject of significant debate at various points in church history. Some members of the global Body of Christ believe that the Bible does not permit women to teach or lead within the church. Others believe God has gifted and called both men and women to minister and lead in the church. Our responsibility is to search the Scripture, ask the Holy Spirit to help us, and then lovingly respect others who differ. For people on both sides of the discussion, this is not an issue of Biblical authority, but of Biblical interpretation. Both sides would attest that the Bible is the ultimate authority on this and every matter of life and the church. Great people and great churches fall on both sides of the conversation.

There are many considerations within the broader subject of men and women in leadership that are dealt with in the Bible. Here we have included a summary of things we see taught across the arc of Scripture that directly bear on our church’s position and practice.

  • We believe that women and men are created equal in the image of God.
  • We believe that full equality between women and men does not mean women and men are completely the same. There is goodness and beauty uniquely represented in each gender that profoundly reflects and glorifies God.
  • We believe God gives leadership in the church on the basis of grace, calling, spiritual gifts, obedience, and character.
  • We believe both women and men can and should lead, preach, pastor, and minister within the church. We believe women and men doing this together will result in a more robust ministry of love and grace than one gender can sustain alone.
  • We believe women and men can and should serve in pastoral leadership in the local church.

Element Church believes that men and women are equally gifted and qualified to lead and serve as co-laborers in the church. We do not simply permit, but expressly value, the presence of both men and women in these various facets of church leadership, including the role of elder.

Additionally, we want to share a document from Bridgetown Church (Portland, OR) that is written within the lens of Scriptural authority, careful exegesis, clear explanation, respect to all sides of the conversation and contextualization within a local church leadership context. It also includes an important and clarifying section for those who might include themselves as members of the church while holding a differing interpretation viewpoint. It is written from Bridgetown Church but expresses the views held here at Element. Please click the button below to read the document: Women in Leadership

Element Church Finances

“Giving is one of the central themes in the Bible. Jesus talked more about this subject than Heaven, Hell or prayer. To understand what it means to be a Christ follower we must also understand what it means to be a giver.” – Chris Hodges

2 Corinthians 9:7
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Malachi 3:10
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

At Element Church we recognize tithing both as an act of worship and as God’s primary method of advancing His work: the support of His body: the local church. We believe giving 10% of our income is the Biblical standard for generosity and as followers of Jesus it is our goal to practice Biblical giving. This is not an obligation to God, properly understood it is an invitation from Him. We understand giving in three ways:

1. Tithe
The tithe, or “first fruits” of our labor/income belong to God. We find this principle all through God’s Word. Tithing, giving God the first 10% of our income to the local church, is the primary, practical way we acknowledge that God is first (Proverbs 3:9–10).

2. Offerings
An offering is giving over and above the tithe. The Bible says that by giving generously, we are able to “take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:18–19).

3. The Gift of Giving
The gift of giving is a spiritual gift that God gives to some people (Romans 12:8). It is a Spirit given capacity and desire to serve God by giving of your material resources, far beyond the tithe, to further the work of God.