THE BIBLE is the inspired Word of God, is without error, and contains everything we need to know about having a right relationship with Him. The Bible is the basis for all of our essential beliefs.
GOD is one, yet He mysteriously exists in three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), who are to be equally loved, honored, and adored.
ALL PEOPLE are created in the image of God, and are therefore filled with dignity and worthy of honor and respect. At the same time, in their natural state people are opposed to God (or "sinful"), and because of this are separated from Him, and without hope unless He graciously rescues them from their broken condition.
JESUS CHRIST is mysteriously both fully God and fully man, and is the one and only Mediator who is able to restore the broken relationship between God and any person.
RESTORATION between God and any person (also called "salvation") begins when the Holy Spirit gives the person a new heart, leading and enabling him or her to trust (have faith) in Jesus Christ for salvation.
GOOD WORKS do not and cannot make a person acceptable to God, but are the natural and necessary outcome of authentic faith in Jesus Christ.
THE CHURCH is the family of God, and consists of those who possess genuine faith in Jesus Christ. God desires for all members of His worldwide church, together with their children, to be active in a local church which meets regularly to worship God, love and serve each other, learn from the Bible, and reach out to the local community and the world.
Ask anyone at Oak Hills what our vision is and you’re likely to hear the words, “To know and make known the astonishing grace of God.”
Our hearts connect deeply with the teaching of Scripture that each person, in his or her own way, is broken. Because of sin, we have become alienated from God, other people, and our true selves. At Oak Hills, we strive to be a group of people who continue to embrace our complete inability to redeem ourselves and who rejoice in our God who has lavished His great redeeming work upon us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Humbled by His astonishing grace, we make it a priority for Oak Hills to be a safe and natural place to be authentic…where people enjoy the freedom to be honest about themselves, their weaknesses, and their struggles with God and other people. We believe it is only in this context that a true, grace-centered community can occur.
While experiencing the astonishing grace of God and with a sincere desire to walk in His ways, we humbly long to make this same grace known to all who come through our doors, live in our neighborhoods, and even around the world.
Rev. Dale Thiele, Senior Pastor
By God’s grace, Dale grew up in a God-fearing, church-attending family. In fact, Dale recognizes that the work of God in his life is rooted in the prayers of his grandparents long before he was even born. Dale’s family is from northern Illinois. Dale met his wife, Erin, in northern Wisconsin, while serving at a church, and God knit their lives together in marriage in June 2000. God has blessed Dale and Erin with five sons and one daughter, who keep their home full of activity. Dale enjoys reading, camping, traveling, recreational sports, and playing with his kids.
Early in Bible college, Dale sensed God’s call on his life to proclaim the glories of God in the gospel of Christ. In pursuit of that calling, Dale has studied at Moody Bible Institute, The Bethlehem Institute, and Covenant Theological Seminary. Over these years, God has led Dale to serve in the local church in a variety of ministry positions, including teaching Bible and theology at the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary for a school year.
Dale has come to believe and experience that our only hope, joy, and peace in this life is found in and through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dale’s prayer for Oak Hills echoes Paul’s prayer in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Rev. Jon Dunning, Associate Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries
Pastor Jon grew up in the small town of Neenah, Wisconsin, learning how to play the drums, shoveling snow, and rooting for the Green Bay Packers. He was raised in a faithful Christian home where Jesus is loved and His word is trusted, and he has been involved in church since before he can remember. While studying mathematics and secondary education at Miami University (Ohio) and through his involvement with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, he began to sense God’s call on his life to vocational ministry. Jon attended seminary in St. Louis and fell in love with Tricia who built military aircraft for a living and sang in the church choir. They were married in December 1999 and now have three awesome children—Lucy, Jack and Thad. Jon is daily amazed by the grace and patience of his family, and he loves being a dad more than he ever thought possible.
Pastor Jon came to Oak Hills in the fall of 2003 to serve the young people of Oak Hills and their families. He can’t believe that he gets paid to study God’s word, hang out with people, and talk about Jesus. As often as he can, Jon listens to music, though as often as not you may find him listening to a sermon or a lecture. He also enjoys reading, watching movies, throwing a Frisbee, and following college and professional football.
Upreach: The first and greatest commandment
Jesus summarized the entire “law and the prophets” by saying that we are to love the Lord our God with everything that we have and are. Loving God is our most consuming and glorious calling. This has primary reference to our commitment to be, above everything else, a worshipping community. We are committed to developing worship that is “in spirit and in truth.” Reality, not mere ritual, is our goal. If we could be known for any one thing, we would want it to be that we are a family of believers who love our Lord openly and unashamedly. He alone is worthy of all of our affection.
Inreach: The second great commandment
Jesus also gave a second “great” commandment, which he said was like the first. It calls us to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves.” Love demonstrates that we are true followers of Jesus Christ. Thus, at Oak Hills we are committed to become and grow as a caring and discipling community. God has made us for relationship, with Himself and with each other. And yet, while there is nothing as satisfying as good relationships, there is nothing as hard to come by. Relationships require work. Relationships require openness, honesty, and vulnerability. And they take time. But these relationships are truly the foundation for the Body of Christ.
Outreach: The great commission
The third part of our philosophy of ministry concerns our commitment to become an outreaching community. The very last words Jesus spoke to His disciples before He ascended were in the form of a parting charge. We have been commissioned to take the glorious gospel of God’s saving grace to every nation, beginning with our own hometown. History, as we know it, is bound up with God’s commitment to redeem for Himself a people from every race, tribe, tongue, and nation. Thus, at Oak Hills we are excited about both home and world missions; ministries of proclamation and demonstration; church planting in the greater Metro-Kansas City area; and being a “sending and spending” church to the far corners of the earth. One of the main ways that we demonstrate the reality of our love for God is by loving all people who bear His image.
All three – Upreach, Inreach, and Outreach, are vital. We are not being faithful to one if we neglect the other two.
Our roots trace back to the 16th and 17th century Reformation when people like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and others led the church in recovering biblical Christianity. Their passion was a faith that emphasized salvation by grace through faith in Jesus alone, the Divine inspiration of the Old and New Testaments, and the sovereign majesty of God.
We are part of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). The PCA is a young denomination headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. It was founded in 1973 by a group of godly men who had a vision for a denomination that would provide the benefits and safeguards of a “framework” for like-minded and like-hearted local churches, yet also one that would respect the individuality and uniqueness of each local church within the larger denominational family. The PCA has more than 1,000 churches throughout the United States and parts of Canada. It is currently the fastest growing denomination in America with a vital commitment to world evangelization, as evidenced by its missions works in more than 35 countries around the world. Well-known pastors and theologians in the PCA include the late Francis Schaeffer, the late James Montgomery Boice, RC Sproul, Steve Brown, Jerram Barrs, Scotty Smith, Tim Keller, Randy Pope, and Bryan Chapell. You can learn more about the PCA by visiting its website or by phoning our office at (913) 341-4500.