Most recognize something different about our congregation when they first come in. Some people really like it while others are pretty skeptical. It’s the key to our success: Hospitality.
While most people think of hospitality as being nice to people to make them feel welcomed, we see it as much more than that. Hospitality is to help people feel “at home”. When new people walk in the doors of New Life, our anticipation is that they will have a visceral feeling that this is the place to be.
We want people to feel like they can belong here and we make every effort to help that be so. At the same time, we also tell people that it’s a 50/50 proposition. The congregation can provide the opportunities, but it is important for people to step into them. The success of our congregation is dependent upon participation and not simply observation.
There is another depth to what happens at New Life when with regard to hospitality. It’s called “Kingdom” depth. It’s our hope that people will not only feel like this can be home. We also anticipate that we are emulating the dynamic nature of God’s “Kingdom Presence”. We hope that when people feel what’s different here, they will come to know it as a prelude to their participation what Jesus called, “The Kingdom of God” (God’s realm in and beyond this world). Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is “at hand” (Mark 1). The sensation that people feel at New Life is the Kingdom breaking in, in new ways, to their lives.
New Life Congregation is an invitation to the vitality of God’s Kingdom where people matter and their participation makes a difference not only for them, but also for the wider respects of God in our world. People matter to God and one of the purposes of New Life is to give people the opportunities to matter.
There is vibrancy and celebration in all that we do at New Life. People respect and admire each other. We have each other’s back. We allow the Spirit of God to work through us so that we recognize the identity we have and the opportunities that God has given us.
When once the invitation becomes somewhat familiar, there is a beckoning from God that we might come to profound knowledge of our spiritual selves. We focus on Spiritual Formation (understanding and practicing how God is intentionally empowering us while breathing through us). We look to know ourselves as God knows us and to live as God always has known we could. The sermons, classes, and teachings offer insights into our souls and how God’s soul intimately connects with ours so that our lives are vibrant, good, and filled with significance. At the same time, we become more and more aware of who God is and how God really operates.
At New Life, you will not find “Bible Study Sermons”. Instead, they are messages that bring the creative God of the universe more to life. They are prophetic sermons focusing on Gods great intentions for us and give practical information as to how to live good and glorious lives even as we face the occasional speed bumps and maneuver around them or work to shovel them away. Scripture is vital for New Life. It helps us understand God and ourselves in a dynamic relationship.
People of New Life are encouraged to live fully in their local communities participating in opportunities to make a positive difference. We know that God empowers us and gives us these occasions. We give our best to the incredible people and world that God has given us.