Here are our values and key thoughts:

1) New Life is not currently closed.

We aren’t closed! We are only ministering in a modified format and are arguably reaching more people than we have ever reached in the history of the church. If you looked at our online viewership and extrapolated numbers from each view, we are reaching far more than 500 people (350 adults) each week. And that is just counting the Sunday morning views.

God is good, and we are not closed! We are still ministering, and the Lord is still working!

 

2) In regards to on-campus meetingsNew Life is and will be very intentional and focused on creating and sustaining high quality, relational environments where people can truly experience God within a community and grow in their faith to encourage that community.

If we are honest, neither New Life nor any other church setting is conditioned to experience community while having to achieve and maintain social distancing. One of our greatest strengths at New Life is our relational and participative quality of ministry.  Certainly, we are not advocating waiting until all COVID-19 restrictions are lifted to get back together, but as we weigh our options, we do want to consider how each of these restrictions would impact the relational and participative aspects of our service.

 

3) New Life’s external witness is important.

New Life also does not want to hinder our witness to our community or to those in our government or health care fields.  I should also mention at this point that the government has never determined what New Life does or doesn’t do in the sense of control. Rather, New Life has always asked, “what does love (Christ’s love) require of us?” We will continue to let that question be a major guide as we move forward. And please know that no Elder currently believes that this is an attempt by our government to destroy the gospel message as no church has been censored online. And again, our out-reach has only grown since COVID-19 closures.

 

4) We value the characteristic of being (and hope you join us in this) flexible and agile.

We will value flexibility and being agile as we monitor the COVID-19 virus and its impact over the next weeks and even months. We will remain flexible and move as God leads us so that we are loving all people well and, in doing so, bringing glory to God’s name. We hope that you will remain flexible as well.

 

New Life Phased Timelines:

Phase 1 (Current):

Small Groups under or at 10 people have the option of meeting in person in homes or at the church. If you do desire to meet at one of New Life’s campuses, we will require that you know exactly how many persons will be in attendance in order to ensure under or up to 10 people are present. We also ask that you continue to social distance in these meetings and that you respect the concerns of your entire group.  In phase 1 there will be no childcare provided by the church.

 

Phase 2 (June 1st):

Starting June first, small-groups over 10 but below 25 will be allowed to begin meeting in person at church (or, of course, in homes if you choose). If you meet at the church, all of the Phase 1 guidelines will apply from above, minus the number restriction from phase 1 and we will reimburse childcare if meeting in homes for small groups (not at church and only once per week). We also encourage small groups to come together in their homes to watch our church services online so as to facilitate group worship and mutual encouragement.

In addition, and I am excited about this, New Life will host in the month of June or a worship event, at a local park (TBD upon government restrictions) so that we can come together as a larger group and worship! If no parks are available, we will utilize our outdoor campus green spaces to accommodate this gathering.

 

Phase 3: (Unknown)

New Life will begin to offer Sunday morning services, perhaps even multiple services on Sunday morning to accommodate wellness requirements as suggested by the CDC, the best health care professionals, and in collusion with ministry best practices. We will have an RSVP system in place to secure your seats for worship and have phones monitored in our office for those a little less sure about the RSVP system. All safety guidelines and protocols will be followed including social distancing, temperature checking, and cleaning regimens. There will be no child-care available at these services until children can be released from social distancing requirements as our children’s space is limited in comparison to national and state restrictions.