At New City Church we understand our mission to be simple: Making Disciples. Period. Equally simple is our philosophy of ministry: Discipleship happens in relationship. Forming deep Christian community is the key to being all that God intends for us to be. Therefore, we seek to spend time together in a variety of ways. The practical outcome of both our mission and our philosophy of ministry is New City Church is not driven by programming. Many churches may find offering a slate of programs to be beneficial; at New City we are called to pursue the mission differently. Whether Bible studies or City Groups or sharing meals together, we seek to spend significant time together as we grow in faith and become more like Jesus.
Gathering together as the body of Christ is central to what it means to be the church. We worship weekly in our building located on the corner of Spencer and Plainfield, from 10:00–11:40 every Sunday morning. Our address: 214 Spencer St NE.
At New City Church our worship services include at least six elements. They are:
- giving of offerings
- public reading of Scripture
- preaching of God’s Word
- communion and/or baptism
At New City prayer is a central feature of our worship. Our practice is to receive a request from someone and for someone in the church to immediately pray for that request. This can take five minutes or it can take 25 minutes, as the Lord leads. An Elder of the church leads this prayer time.
Since COVID we no longer pass an offering plate. Those who seek to worship through giving may place their offering in the box in the back of the auditorium that is designated for this or they may give electronically via the giving kiosk in the back of the auditorium or by going to our website and clicking GIVE. Regardless of the method, giving is an act of worship.
As part of our worship we have a Scripture reading. We work our way through a lectionary. The lectionary takes us through the whole scope of Scripture in a given year. This reading is performed by various gifted people in the church who lead the church in worship through hearing God’s word.
Singing is a significant part of our worship together. We sing a mix of hymns and contemporary worship songs, though we are very selective as to which songs. While there are many helpful and beneficial songs, to be a worship song fit for a congregation, a song must be singable and must point us to who God is and what he’s done. As Paul told the Colossians, we must “teach and admonish one another…singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3:16). We seek to embrace a variety of styles as this is implied in “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” as psalms reflected Jewish culture and hymns reflected Greek culture. Spiritual songs were any songs written by a believer led by the Spirit of God. A church should, therefore, seek diversity within its worship music.
Every week we preach Christ and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2), whether through a topical series or through a whole book of the Bible. Most of our preaching is through Bible books but from time to time we will preach topically, but always with Christ at the center of our preaching. Generally speaking, the Scripture text determines the sermon, which is a significant reason for preaching through whole books. This prevents “hobby horse” type preaching and since all of Scripture points to Jesus Christ, it roots our preaching in him. Preaching through whole books also forces us to cover all sorts of topics that may otherwise go ignored, for the text determines the sermon. The aim of our preaching is always worship by making much of Jesus and by encouraging and strengthening his people.
From the beginning of the church, Christians have celebrated the Lord’s Supper weekly. This changed for many traditions after the Reformation. At New City we celebrate who Jesus is and what he’s done every week through communion. Every service ends with communion as an act of worship. As the Lord saves men and women and they join us, we also celebrate baptism in a regular worship service. We end each service by reciting the Apostles’ Creed, celebrating our Trinitarian faith in God and our unity in Jesus Christ. From beginning to end, our Sunday services are meant to be filled with worship.
Throughout the New Testament Scriptures Christians are given numerous “one another” instructions. Through love we must serve one another (Galatians 5:13). We must be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32). We must bear with one another (Colossians 3:13). We must love one another (1 Thessalonians 4:9).
While we can accomplish some of these “one anothers” during our Sunday morning worship times, it is nearly impossible to do each of them. Most of the instructions for how Christians should relate to one another can best be accomplished in deep, Christian community.
At New City we believe that deep, Christian community forms best in small groups. This is the pattern of the early church as well, for the church in Jerusalem met in the temple—the gathered assembly—and “from house to house” (Acts 2:46). This pattern is found in Corinth as well. In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul speaks of those times the church in Corinth would gather as “the whole church”. If they only ever gathered as the whole church this would be an unnecessary clarification. It is because they also gathered in smaller groups that he needed to specify the Sunday gathered assembly of the whole church. This is significant for while the church in Jerusalem was over 3,000 believers, the church in Corinth was less than 100, yet they needed smaller groups as well.
At New City we call our small groups “City Groups.” We do not arrange these groups around life stages or affinities (for example, young families, “empty-nesters”, retirees, etc.). Since God has given us the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:16-20) and since God desires diversity among his people (Colossians 3:11; Revelation 5:9), we believe that by forming a deep sense of community with a diverse group, we are better representing God and his Gospel.
Our City Groups meet twice per month and are organized purely by the day of week that works for each person. It is in our City Groups that real care and love for one another takes place. In our Groups we share a meal and pray for one another. These Group enable us to exercise our spiritual gifts in a greater way as we seek to continue fostering community together.
Please join us for corporate prayer every Sunday morning at 9:00 in the Conference Room. We spend time interceding for each other, our community, and our leaders. This is separate from our extended prayer time during our worship service and offers a more intimate setting for sharing prayer requests.
At New City we strive to come alongside parents and caregivers to provide love, service, and support as we carry out the mission of New City Church: Making disciples. Period. Children are always welcome in our worship services.
We believe the Bible is not just a bunch of flannel-graph stories that teach moral lessons, but rather it is God’s story of who he is, what he has done, and what our response is. We teach that the truth of the Gospel—that Jesus is everything—is accessible to everyone. Children learn about God and this amazing world he has created and how Jesus has come to make all things new.
But a truly effective childrens’ program is not one that takes the place of parents but rather enforces, encourages, and equips parents and caregivers with the tools they need to perform the roles God has given them. We want to see entire families grow together in Christ.
Currently, we offer infant and toddler Nursery during our worship service. Newborns through age 3 are welcome in the Nursery during the service. In accordance with our Child Protection Policy, only women serve in the Nursery. The difficult truth is this: there is no demographic for a person who would harm a child, whether age or race or education or cultural background or income level. The only demographic that is consistent for those who would harm children is he is male. Not every male is dangerous, but by far nearly every predator is male. By eliminating males of any age from serving in the Nursery, we effectively mitigate the possibility of harm. Still, every woman who serves in the Nursery has been carefully screened and a background check has been performed to ensure your child’s safety. We want you to know that your child is in good hands so that you can enjoy your worship experience.
To engage our kiddos during the service, we provide Activity Boxes for them. These boxes have various activities in them. For those who are older, there are “Childrens’ Bulletins” for them to fill out during the service such as listing a prayer request and a song we sang in the service. During the sermon there will be a “Smarty Word” listed on screen for the kids to look for. In the Apostles’ Creed at the end of the service one word will be a different color. Through this we seek to keep the children engaged.
For those children ages 4 through first grade, we provide a children’s lesson during the preaching portion of the service. Prior to the sermon we have a Childrens’ Story read to them in front. After the story those who go to the class are dismissed.
Children are always welcome in our worship services. We enjoy our children in the worship service because it goes back to our core belief that worship is intended to be experienced as God’s family. Excluding children from this experience simply doesn’t make sense to us.
There are numerous ways to serve the church, whether greeting folk or singing or playing an instrument. Simply being present and involved in the worship service is a great encouragement to others. There is always a need for ladies to serve in the Nursery and for capable men and women to serve our young children’s class during the sermon. In addition there are numerous opportunities for service that arise simply from being in community together.