New Life Revels in Its Differences
Byline: The Rev. Keith Hallam is pastor of New Life Assembly of God Church in Batavia
For several years now, we have referred to our church as "The Uncommon Church." To answer the obvious question, "Why?," I've written the following, which I would like to think describes all churches.
People often ask why we call ourselves the Uncommon Church. Well, there are many reasons really. In a day when folks don't seem to care much about one another, ours is a genuinely friendly church. We really care what happens to people, not only those inside our church, but those outside as well. There's a real sense of family here that transcends ethnic heritage, social status or theological opinion.
When you come to New Life, you are accepted - right where you are. I think we're uncommon in the sense that we don't try to make people fit a particular mold - we just love them and let God do the rest.
We're uncommon because we're non-traditional. We "do" church differently around here! For us, going to church is an enjoyable experience, not something we anticipate with dread. It's safe to say things are never boring at New Life. We are not afraid to laugh and enjoy our times together. Our services are anything but stiff and formal.
While we respect the presence of God and the sanctity of worship, ours is a church of participators and not observers. Our congregation is encouraged to share in the services with their testimonies, special music, favorite scripture and involvement with any of a number of other ministry opportunities. Our services are designed to be rut-free.
We're uncommon because we've discovered that what folks really want and need are relationships. People are important to us. They are not just a statistic or a number we report to denominational headquarters.
Even our sanctuary is designed to foster interaction and friendships. No one is "way in the back." Our seats are arranged so one can see people's faces instead of the backs of their heads (it's kind of hard to get close to a bald spot, if you know what I mean). People know one another by name and are involved in each other's lives. …