At Newsong, everyone is welcome to our community of faith. We endeavor to love, accept, and include every person who comes with a sincere desire to cultivate a love relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus invites each of us to come just as we are, as people created in the image of God. We believe we are loved by him regardless of race, social status, sexual orientation, gender, immigration status, neurodiversity, or political persuasion.
From its inception, Newsong has desired to rightly reflect God’s heart for all people. As “the home of the misfits” –a tagline we take seriously.– Newsong strives to be a church home where everyone is welcomed, a church community where everyone belongs and everyone is included.
Our vision of an inclusive community is not simple, formulaic, or code for a particular political tribe. We recognize there are significant matters regarding which not all Christ followers agree. At Newsong, we press into meaningful, even difficult, conversations with others. The purpose of these conversations is not necessarily to come into lockstep agreement with one another. Instead, the goal is the dialogue itself, doing the hard work of love.
At the heart of faith is the conviction that all who seek God are invited to God’s table. We liken our life together to a family dinner table. Family members are not first required to agree on all issues before sitting at the same table to eat together and enjoy each other’s fellowship. However, good table manners are expected: fruit of the spirit like kindness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).[i] At Newsong, everyone is invited to the Lord’s table. At this table, we want to hear each other’s stories, honor all voices, and ask grace from each other should we misstep along our journey of learning and understanding.
We at Newsong want to do as Jesus did. In his earthly ministry, Jesus often chose to associate with the marginalized, the outcasts, and those considered “sinners” by the religious establishment. He intentionally embraced the least of these as the mainstay of his ministry, including the selection of his inner circle to whom he entrusted the early formation and leadership of his Church. Jesus’ love and acceptance of this group remained uncompromised; his resolve was not thwarted by external pressure to maintain the religious status quo.
In such matters that could otherwise be divisive, we find the instruction from the Apostle Paul in Romans 14:1-4[ii] to be exceedingly helpful.
Love guides us in all the decisions of how we live out what we believe about God and how we relate to one another. We believe that the maturity of our faith is expressed in the way we love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7,13)[iii] Love also calls us to systemically address the power dynamics wherever it exists, where those with power choose to invest it in the flourishing of those who are marginalized.
There is much diversity at Newsong. We have a rich representation of backgrounds, histories, and traditions, which means we won’t all be in perfect alignment in every area. We will, however, remain united in our commitment to Jesus, to continuously grow in our faith, and to activate kingdom-living in the world. So, no matter who you are, we invite you to join our mission to zealously love God and the misfits of this world, as we all continue to draw closer to Jesus.
[i] 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)
[ii] Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. (Romans 14:1-4 NIV)
[iii] 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7; 13 NLT)