What kind of clothes should I wear to worship?
You may dress however you feel comfortable.
What kinds of people attend your church?
Our congregation consists of many young families, along with a strong contingent of college students from both Ball State University and Taylor University. Most people describe New Life as a very warm and friendly place.
What happens during a typical worship service at New Life, and how long does it last?
Worship is primarily an opportunity for us to declare the worth and excellence of the triune God. We believe worship should be reverent, biblically-based, and meaningful to people of all walks of life. There are several elements of worship that occur regularly in our services. Here are the service times, and they last between 75 and 90 minutes.
What kinds of music do you play on Sunday mornings?
We seek to choose the best of worship music from a variety of styles and historical settings. This means we will sing contemporary versions of traditional hymns, praise choruses, and modern hymns. Music is most regularly accompanied by piano, guitar, violin, bass and drums.
If I come to your church, will you cram Jesus down my throat?
There is no question that you will hear about Jesus when you come to New Life, but it is our hope that you will hear him presented in a respectful, relevant and loving tone.
Can I attend your church if I am not a Christian?
Absolutely. And we encourage you to bring your non-Christian friends as well. We invite you to help us make New Life a place where non-Christians feel welcome.
I have been to Presbyterian churches that were very liberal. Does this describe New Life?
New Life holds to orthodox Christian doctrine such as the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the inerrancy of the Scriptures, the reality of hell, and the necessity to preach the Gospel. We are also a “confessional” church, which means we hold to a historic summary of doctrine called the Westminster Confession of Faith. This confession is not equal to Scripture in authority, but simply helps summarize the Bible’s teachings. New Life’s denomination (the PCA) is different than the larger, more well-known Presbyterian denomination called the PCUSA.
What is the difference between PCA and PCUSA?
New Life is a Presbyterian church, but it is important to be clear about what we mean by the word “Presbyterian.” There are a number of different Presbyterian denominations, the largest of which is the Presbyterian Church (USA), which is headquartered in Louisville, Ky. New Life is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), which is much smaller than the PC(USA) and is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. The two denominations are common in name only – they do not worship together, they are not accountable to each other, and they have separate annual meetings. Locally, both Westminster and New Life are PCA churches, while First Presbyterian near the BSU campus is a PC(USA) church.
What is the difference between the two? Generally speaking, the PCA is more conservative, and the PC(USA) is more liberal. Although both have a common theological heritage, the PCA holds more closely to the theology of the Westminster Confession of Faith. The PC(USA) voted in the summer of 2011 to allow their churches to ordain gay men and women to the clergy. This decision was not shared by the PCA.
Having said this, there are some PC(USA) churches that hold a theology very close to that which you would find in a PCA church. And the PCA acknowledges that all denominations are plagued by some degree of error, and that no denomination has a total grasp of all of God’s truth.
Should I Become a Member?
When a person becomes a Christian, he/she becomes a member of the universal church, but the universal church finds its expression through local congregations that exist throughout the world. Commitment to local churches seems to be assumed throughout the New Testament (Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1; Rev. 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14, 22). Church membership doesn’t make anyone a Christian, but we believe it is important for Christians to become members of healthy, Bible-based, Gospel-preaching congregations.
I have been to reformed churches that were very strict and conservative. Does this describe New Life?
New Life takes a strong stand on those positions we believe the Bible teaches, but we accept people from all walks of life and seek to avoid rules and regulations not taught in the Bible. The only requirement for being a member of New Life is that you are a person who trusts Jesus Christ alone as your Lord and Redeemer.
You make it clear that you are a Presbyterian church. Why does there have to be so many denominations?
In one sense, we could say that denominations are the result of sin and the inability of fallen men and women to agree on what is important in the Christian life. A more positive explanation, however, is that denominations allow for a healthy diversity within the larger Christian church. Ideally, denominations should learn from one another and appreciate one another’s strengths. Churches that claim no denominational affiliation will nonetheless have distinctive beliefs to which they hold – it might just take you a little longer to find out what they are.
Why do Presbyterians baptize babies?
This is a complex question, but for now, let’s just say that we believe the children of Christian families should be considered a part of the faith community, and therefore should receive baptism – the sign of entrance into that community. Baptism does not magically save the child, but rather points to the need for faith and repentance on the child’s part, which Christian parents can confidently expect since God often works redemptively through family lines.
What is your position on charismatic gifts?
Because the canon of Scripture is closed, we do not expect God to provide additional revelation through other means outside of Scripture.
I believe in Jesus, but I don’t see the need for dry and boring doctrine. Doesn’t attention to doctrine create division in the church?
It has been said that everyone is a theologian – the question is whether you’re a good theologian or a bad one. Even the statement, “Doctrine is unnecessary,” is in itself a doctrinal statement. Doctrine is inescapable, and while it can create division, it also serves to protect the purity of our faith, and provides deeper insight into the wonders of God’s redeeming grace.