Where were you when…

…Kennedy was shot? …the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded? …terrorists attacked on 9/11? …the
world shut down due to COVID-19?

Last year, about the same time this is being written, COVID-19 joined the list. For many of us it was
March 13th . We had been hearing about this thing called a coronavirus for a few months but suddenly it
became real. Seemingly overnight hand sanitizer and toilet paper were hot commodities. We thought it
might pass quickly. But it didn’t.

And yet…

You don’t have to spend much time around New Life before you hear Brett quote Ephesians 3:20-21,
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power
that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for
ever and ever! Amen.” The global pandemic highlighted how God had prepared New Life for this season.
God had gone before us. He had made the path clear before we even knew what would happen.

As we take a look at the last year, we see lived out that God is able to “immeasurably more that we
could ask or imagine.

Let’s start with our Online Campus.

When the Online Campus launched the summer of 2014, the vision was that this could be a way that
folks who were travelling over the summer months could stay connected and for new people to connect
to New Life. It served as a front door for people to dip their toes in the water before coming to a service.
The Online Campus grew into a community of people who worship online together each week. So when
states began to limit or even ban in-person gatherings New Life was able to seamless continue worship
expanding the online campus from roughly 275 people per week to over 1,500 people overnight. Sure,
we had to upgrade some systems, but God had gone ahead and prepared us to have all the critical
infrastructure in place.

One Church. Three Locations… Until it was all three locations worshiping together as one.

Life Groups

Life groups met continually through the past year utilizing Zoom and other technology we were already
familiar with. We can thank Passion for Planting (P4P) for prepping us for this! You see P4P had been
using the Zoom platform for a few years in the church planting cohort. So when groups were not able to
meet safely in person, we were able to pivot and switch groups to online zoom groups keeping our
community together. God had also been teaching us about Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) and our need
to have more people leading groups. This prep work allowed us to start over a dozen new groups almost
immediately to serve people who desperately needed community. Three of the new groups focused
specifically on prayer. They still meet every week; praying for our church and our community.

While many groups remain online at this time, there are groups that have moved to both hybrid and in-
person gathers as people have felt comfortable. To find a Life Group to call home, visit:


The KidZone team came together to keep our kids engaged and learning about God quickly and in
creative ways. Each week, KidZone posted videos for the kids to worship along with, published handouts
online, and even met via zoom several times a week. From game times to teaching, the KidZone team
was able to keep our kids engaged and learning about Jesus! God had prepared the KidZone team by
developing the talents necessary to make our curriculum work online. Even with in-person KidZone now
available, we’re still able to serve children online no matter where they live.

Serving the Community

Serving the community has had several looks throughout the last year. In the spring, we saw healthy
New Lifers picking up and delivering food, groceries and other necessities to families in need. New Lifers
came together to serve the under-resourced in the community quickly. We are thankful that God had
gone before us in this, putting into place through the years the relationships that were needed to
minister to families in need in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties.

Even with shutting down for a month, Passion for Community (P4C) exceeded every metric set in the
previous year. More volunteers delivered more beds and more furniture to more families on more
weekends. P4C had to cancel their annual fundraising golf tournament, turned down a Government
Grant due to strings that were attached, and still met every financial obligation ending the year
financially stronger than it began. God provided. He always does.

Family Fun Events Expanded

New Life has a bit of experience in hosting family fun events. We’ve been doing them for years. Now the
question was how do we reach a community that is not ready to meet together in large groups yet? You
hold drive-thru or outdoor events! New Life was able to hold three drive-thru events last year! In the
fall, Linton Hall held a drive-thru trunk or treat, which lead to a Christmas drive-thru at Piney Branch ES
that over 300 cars and a 30-minute back-up on Linton Hall Road! While we don’t endorse stopping
traffic, we do endorse folks being introduced to a church that cares for them in their community! In
Chantilly we held the first annual Drive-Thru Nativity. Nearly 600 cars experience the joy of Christmas
and the Good New of a Savior come to this world. Our years of mobilizing volunteers to serve our
community through Fall Fun Fests and other similar events paid off huge.

Flexible Meeting Spaces

When a campus meets in a school, and schools are closed, where does a campus meet? Linton Hall
faced this question throughout the last year. When in-person meetings were starting up again, Linton
Hall was able to meet in the parking lot at Linton Hall for drive-in services. But as the weather turned
cooler and Christmas eve on the horizon we prayed for a warmer, indoor solution. We were blessed to
be able to hold Christmas Eve services at The Great Hall @ Farm Brew Live. However, right after the New
Year this facility closed for new construction. Where to now?

God was doing immeasurably more that we could ask or imagine in the background. In early 2021, a
quick announcement from stage on a Sunday morning led a New Lifer to offer their dance studio for
Linton Hall’s services! Yay God! He worked through the owner to provide the space and had taught us
how to be flexible in space so we could quickly adapt and take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Faith over Fear

With limited in-person gatherings, and less than ideal face-to-face time with others, disciples were still
made. We celebrated the 63 changed lives in 2020. Faith won out over fear for many people as they
came to the nZone to be baptized, were baptized at home, or even in an outdoor park. We celebrate
these changed lives and thank God for His work through people who shared their faith with others.

Many New Lifers were able to start conversations with neighbors and coworkers about faith as we had
intentionally begun basic disciple making training before the pandemic. God had prepared us to be less
dependent on the “large” gatherings and more reliant on individuals who followed His command to go
and make disciples.

The nZone

Since the nZone opened, it has been a safe place for families to bring their kids when school is not in
sessions. When the nZone reopened in the summer of 2020, camps were among the first programs to
relaunch at the nZone. These camps helped the nZone refine safety protocols and laid the groundwork
to be able to launch a program for kids in virtual education called Education Station in the fall. Over 80
families were able to find a bit of normalcy while their kids had a safe practical place to do their online
schooling and interact with other kids. God taught us the skills needed to pull this of across a variety of
programs in the preceding years. While we had never done something quite like this in the past, it was
an easy adaptation since He had gone before us.

He also went ahead of us by providing a team that completed a huge, top to bottom, cleaning and
sanitation of the nZone during the shutdown. Operation Servant Heart is still active at the nZone serving
quietly in the background to connect people and make the nZone a better place.

Around the Country. Around the World.

Passion for Planting. works with church-planters around the country to start new churches. The past
year was challenging for our planters. Even so, with P4P’s support, four new in-person and three new
virtual churches were started around the country! This is due in part to your generosity. Twelve percent
your offerings are put invested in starting new churches. This was just another way we saw God going
before us this year as giving continued and God was able to use what was given to continue expanding
His Church.

In conclusion…

Words like unprecedented, extraordinary, and unparalleled have been thrown around this past year. For
most of us, we have not experienced anything like this before. Even through a year that was different,
with new and unique challenges we continue to see God working like the Bible tells us in Ephesians 3:20-
21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power
that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for
ever and ever! Amen.”

Thank you for being a part of God’s work here at New Life.