NLCF is an interdenominational church with two congregations: a student congregation (Collegiate) and a community congregation (Generations). Our vision is to invest in spiritual growth, invite others to follow Jesus, and inspire each other to change the world. We carry this out with Sunday worship gatherings, Engage Groups (our version of small groups), men’s and women’s ministries, missions, and more.
We invite you to take a look through our website to find out more about us. If you have any questions, feel free to send us an email.
Mission and Beliefs
The church has always had an important, but touchy, role in the cultures where it has existed. On the one hand, Jesus clearly calls all of us who follow him to be like him, to help people see how much love God has for them, to help them see how meaningful a life he is calling them to lead, and to honestly live that life as well. Put simply, the church shouldn’t just talk about the good news, it should be the good news. That by itself can be tough enough!
But it’s actually more than that. It isn’t just what we do, but how we do it that seems to really matter to God.
To be a people that don’t expect everyone to come to us, but to see that we are a people that are sent to others.
To be a people that are dedicated to the service of others, not just being served ourselves.
To be a people that are more and more convinced that God’s heart for this world is better than anything that humanity has fielded on its own, and a people that are living like that is true.
NLCF exists “to be a catalytic hub of people and churches that transform the world spiritually, relationally, and socially.” That’s what we are striving for and by the grace of God and the power of the gospel, we are making progress.
We are a multi-congregational church of approximately 300 people that reaches out to students at Virginia Tech, Radford, and a growing number of community members in the New River Valley.
In the past 30 plus years, we have planted several churches and sent many more folks out into the mission field all around the world. We love serving in a college town because we believe our role in the kingdom is to measure our success by our sending capacity and not our seating capacity.
We value the ancient roots of our faith. Soon after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the church began to develop a clearly articulated expression of what Christians believe. Various creeds and confessions emerged. The church struggled as a community to achieve a communal expression of the faith. This ultimately (but not exclusively) culminated in the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. We stand together with Christians everywhere across the centuries that have embraced these basic statements of faith. These creeds form the core expression of our faith. At NLCF, these creeds are foundational for how we understand and express the truth of God’s story today.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and to life in the world to come.
Here is a list of questions we often get from people who visit our community. Some of them are asked more often by those who aren’t accustomed to attending a church gathering, and others by those that are. Either way, this is a good place to start. Let us know if these don’t answer your questions or lead to more.
What is your basic mission? What are you trying to do?
Our mission, goals, or whatever you want to call it, can be summed up in three simple words: Invest, Invite and Inspire. We invest in one another’s spiritual growth, but also the spiritual growth of those we live and work around everyday. We invite those that haven’t become followers of Jesus to do so, and to accept his forgiveness and begin to lead a life like he led. Then we inspire one another to change the world. We aren’t just here to soak up all the God stuff we can and then wait until heaven for the good stuff to start. Jesus actually taught quite clearly that he saw great beauty among the brokenness in our world now and he wants us to be heavily involved in drawing attention to what God is doing today. We are constantly sending each other out into the world to be witnesses to the risen Messiah. Sometimes this works out as a church ministry, but more often than not, this looks like each of us seeking to live out the mission of Jesus in our families, neighborhoods, work places, towns, cities and world.
Why do you meet in so many places and not just one big church?
For us, there hasn’t ever been a felt need to gather together in a particular kind of place. Over the history of the New Testament church, they have met everywhere from tombs around decaying bodies to magnificent cathedrals. For us, the issue is more about what we are trying to do. Then we look for a space the meets those needs and one that we can afford!
What is your model for leadership?
We believe that God has gifted and called all different kinds of leaders but has also called all of us to be deeply involved in the life of the community. We have a team of community leaders and Elders (Pastors) who lead and guide our mission.
What are your beliefs about the Bible and Jesus?
We believe that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God that testifies to the truth that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Messiah for whom the people of Israel were awaiting. As Messiah, Jesus Christ has defeated death through his death, burial and resurrection. We eagerly await the future when God will dwell with His people and all things will be made new (Rev. 21). A a church, we stand together with Christians throughout the world and across the centuries who express their faith through the Apostles and Nicene Creeds.
How is Generations different from the Collegiate Congregation?
If you were to attend both congregations, you would notice many things that are alike. This is because we are both a part of one church with one mission. This mission is occasionally accomplished differently. Generations is geared toward graduate students, young professionals, families, young and old. The atmosphere of the Sunday gatherings and structure of specific ministries will reflect that. The Collegiate Congregation is primarily geared toward college students; likewise, the atmosphere and structures will reflect that focus. Though each congregation is geared toward different groups of people, any and everyone is welcome at any of the services.
What is the role of communion in your Sunday Gatherings?
We believe that our life together as a community, joined with the global and historical body of Christ, is shaped by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In partaking in this practice, we follow the words of Jesus and “proclaim his death until he comes.” Communion is Christ’s invitation to be partakers of His life, death, and resurrection.
While there is no explicit command to participate in the Lord’s Supper every time we gather together, we do take the examples we see in the early church as good patterns to follow:
Acts 20:7 reads, “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread…”
Acts 2:42 reads, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
In 1 Corinthians 11:25 Paul writes, “In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
In our Campus Congregation, we celebrate communion as often as we sense the prompting from the Lord. At times it has been weekly, other times monthly. At our Generations congregation, we celebrate weekly.