How New Life Church Measured Spiritual Growth and Provided a Digital Giving Platform

Tracks the spiritual progress of more than 20,000 attendees

I think having robust digital and technological resources are as important as having a physical building. I would argue, at this point, it’s more important than having a physical building. If you are a part of my generation or older, you weren’t a real church unless you had a building. And I’m saying this now; you’re not a real church until you have a great online experience and a way for people to give digitally.

Brian Jenkins, New Life Church


Growth sits at the heart of what New Life Church in Renton, Washington, is all about. Just look at the church’s mission statement: “Leading people in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.”

But that’s not just an empty slogan for New Life. “We’re here to do one thing, and that’s really it. I know a lot of churches say that, but that is really what our focus is. For us, that means we’re developing people who will go out and share the love of Jesus. That’s what we do.”

Through that process, New Life is helping people move closer and closer into the church family. Brian Jenkins, who serves as the church’s teaching and theology pastor, describes the goal like this: “For us, that family member is helping to make ends meet, they’re in relationship with the family, and they’re helping to get the chores done.” In other words, Jenkins says, they’re part of a small group, they’re giving, and they’re serving.

Like most churches, New Life leads people to this place in their fellowship through a series of conversations, classes, and ministry opportunities.
The church is constantly looking at this process–from the moment people engage with a social media post or a church invite to the point where they are an active part of the church family. As they do, they’re trying to make the process as effective as possible.


When the church was smaller, it was easier to track this spiritual-growth process without the help of technology. Pastors could know firsthand whether a person was participating and serving in the church through their knowledge of the congregation. As the church has grown to more than 5,000 people in attendance most weekends, New Life needed a way to see where people were in their discipleship process.

Located in the Pacific Northwest, a well-known hub for technology, New Life realized they needed to be ahead of the curve when it came to engaging their community digitally. That meant finding digital tools that could help them get a clear picture of how the church community was growing and giving.

“There’s no way you can keep accurate track of those people without some kind of a platform that would be able to capture all the nitty-gritty details,” says Jennifer Smith, Pastor, Ministry Systems. “Addresses and emails and phone numbers and giving and all of the above so you can know your congregation. You just can’t do that without some kind of a system.”


Tracks the spiritual progress of more than 20,000 attendees


In 2014, New Life Church became one of the first churches to partner with Pushpay as a digital-giving solution. Besides making it easier for the New Life community to give and be generous, it also gave the church a birdseye view of key metrics in its discipleship process. Today, 70 percent of the church now gives digitally through Pushpay, making it easier to see how the church community is growing in this area.

The church also kept looking for a church management system that would help them track the other elements of engagement the church values. After trying a few solutions that proved clunky and ineffective, the church started partnering with Church Community Builder in 2017.

“For me I would say Church Community Builder is what gives us that temperature with our people,” Smith said. “That’s where we log who’s been baptized, who’s been saved, who are our first- time guests, and who our first time givers are. Those are our dashboards and metrics to be able to take the temperature of the congregation. It has really just given us that ability to report in all those areas.”


For New Life Church tracking increased engagement isn’t about dry statistics. It’s about people—and more effectively reaching their community through its four unique campuses spread throughout South King County, Washington. The church doesn’t only want to see people transformed by the good news but to see God change the community, as well. As part of that effort, they invest heavily in community partners.

“We are 150 percent for our community partners,” Smith said. “Vision House, Vine Maple Place, all of the food banks and shelters in our area, we want to be a part of what they’re doing. We don’t take over. We come in alongside. We provide finances, and we provide volunteers.

In 2019, the church contributed $25,000 toward Vine Maple Place, a local Christian organization that ministers to women and children who need shelter and helps break generational cycles of homelessness.

The church also mobilized 900 volunteers from throughout its four campuses to coordinate a “Night to Shine” with the Tim Tebow Foundation. The program provides a prom experience for special-needs youth. The church also cares and supports the family caregivers during this time as well, providing a special room where volunteers “spoil them rotten,” including food, prizes, and time for them just to relax.

Technology doesn’t do any of this ministry for New Life. Instead, it helps them to understand and accelerate the ministry that’s happening. Every week, Smith sends other pastors on staff with a ministry dashboard that provides them with some of the most important information about how people are growing at the church.

Smith says she looks forward to the opportunities available now with the December 2019 union of Pushpay and Church Community Builder. Together, she believes they’ll be better able to serve churches like New Life by more tightly integrating the two systems. She expects this will provide them with more in-depth data and a more complete picture of where people are in their discipleship journey.

“When you’re organized and you have a database that can be organized, it helps you focus on the mission of God,” Smith said. “It helps you focus on what’s really important and you’re not worried about it. If it’s organized and it gives you the information you need, you can focus on the true mission of God, which is to reach the lost for Christ.”

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