Adam Barcott (center), founding pastor of New City Church, helps children develop relationships in a group setting.
Giving of one’s time to help others most often results in a feeling of satisfaction and meaning. Adam Barcott, founding pastor of New City Church, is committed to providing service opportunities for those looking to make a difference. New City invites everyone to participate in the numerous service projects the church coordinates.
“Whether people attend our church or not, we want them to feel comfortable to serve with us,” Barcott said. “My goal is to give them the opportunity and steps to realize that quality of life is improved as you enter into a life of meaning, impact and community.”
Christ-centered and nondenominational, New City’s services are designed to be interactive, combining multimedia with sermons that are relatable to today’s world. The church meets Sundays at 6 p.m., and sermons also are available as podcasts via the church’s website.
Child care is provided during services for children from birth through fourth grade. Children are encouraged to develop relationships with Jesus Christ, adult leaders and other children in a group setting using games, crafts, music, dance, puppets and outdoor play. They also are taught messages from the Bible through engaging discussions, with the goal of helping them apply the lessons to their lives. All child care volunteers are CPR-certified.
As a youth, Barcott learned how service can impact one’s life.
“I was a counselor at summer camps while I was in high school,” he said. “Helping the kids in the camp fueled my belief in God and a desire to serve.”
After high school, Barcott received a bachelor’s in history from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, Calif., and teacher’s certification from the University of Central Florida. After teaching in public and private schools for six years, he made the decision to go to seminary. He graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and was ordained in 2006.
“My time as a middle school teacher proved to be great preparation for becoming a pastor,” Barcott said. “Teaching not only sparked my love for the community, but the desire to bring the love of God to it.”After working as an associate pastor at a local church, Barcott and his wife, Val, embarked upon the huge endeavor of starting a church that encompassed their belief in service.
“We believe God uses service to accomplish extraordinary things,” Barcott said. “When you serve with others, you develop relationships, not only with the other volunteers, but with the people you are serving.”
Barcott believes service to others produces a sense of gratification, but it also exposes people to the reality that the world is not as it should be; things could be better. According to Barcott, this can open up dialogues that move youth and adults beyond complaining about inequality, injustice and poor decisions into partnerships that work for solutions.
“I don’t think we are necessarily called to solve all the problems of the world, but I feel we are called to love and help solve the problems around us,” he said. “We want to make service opportunities more accessible. Giving an hour of your time really is minimal if you think about it. It’s like sitting down and watching TV.”
Many people want to serve, but they either do not know where to go or feel they have nothing to offer.
“My dream is to help people realize that God has always served the world through normal people who are willing to give their time and abilities to service.”
Barcott stated that his benchmark of success is not to see how many members he can acquire, but how many people he can connect with others through service.
“We want to lead people into a life of meaning and impact,” he said.
Organizations that benefit from New City’s volunteer efforts include the Women and Children’s Division of Orlando Union Rescue Mission, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida Inc., Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Inc., Matthew’s Hope, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, and Downtown Credo.
Val also is very involved in the operation of New City, taking responsibility for the website, finances and other organizational aspects.
“I could never do this without her,” Barcott said. “I am the dreamer, and she is the logical, grounded one. We make a good team.”
New City Church meets Sundays at 6 p.m. at Christ Community Church, located at 5425 S. Apopka-Vineland Road in Orlando. For more information, visit www.newcitynow.com on the Web.
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