Portraying New Song-Salt Lake

W. Wade Smith had a heart for 'baby busters' when he moved to Salt Lake City in 1995 to plant a downtown church. The ministry at New Song-Salt Lake has reflected his vision for trying to incorporate youth in their twenties and thirties into the church.

New Song-Salt Lake was portrayed in an article in the Salt Lake Tribune on April 13, 1996. Mr. Smith was quoted in that article as saying that he was doing "a generational ministry, rather than a denominational ministry." The article states: "While New Song is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of America, Smith's congregation is nondenominational." [It has been recently suggested by one of the principals that these quotes may have been misquotes.-Ed.]

The article also mentioned that New Song-Salt Lake was into community projects, including participation in TreeUtah, Habitat for Humanity, and the Special Olympics.

New Song-Salt Lake's Unique Worship Practices

In an effort to reach "baby busters," New Song-Salt Lake has employed styles of worship and forms which are at variance with what most traditional Presbyterians would be familiar with.

Alternative rock and roll music is one of the styles utilized in public worship. As seen in the church's web site, one of the songs sung by the worship team is entitled "Jesus Freak", with the following lyrics: "What will people do if they know that I'm a Jesus freak?//What will people do if they know that it's true?//I don't really care if they label me a Jesus freak,//There is no disguising the truth."

The medium of video is also used. Video clips from secular movies, such as Forrest Gump and Soul Food, have been shown. The organizing pastor also did man-in-the-street interviews with a video camera, which he then showed during public worship.

A video of the Jesus Freak song and the video of the man-in-the-street interviews (What Makes You Happy?) were on New Song's web site. A ten-minute video entitled What's at Stake in the West, produced by Presbyterian Media Productions, Inc. (PMP), shows the Jesus Freak video and portions of the other. Numerous copies of What's at Stake in the West have been distributed throughout the denomination. Copies may be ordered (for $5.00 each) from the Chairman of PMP, Mr. John Vouga, PO Box 34, Harrisville, PA 16038; (724)735-4446. PMP also has a web site, PMediaP.home.ml.org, where the video may be seen.