Church Facility Usage Fees

It’s great to see our church facilities including our gym being used for many weddings these days. At first, we had a difficult time imagining and thinking of having our wedding receptions in the gym. The basketball nets, the scoreboard and the absence of a dance floor were all unappealing to us as a reception hall. So, several years ago when I suggested to New Life the idea of having their wedding receptions in the gym, it was not well received. I think Martha Stewart, who took weddings and receptions to the next level of extravagance and immaculateness, had a lot to do with the response I got from people.

Just in the past several months, however, we had four weddings and receptions at our church, and they were all very beautiful and wonderfully done. And I am very pleased by this trend that is taking place in New Life. By having one big reception for everyone in the gym, we don’t have to plan for two separate receptions, one for our parents at church and the other for our friends at a hotel. This also helps wedding couples to save a lot of money, which they could definitely use for the start of their marriage together.

Having receptions at church also gives an opportunity for our house church members to step up and help the couple that is getting married. In the olden days, the entire extended family members got involved when there were events like weddings, harvests or construction of houses. Due to our families getting smaller and becoming more isolated and independent, it is very difficult to see families helping each other out. Instead, we buy services from people. That’s why when I see house church members getting together at church on the night before their member’s wedding to have a brief house church meeting and spend the next several hours to set up and decorate the gym to turn it into a beautiful reception hall, I get truly excited. It is like seeing one of those well-made “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” reality shows.

I would like to take this time to share with you one piece of information that I was not aware of in regards to the fees that are involved in using church facilities for personal reasons such as weddings and showers. This is something that the Korean Speaking Congregation leaders came up with several years ago, but I completely forgot to convey it to New Life. For some reason, I thought our church allowed all the registered members of both congregations to use the facility free of charge. I am sorry, but I was wrong. The fees are collected just to cover the cost for electricity and typical wear and tear. Considering the fact that the KSC paid about $61,000 for electricity this past year, I think the following rates are more than reasonable.

Facility Usage Fees:

$150 for up to 2 hours / $50 for each additional hour

Sanctuary & Fellowship Hall with Kitchen
$200 for up to 2 hours / $50 for each additional hour

$50 for up to 2 hours / $20 for each additional hour

$100 for up to 2 hours / $50 for each additional hour

Gym Lounge
$50 for up to 2 hours / $20 for each additional hour

On top of this, New Life will ask an extra $100 from those who are using the sanctuary and the gym for weddings and receptions to cover the cost for cleanup. Weddings usually take place on Saturdays, and it is very important for us to restore both the sanctuary and the gym cleanly because they become places of our worship on Sunday. So far, the marrying couples have done a pretty decent job of having their friends clean up the place. For consistency sake, however, I think it would be best if we could hire professional cleaners to perform sweeping, vacuuming and mopping the floor, taking out the trash, and replenishing the supplies in the restrooms so the places would be ready for worship the following day.

If you need to use the church facility for church ministry purposes such as praise practice, ministry meetings, evangelism or training and seminars, please remember that there is no fee. We just ask you to fill out a Facility Usage Permission Form at least two weeks in advance for your request to be considered and approved. The forms can be found in the trailer house on the wall near the New Life staff office. And we would like to make the facility available for our members even for your own personal use assuming that the purpose is clean and God-honoring. Just remember that there are reasonable fees involved and to turn in the request form well in advance.

Your pastor,


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