God On The Move: Expansion Updates and News
Update 1/10: Meet the team who’s going to be transforming our new building!
Update 1/2/2018: We have accepted an offer on the current property! We will remain in this building for a while, while we finalize architectural plans.
Update 11/20/17: Thanks for all your help at our first work day on Saturday! We removed the first few walls, filled a huge dumpster, and got to introduce our church community to their future home. Stay tuned for the next work day! In the meantime, please continue to be in prayer for this process!
Update 10/5/17: We are continuing talks with the building’s past owners about how we can host them and help them continue to meet as an independent church. Real Life staff are meeting with their leadership teams and our architects and designers to decide on how to make best use of the building for our various ministries and activities.
Update 8/31/17: We will officially sign paperwork and take ownership of the property on Wednesday! Now we can begin designing for the remodel, which will take around 3 months, and look at how to best use the new space (which is 3x what we currently have). We are still grateful for this amazing answer to our prayer for more space to change lives. Real Life Owners, thank you for voting yes to move forward with this opportunity! This is where the fun part begins!
Update 7/23/17: The final paperwork is in process at the bank; please be in prayer for that to go smoothly. We’re also in talks with an architect who will create a design to improve usability inside the building!
Update 7/19/17: We are still in the process of getting the title; here’s a video update from Jeff:
Update 5/8/17: Real Life is moving into a larger building! We’re in the process of obtaining the title.
Q: Real Life is moving? Why?
A: Growth is part of God’s plan for His church to continue to reach people. We believe that everyone’s life would be immeasurably better if they could come into a real relationship with Jesus Christ. Sharing this message of hope is what we are called to.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners. (61:1-3)
We are specially called and set apart to do this in our community. It’s what we have been doing for the last 10+ years, and throughout that, God has done the miraculous in our midst. But we are only just getting started! Now, in order to reach more people, we simply need to have more room for them.
Q: Are we really over capacity? I see empty seats on Sundays.
A: The answer is yes! We can seat 119 people in our current setting each service. It may be hard to believe, but people feel like a room is full at 75 percent of capacity. After that point, they feel like a room is too crowded. That means that when we have 89 people in each service, we are full!
Over the past five years, we have watched attendance climb, bump up against this 75% barrier, and fall back. We have seen it time and time again, even just in the last few months. All the studies say this 75% is a real barrier, and our own experience confirms it.
And it’s not just Sunday service spaces that are feeling cramped: ask anyone who works in Kidz Life on Sundays if they need more room, and they’ll probably scream “YES” before you’ve even finished your question! We always strive to provide a welcoming, loving, and comfortable place for kids to get to know Christ, and that’s becoming challenging in our current building.
Q: Why not just start another service?
A: We adjusted our service times in spring 2017 to accommodate a possible third service, but it wouldn’t be easy to add one. In order to have a successful third service, we need to grow in our volunteers – it takes 20 people to staff each service. We also need a critical mass of worshippers to create the environment that is conducive to worship and teaching. We may be uncomfortably full at 75%, but having a too-empty service is just as bad. We need to work up to having a third service to ensure it’s executed well and full of worshippers who feel welcome. It hasn’t been ruled out altogether, but right now, it’s not the best answer.
Which brings us to…
Q: So what’s the plan now?
A: As of May 2017, have the opportunity to move into a larger church space! It’s pretty exciting and it would solve many of our prayers. But it would also take a lot of work and investment, so it’s not a decision we’re taking lightly. Nor are we making it without your input – a church vote will be held on Sunday, May 21st. You can read about this latest step here.
Q: How come it’s taken so long?
A: When we started the Expansion Project at the beginning of 2012, we had been working on solutions for many months. These solutions ranged from merging with a bigger church to remodeling the current buildin. On September 29, 2013, we added 200 new chairs, purchased by our generous community members to replace our bulky, heavy original chairs. With these new chairs plus new staging, sound, lighting, we increased our capacity from 119 to 190. That’s 71 new seats each service, 142 each Sunday!
Now, as we move forward with this new building, the Expansion Project is effectively complete. God is on the move, and so are we!
At Real Life, we know and wholeheartedly believe that every single person’s life can be immeasurably improved through a relationship with Christ. That’s our goal and purpose as a church, as a body of believers. There are many ways we can do that, but right now, simply giving is all it’ll take to change someone’s life. Thank you for your generosity!