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God on the Move: The Votes Are In

i5bridgeThank you for gathering this morning and helping us determine the direction of Real Life! We’re grateful for your patience and your enthusiasm over the last couple of weeks. The votes are all counted: fully 100% voted “yes” to move to the new building! Thank you for choosing to trust in His works and being willing to change and grow! We’re so excited to see how God is going to move next!

Jeff: The Importance of Celebrating! from Real Life Vancouver on Vimeo.

Weekend Plunge: The Value of Ownership

At women’s retreat last weekend, I got to see firsthand how much more involved our church congregation has become. Women who were nervous about praying for each other a year or two ago stood at the front of the room and worshiped and prayed continually. The atmosphere was one of joy and encouragement. Throughout the weekend, I saw women welcoming each other, making sure no one felt left out. Women who were attending for the first time stood up and served as leaders, not because they wanted control or validation, but because they were responding to God’s call to servant leadership. We put each other first all weekend, and as a result, lives were truly changed.

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:45 (NLT)

This concept of servant-leadership as demonstrated by Christ is what forms the backbone of our Next Step of Ownership. As a Real Life Owner, I have a personal stake in the mission of my church. I’m familiar with its teachings, its leadership, and its heart for community. I’m willing to serve with my time and my resources to see that mission grow, because I’ve seen how it can change lives: my own has been one of them.

Whether we’re ready or not, Real Life is expanding. We are serving more kids and teens every year. Our community outreach programs continue to grow. More and more people join us to celebrate baptisms, rescued marriages, recovery, and the smaller but no less crucial victories of maintaining faith through the challenges of everyday life. If you’re willing to become an Owner, you get to have a say in how our church does business, but more importantly, you’ll be making a commitment to bring the best of your abilities and resources to Christ’s service.

If Ownership is your Next Step, stop by the Next Steps table on Sunday to pick up a packet. We’re asking the entire church to vote about the question of moving our church on Sunday the 21st, and while we value the feedback those votes will provide, only the votes cast by Owners are eligible to be counted under Nazarene District bylaws. So if you’ve been putting off taking this Next Step and you really want your vote to count, now’s a great time to become an Owner!

But Ownership isn’t just about whether or not your vote counts next Sunday – it’s an ongoing commitment to the mission of Real Life, which has nothing to do with a building. The people of Real Life are welcoming, open with their faith, heartfelt in their worship, and generous with their time and resources. The concept of following after Christ as a servant leader is already dear to our hearts. Ownership just makes it official.

Got more questions about Ownership? Ric will be happy to answer them!

Laura wears a lot of hats at Real Life: social media coordinator, outreach coordinator, retreat planner, and editor at large. Luckily she looks good in hats.

God On the Move: An Expansion Update

We have been in a season of prayer and expectation for many years, and now God is answering. Our 2017 prayer has been for God to move in us, for us, and through us. Well, God is moving, and we are called to follow: after 11 years as a church, we have an opportunity to move into a larger church space!

Expansion has been on our minds for a few years now. It’s clear that Real Life is reaching people. You can see it in the attendance at our summer kid’s programs, the number of people who get baptized each year, and the crowded Sunday mornings. You can see the number of people who have come to know Christ when you witness how many are worshiping and celebrating at our worship nights – not just how many people are in the room, but in how their hearts are involved. You can see our growth in how we confidently pray for each other, how we invite others to experience the truths we’ve learned, and how we trust God’s hand at work in our lives.

But the simple truth is, we have outgrown our space. We made a little room by buying our current chairs in 2013 and, more recently, by changing service times so we have room to add a third service if necessary. Our prayer behind each of these decisions has simply been that we can help more people meet Christ and show them the hope and peace He offers. Our expansion has been a slow process, but God has walked with us the whole time.

If we stay where we are, we don’t grow. That’s as true for us as individuals as it is for our church. If Real Life doesn’t move and grow, we simply don’t reach as many people. We leave people out. We’re not willing to live with that – and we’re pretty sure that, despite the heartache you may feel at leaving our current building behind, you’re not willing to live with that, either.

We will all miss our original building. It was our home for over a decade, and we all have memories of love and life change associated with it. In our new building, though, we’ll have a much bigger and much more flexible space with a fellowship hall, dedicated youth space for RLSM, kitchen, offices, conference room, prayer space, and more. Best of all, we can remodel and customize this building to suit our people. Real Life won’t have to change much – in fact, we’ll have even more flexibility in how we put on the services, activities, and programming that have helped make Real Life so successful!

So we ask you to move forward with us, patiently and with prayer. We make no decisions without His guidance, and we trust Him in this, as in all things. The building, the chairs, even the people are only the components of a church. God is what makes it church. His message of love, peace, and purpose is why Real Life exists. Sharing that message is what matters, and that is what Real Life will continue to do, regardless of which roof is over our heads.

We are having an all-church meeting to go through the specifics of this opportunity on Wednesday the 17th at 7pm. Childcare for kids 5th grade and under will be provided. We encourage you to attend this meeting and to be in prayer, and to join us Sunday the 21st, when Real Life Owners and attendees will get to vote on whether or not to take this step. The voting process and timeline of the move will all be laid out at the meeting on the 17th, so don’t miss it! We are excited for what this step has in store for us, and we hope you are, too.

We love our church!

-Jeff and the RL Staff

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