Core Behaviors of Lit Churches!

The staff of Real Life was sitting around the table this week talking about the core behaviors we do and ought to do to reflect the spirit of the church.  We wanted to identify core behaviors rather than the “core values” with which businesses traditionally define themselves, because values can be nebulous and intangible, but behaviors are things you can see.  We thought about what a community of Jesus apprentices do and should be known for.  Here’s what we came up with.  This is what we think is true of Real Life Church and what we want to stay true to.

After the 1

Apprentices of Jesus follow after the One who is always chasing after lost ones.  We are here to lead lost people to Jesus, and that is the primary mission of the church (see Luke 15:7).  This stands in contrast with churches that exist to serve already Christian insiders who are looking for churches to make them comfortable with the familiar.

From G2G

The church should be passed from generation to generation (Deuteronomy 6:1-12).  We’re responsible for raising the next generation to follow Jesus.  It’s not ok for the church to age out of existence.

Leaders of leaders

Everyone in ministry should be training someone else to do that ministry (Matthew 28:19).  The purpose of ministry isn’t just to enjoy it or to find our purpose; we’re always looking to share it with someone else, mentor someone else, and make disciples who are making disciples. 

Grace first

We favor forgiveness to judgement, love to legalism (Romans 8:38-39).  This is a major change in direction from the reputation that lots of churches have.

All things new

Always be willing to wipe the slate clean, try it a new way, or kill a sacred pig - we realize that normally you kill sacred cows, but if you kill a pig, you can have bacon! (Isaiah 43:19).  Churches should be known as the most creative, innovative, and out-of-the box communities in our society. Are they?

All for the best

Whatever you do, do it with excellence and with all your heart, because you’re doing it for Jesus (Col. 3:23).


On an interpersonal level, we deal with issues directly with the goal of peace and growth (Matthew. 18:15).  We don’t gossip, triangulate, undermine, or act passive-aggressively. 

This is fun!

If it's not, you're doing it wrong. (John 10:10)


A New Year's Resolution

A New Year's Resolution

When I was younger, I remember trying to make New Year’s resolutions. I quickly learned that I was the resolution-making type--but the resolution-keeping type...not so much. So, for much of my adult life, I refused to make New Year’s resolutions because they only served as blatant reminders of my impending failure and general ineptness at being Someone Who Has All Her Stuff Together.

As I grew older, I had a change of heart...

2017 Comes to a Close


Real Life News

Real Lifers,

Good news!  We're rounding out our first full calendar year together as a church!  Already our one year old church has baptized three dozen people, witnessed the miracles of God at work, watched our church family grow through new guests and new births, and impacted our community generously.  

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Right now, we are:

• sending Christmas gifts to children all over the world 

• feeding the homeless as we head into the winter months

• welcoming over a hundred kids to our weekly children's and student ministries

• gathering in a dozen small groups from Monrovia to Claremont

• experiencing weekly worship that continues to welcome people who have never followed Jesus before

• blessing church members in need through our newly established Care Fund

Just this week, a friend of mine who previously didn't go to church described himself as "new to Jesus" and referred to Real Life as "our church!"  Good news!

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But we still need help!

In the midst of our ministries, there are structures being built.  Our staff of 7 is about to grow to 9.  Sandburg is assessing sample chairs so that we can upgrade the school.  We're hosting our first adult class in November and expanding our ministries with senior adults.

As we approach the end of the year, please prayerfully consider Real Life in your year-end giving.  We are a 501(c)3 non-profit, so all of your donations to the church are tax deductible, and we are equipped to receive gifts by check, online, or in gifts of stock.  For more information, contact  It's only through your generosity and God's grace that we maintain a vibrant community of faith in our neighborhood.

As always, keep the church in prayer.  God is on the move!

Pastor Jim

Connect, Download, Share

Churches have core values, key purposes that make them do what they do.  Here at Real Life, what we do can be summarized by three ideas and images.




We're here to connect with Jesus.  Everything we do is about connecting ourselves and our friends to Jesus.  We invite people in, we share our faith out, and we pray for anyone who will receive it.







We want to download the gospel into our hearts and lives.  We immerse ourselves in God's word so that it penetrates into everything that we do.  That means we worship together weekly and gather in homes to study the Bible together.






We share what we have with a lost world.  God's blessings to us are not for us to hoard or hold onto.  We take up our crosses and give up our lives in the name of compassion.


In Jesus Christ, we worship a God who came to connect with us, who spent three years downloading his message into a small band of disciples would would change the world, and then sent them out to share with people who were far from God.  All for him!

The Sower and the Church Garden

The Sower and the Church Garden

Jesus tells a story about a farmer who scatters seed, and most of it goes to waste.  Some of it falls on a path and never sprouts, some of it falls among rocks and can’t grow, some of it grows among weeds and gets choked out.  Only a little bit falls in good soil and bears fruit. (Mt. 13)

The strange piece is that Jesus then says that this happens on purpose....