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our seven distinctives

In order to understand our Core Values, listed below, one must first understand that we at Real Life Church adhere to a set of fundamental beliefs and doctrines as described in the constitution of our church (not listed here). Based on these beliefs and doctrines, we adhere to the general principles of Biblical teaching and preaching, outreach, discipleship, prayer, and church unity. Our core values listed below utilize these principles in such a way as to meet the challenges of carrying out the mission of our church. To this end these core values are "aspirational", meaning that although at any given time we may not be perfectly living them out, they are indeed our goal and that to which we aspire.

1. being real about life is a vital part of authentic faith.

We are real people who live in a real world. Life in a real world has serious challenges and can be very difficult. We endeavor to be "real people", to be honest about these challenges and not live in a false religious world of perfection and personal facades. We will care for others in the midst of their challenges just as Christ cares for us.

* ... speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15

* Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Ephesians 4:25

2. all people matter to god, and therefore matter to us.

We will keep as a priority the mission of enthusiastically, creatively, and effectively communicating the good news of salvation in order to lead every person possible to become fully devoted followers of Christ. We will endeavor to do this both through the lives and efforts of our individuals and the strategies of our organization, maintaining both a local and a global focus.

* Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20

3. caring relationships are the best context for true discipleship.

We believe God created people for relationship with Himself and with others, and that His kingdom grows primarily through relationships. We are dedicated to fostering relationships that positively promote spiritual growth into the likeness of Jesus Christ (discipleship) through these five avenues: Christian fellowship, Biblical teaching, lifestyle worship, service to others, and Spirit-filled witness. We believe in building individuals and families to their full potential in Christ, using the Bible as our guide and standard.

* ... so in Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5

* From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16

* There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 NLT

* ... people need more than bread for their life; real life comes by feeding on every word of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3 NLT

4. being spirit-led means doing things god's way, not our own way.

We desire a deep relationship with God through personal and corporate prayer. We will seek the guidance of God's Holy Spirit in all we do, and in humility endeavor to put Him first. We are committed to operating according to God's ways and plans, not our own.

* In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. Romans 8:26-27

* And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18

5. relevant innovation is essential for continued effective ministry.

We will continually search for new and culturally relevant ways to present Christ's message while remaining true to Scripture. We will discontinue activities and ministries that have lost relevance and effectiveness. We believe in building the kingdom through creativity, innovation, and risk-taking.

* ... I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

* They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being said. Nehemiah 8:8

6. pursuing excellence in who we are and what we do honors god and inspires people.

We are committed to ministry that offers excellence to God and our best to people. We will continually work to improve the quality of everything we do, for the glory of God, for the advancement of His kingdom, and for the benefit of all the people we are privileged to serve.

* Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. . . Colossians 3:23

* As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

7. active service is every believer's god-given calling.

God has uniquely gifted each of His people with talents, skills, abilities, and other resources that are necessary for the advancement of His kingdom. Believers are to be participants in ministry, not merely observers. We will be active in recognizing and developing the giftings in our people, and then encouraging involvement where those gifts can be most effective.

* ... to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. . . From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:12-13, 16

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