This Gift Catalog is designed for you and your family to find specific ways to partner in giving through this season. While everyone is able at different levels to sponsor items, every gift is important because every gift goes toward reaching, and ministering to, real people. Please pray and ask how the Lord would call you to respond.
On the weekend of November 18th, we be coming together at all of our Campuses to bring a Special Offering and step into the next season in faith. We can’t wait to see what God does next. Donate today and be "ALL IN!"
Jim answers a few questions and explains the vision for what's next at Real Life Ministries:
Frequently asked questions:
Q: What does ALL IN mean?
A: We selected the name for this giving series to celebrate the giving and commitment level our church has had in the past to get us to where we are. We also wanted to give people who have just started coming the same opportunity to put their faith into action. We want to challenge all of the people who call Real Life their church to again commit to being, ALL IN.
Q. What is the plan?
A. We want to make this giving initiative as tangible as we can for individuals and families to participate in what we are doing to reach new families in the area. We have created an ALL IN catalog for everyone to go through and commit to give what they can for particular items. The money raised will go to offset the expenditures that Real Life has incurred in the last year.
Q. What can I do?
A. You can begin now by praying to know and do God’s will regarding your gift to this program. Spend time in prayer and meditation on God’s Word as you seek to discover His will. The amount He leads you to give will be the right amount. (2 Cor. 8:11-14)
Q. What about my regular giving?
A. Your commitment to ALL IN should be an amount God leads you to give over and above your regular tithe and offerings. We must maintain our giving to the ministry budget so that day-to-day church operations will be unaffected. (Acts 20:35)
Q. How will I know how much to give?
A. Pray daily and allow God to open your heart and direct you about your commitment. Through prayer and personal assessment, you will know what to give. Again, your gift, whatever the amount, should be an over-and-above gift. To split our current giving between the current operating expenses and the new building will prove nothing and will endanger our ability to minister in the present.
Q. Why should I give to ALL IN if you have already paid for the construction?
A. We have 20 years of faithful giving from people in the past that enabled us to build these great facilities to reach new families. We want to raise money at this time to offset some of the expenditures needed to do ministry in these facilities. We also wanted to give people who have just started coming the opportunity to be a part of what we are doing all over the county to reach the lost.
Q: We have never targeted young families before; why are we doing something now?
A: Our Vision as a church has always been, and will always be, to reach the world for Jesus one person at a time. Our Mission is to make biblical disciples in relational environments. We accomplish our Vision and Mission with our Process, which is S.C.M.D. Share our lives and the gospel; Connect people to God and each other; train every disciple for Ministry; and release to make Disciples.
We are not going to target young families at the exclusion of other groups. We will continue to reach seniors, and singles, and people in other demographics. However, as the Lord leads us, we become aware of a new group the Lord wants us to reach. He shows us the avenue and those who He would supply to meet the need. Jesus loves kids, and the best way to reach young families right now is through their kids. If we can reach the kids, we can get to the parents. If the parents accept Christ, it changes the whole trajectory of the kids. Capture the hearts of the next generation, and you change the whole culture.
In order to remain true to our Vision, Mission and Process, and to continue to reach into our community, we must change our methods. Past generations in America were considered Christian. Going to church and being considered a Christian was the norm. We are now living in a post-Christian culture. Young families no longer consider going to church as a part of their lifestyle. We could, as a church, continue to do what we have done in the past, which has been successful. However, the cost of losing future generations is too high, and we must change in order to reach younger families. As national statistics show, 83% of all Christians made their commitment to Jesus between the ages of 4 and 14. We must, then, do whatever we can to influence this age group for Jesus.
Q: How does building a Sports and Outdoors Ministry reach young families?
A: In our culture here in North Idaho, we know that outdoors activities are very important to younger, active families. That is one of the reasons that young families are moving to this area—how easy it is to get to the lake or the mountains. Giving these families an opportunity to experience the things they already value in an excellent way will attract them. It makes it easy for our people to invite their friends who wouldn’t normally come to church. As these new, young families start building new relationships through our Sports and Outdoors programming, it makes it very easy for them to try church for the first time.
Q: Why did we need to add on to our existing building? It has never been a problem in the past.
A: Young families who have more than one child used to go all over the campus to get their children checked into our Children’s Ministry. It not only was incredibly inconvenient, especially in bad weather, but it also made families uneasy as their kids are spread out over a large campus. Parents were concerned that their children were in a different building. For security reasons, they want them close. We wanted to do everything we could to make it as easy as possible for young families. Also, building a Children’s area that is dedicated for kids makes children want to come to church. The additional space also positively impacts many other ministries that will have the needed space to do more.
Q: If Real Life Ministries is targeting young families, what is your vision for older generations?
A: We want people of all ages in church because young families need multiple generations to grow. Our members that are the Grandpas and Grandmas, or the Moms and Dads, are essential to our vision as a church becoming a reality. The reason we are focusing on young families is to change their future for Christ! This new emphasis doesn’t mean that we don’t love and want to care for older people. The Lord has blessed us with a great number of mature disciples who are older in age, and we believe God has big plans for how this group of people can invest in the younger generations.
Q: How is Real Life Ministries going to pay for all the construction and building improvements?
A: We are still getting bids on what the hard dollar costs are actually going to be. Our plan for paying for the campus improvements is in three ways. The first way is that we are going to restructure our loan with The Solomon Foundation. Stretching the length of our overall loan maturity to 30 years will free up some additional cash flow to help pay for the cost of the project.
Secondly, Genesis Preparatory Academy, the independent private Christian school that has been leasing space from us, will be able to pay more for the additional space that we will be able to now provide. We will also have enough space to generate additional income from other outside partnerships to rent space from us for short periods of time.
Lastly, and most importantly, by asking our people to prayerfully consider giving generously to this vision to advance the Kingdom. Although we will not be doing a formal campaign, we will be communicating specific needs and ideas for how each of us can support this vision financially as we go forward. We already have some money set aside from generous gifts given from people who believe in our vision, and we will add to that as the Lord leads people to give to ALL IN.
Q: What is Real Life’s position on taking on debt if needed to help fund this vision?
A: Our desire has always been to be out of debt if we can. However, we are not against debt if it is something that is deemed responsible. By responsible, we mean that it does not take a high enough percentage of our income that it makes it impossible for us to do ministry. There are benchmarks in the church world that help us to know if our debt load is responsible. We are currently on the extremely low end when it comes to the percentage of our income that goes to debt. We believe that responsible debt helps us have tools that can be used to reach the world for Jesus today. In our past campaign (Historic Faith), our goal was to pay down debt as well as do things that would expand the outreach for Christ. This was accomplished. We paid down $1.65 million in debt and were able to start two more churches, start two campuses, do over $1.5 million in missions work, feed thousands here in our area, as well as fulfill ministry goals in Kootenai County. We are in a good position right now because we have a low percentage of cash to debt ratio. Because of our efforts to pay down debt through Historic Faith and beyond, we are in a position where we are able to incur additional debt, if needed, to reach more people for Jesus while still remaining on the very low end of what is considered responsible debt for a church. We also have more assets than we owe in debt.
Q: Why don’t we sell some of the property that we are not going to use to fund these new ministry efforts?
A: RLM had excess land that had been on the market for several years and remained unsold. In 2011 and 2013, RLM entered into real estate agreements with The Solomon Foundation (TSF) in which RLMtransferredthe unused/excess land into a TSF Endowment arrangement in return for monthly payments that will run into perpetuity. This has allowedRLM to receive regular monthly payments to be used in ministry. To date, RLM has already received total payments equal to27% of theassessedproperty valueat the date of the real estate agreements. The payments continue into perpetuity.
Q: We did a campaign in 2012 called Historic Faith; was that successful?
A: Historic Faith was a success for Real Life Ministries. We as a church body were able to reduce debt, start the Coeur d’ Alene Campus, and renovate and repair some of our infrastructure on the Post Falls Campus. We also invested ministry resources into national and international missions. For instance, we helped plant two more churches and impacted 24 countries.
Q: Why do we do a giving series every year?
A: God talk about money a lot in the Bible, more than 2300 verses. We want to also take time to focus on this topic, as it can be a real hindrance to spiritual growth. Money is a real time example of where our relationship with Jesus is and if we are willing to leave our comfort zone for Him. This applies to everyone regardless of their income. Whether you have never given to the church before or you have given a percentage of your income for years and are wrestling with giving more this series is for you. We want to challenge you to take a step of faith towards Him no matter where you are in your journey of obedience.
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