I don't often post about my church. As a quick refresher, here's the short version of my recent church history:
Olivia and I were left without a church when Peninsula Baptist at Mt. Eliza closed down around August 2001. We kind of drifted and didn't find another church until we stumbled on Real Life Community in Carrum Downs in January 2002. Since then, we've been part of Real Life and have made many long-term friends.This is not to say that the past 5 years at Real Life have been easy...but it has been worth it!
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
What initially drew us to (and continues to appeal) about Real Life is that the people are friendly, our gatherings are low-key and relaxed, the leadership takes it's responsibility seriously in terms of teaching from the Bible, and the church as a whole always looked to see how it could be a part of the wider community in Carrum Downs.
Over the past 5 years Olivia and I have attended, Real Life has had some excellent, passionate people leading it. It has been exciting to see people "shine" and develop and demonstrate their talents. On the flip side, I realise now that the longer I stay at any one place, whether it's church or work or a club, the more I'll see people leave - and I feel a little sad when I think of the people that have moved on from Real Life for whatever reason.
Anyway, now Real Life is at a crossroads. Running a semi-traditional Sunday morning service was never one of it's goals, yet that's what we've found ourselves doing, and it drains a lot of time and energy.
Our plan is to move towards a more simple church. We have been discussing house churches. This is an exciting move, but it's also nerve-wracking for me personally because it's a big change and I don't like change :-)
It has been interesting to work with the leaders in the church over the past 12 months especially, which was when the cracks first started appearing in the drain of a Sunday morning service. I'm not saying Sunday morning services are a bad thing: just that they did not work for us in terms of getting people to chip in, and they left a lot of us feeling empty after attending. In short, not a good thing.
This weekend marks the end of one era and the start of another for Real Life. I don't know what will happen on the other side in our transition to "simple church" or even where I'll be, but I do know it will be an improvement!
Tags: church, faith, carrum downs