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What to Expect

I know - it’s not easy visiting a new church for the first time. Sometimes you feel like a nonmember visiting a country club. Do I belong here? Am I really welcome? Will the people be unfriendly, or too friendly? Will I be conspicuous? Will it be easy to leave if I don’t enjoy it? Will they ask me for money? Will my kids enjoy it? How should I dress? Am I welcome if I don’t believe?

As the Lead Pastor at Real Life, I want to know that our goal is to make everyone feel welcome, but not overwhelmed.  No matter your previous experience (or lack of experience) with church, our hope is you will find a space to learn with us about who God has called us to be in the world.  If I were visiting a new church for the first time, I’d like to know what to expect, so here’s a brief overview.

LOCATION

We are located at 120 14th Ave. South in downtown Nampa - across 14th from the Flying M Coffee Garage. The parking lot is right next to our main entrance (on the North side of the building).

KIDS CHECK IN

At the front door, there should be some friendly people (we call them “greeters”) to say hello, answer any questions you have, and direct you to the sanctuary. If you have kids, they can point you to our nursery (0-3 years old) or our check-in for kids' church (4 years old through 5th grade).  Each child is given a name tag which also has your name on it so we know who will pick them up after the service.  All kids ages 4 and up start in the sanctuary with our church family.  Together we sing songs of praise and pray.  Before the sermon, we the kids to come up front (if they are comfortable doing do) and we say a prayer of blessing over them before sending them learn about God on their own level.  Sometimes we also have family worship where kids stay throughout the service and learn how we worship together in "big church".  We welcome their laughter and noises and try to help by providing packets to keep their hands busy while they listen.

I have four kids, so I know how important it is for kids to enjoy church, whether they’re infants, toddlers, school-age, or teenagers. We have done our best to make Real Life as “kid friendly” as possible.

SEATING AND DRESS

You’ll notice that everyone is dressed comfortably, in anything from “business casual” to jeans or shorts. If you arrive early, you’re welcome to have a cup of coffee (self-serve near the entrance) and pick up a worship folder. We have two kinds of seating in the auditorium: regular seats and tables with chairs. There is no pecking order or significance to the seating -- it all is a matter of what you prefer.  In the worship folder and in the seat pockets you will find a white card we call our “Communication Card.” This card is an easy way for us to get better acquainted; you can ask for any kind of information or assistance using this card.

THE SERVICE

The service usually begins with a welcome and some announcements from what we call our worship host. Our band leads us in songs of worhsip and then we say a short prayer.  Then, one of our preaching team will share a message for about 30 minutes.  We do our best to make the messages interesting, enjoyable, and relevant to daily life.  Sometimes we take time to discuss what we've learned together.  The messages are based on the Bible.  We hope you will hear solid Christian theology in intelligent, understandable, and relevant terms.  We have been know to laugh, cry, and learn together.

Speaking of our band -- they do a great job leading musically with modern music (drums, guitars). You’ll have some new tunes to hum all week long.

COMMUNION

Following the message each week (or sometimes in the middle of our service), we celebrate communion. Communion (also known as the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper) is a Christian celebration of the self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ. If you desire to draw closer to God through his son Jesus Christ and his sacrifice, you are welcome to take communion with us. If not, you can just sit back and enjoy the music, because our worship band will be playing and singing during this time.

OFFERING

At the end of our service we receive an offering. Our offering is for people who call Real Life their church home. As our guest, your gift to us is simply your presence in being there. Don’t feel obligated to participate in the offering. When the basket comes by, you can drop your communication card in it so that we know who you are and how we can serve you.

AFTER THE SERVICE

Our service will last about 75 minutes.  I hope you’ll come up and introduce yourself to me afterwards. I usually hang out by the door.

After the service, you’ll pick up your kids (if you have kids, not everyone does!) and then we hope you’ll stay around, meet some people and enjoy some coffee.  Church is about God and worship, but it’s also about community and friendship, so we hope people really experience warmth and friendliness at Real Life.

That’s about it. People coften say they really felt comfortable or "at home” at Real Life.  I hope you’ll stop by this Sunday.  And if you do, please come down and say hi, and tell me that you found out about Real Life from our website.  Thanks for your interest!