Real Life Community Church began in the mid-1980s as a campus church outreach for Dalhousie students. At that time it was known as Community Bible Church. Over the years, it has developed into a diverse fellowship of Christians from all over the Metro Halifax area. Our desire is to continually seek the Lord Jesus Christ for love, truth, and direction through the manifest presence of His Holy Spirit among us.
Open church concept :The Priesthood of the Believer
At Real Life Community Church we are committed to the concept of body life. We believe that God has called our community to be a place where we are “building meaningful relationships with God and one another.” We find that relationships grow when people are committed to healing and accountability in the love and grace of God.
It is our desire to provide every opportunity and setting for all believers to exercise their God-given spiritual gifts. This includes the teaching and nurturing of each one here to find the ministry that God has designed for us, and then to give the support and supply the format to implement that design. Every member of the body of Christ has a role to play, no matter how small or large, public or private.
Those in leadership, are no more important than the rest of the body; like everyone else, they have been given gifts to use for the benefit of all. It is theirs to lead and shepherd, but never to dictate.
To facilitate body life, we practice participatory worship services and avoid formats that cause the congregation to become spectators. The worship is contemporary and relevant, yet never neglecting the centrality of Christ as Saviour and King. We also will meet in smaller “cell” groups throughout the week, to encourage even more intimate ministry and fellowship.
Although a local church is the most practical place to practice the working out of these ministries, members of the body should always be encouraged to grow beyond the local congregation. The true church of God has no walls or limits as to its sphere of influence.
Multi-denominational church concept :The Apostles’ Creed
At Real Life Community Church we describe ourselves as being conservative in doctrine and progressive in practice. We hold to the Bible as the inspired, inerrant, Word of God which is our final authority for living the Christian life. However, we do realize that the root truths of the Scriptures are supra-cultural, and must be adhered to in a practical, contemporary, and relevant manner.
The multi-denominational church concept which we practice, is an attempt to model the unity of the body of Christ through the Spirit in a local, physical setting. We have purposely dropped from significance the main sources of contention between believers of different denominations and churches, and have chosen, instead, to hold in the forefront our mutual confession of Christ and His work of redemption on the cross. Consequently, our local body is made up of all kinds – Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Catholics, Anglicans, etc. all dwelling together in unity around the Apostles’ Creed. The peripheral issues are to be studied and understood by each individual before God as their consciences dictate, but they should not be the basis of our unity.
We are not without our problems, but a large part of the New Testament is instruction on how to deal with problems. Following God’s ways of “holding the truth in love” will expose us to difficulties, but dealing with these difficulties in a biblical manner when they arise, honours God and His ways. Being bold in our love and commitment to one another will draw others to His saving work of grace and refresh those weary from the battle.
Organic church concept :The Headship of Christ
At Real Life Community Church, we believe that God has led us directly away from the traditional model for church. Our desire is to be people-oriented and not program-oriented. Because of this orientation, we do not at this time have any plans to build a building. A de-centralized church is able to impact the community better by going out, instead of inviting in. The money saved from not having a mortgage can go to the meeting of needs among the body and without.
The elders and deacons are biblically qualified individuals in the church (which may include a paid pastor) whose duties are to seek direction from the Lord through prayer, asking the opinions of the body, and being open-minded to new ideas and strategies for church functions. When a unanimous decision is reached by the leaders, it is brought before the church for feedback and implementation. There are no votes taken, for we believe that the church is not a democracy, but a kingdom to be led by the King and Head, the Lord Jesus Christ.
There also is no membership here at Real Life Community Church, because we feel that this can create a hierarchy of believers among the body (voting members vs. non-voting members, etc.), which can become an incorrect picture of the body of Christ. If one is a member of the Body of Christ, then that is enough membership for us.
Finally, among the congregation are men and women who perform the roles of deacons and deaconesses. They provide both spiritual and service-oriented leadership for the body in the implementation of ministries of the church. We also include others in the “Leadership team” who are mentored and encouraged to grow to be future leaders one day.