R.E.A.L Life

One of our Associate Pastors, Maurice Watkins, came up with the acronym R.E.A.L to express the core values of our Life Groups – Relationship, Edification, Accountability, and Love.
Relationship: Life is all about relationships.  Without close relationships, life is meaningless and shallow.  Loneliness is one of the worst things anyone can experience.  You were created to live in community.  
In a corporate church setting, we are unable to provide the atmosphere for close relationships.  Sincere handshakes and greetings are simply not enough.  In order to provide adequate, Biblical care, we need to get past the exterior and minister on a personal level.  Life Groups facilitate conversation and fellowship that gets beyond the surface.
Life Group members are there to support each other in times of need, weakness, and loss.  They also celebrate life’s victories and accomplishments.  
If you desire deeper relationships with fellow believers of Jesus Christ, a Life Group is for you.
Edification: One of the primary functions of the body of Christ is to edify one another in love.  
The word used for edification in the New Testament is oikodomeo, which translates literally as “to build a house.”  
By encouraging each other in the principles of God’s word, group members experience a mutual edification that helps everyone involved to become more like Christ.  Our group atmosphere is designed to be positive and encouraging.  We commit to respectful conversation, and even when a correction is warranted, it is done in love.  Our goal is always to build and not tear down. 
Accountability: Sometimes we resist having to answer to someone else for our actions, but accountability simply means we lovingly check each other’s spiritual progress.
We all need the support of others in order to grow in Christ.  None of us are able to see our own faults as well as we should.  
Meeting with others weekly and discussing how we are doing leads to victorious living.  Hearing others discuss their victories and struggles gives hope that, by the grace of God, we can be overcomers. 
Whether it is weight loss, recovery, or pursuit of Christian character, group accountability is proven to greatly enhances success.
Love: The final core value of our Life Groups is love.  Love is the foundational element in all Christian endeavors, because God is love.  As we read 1 Corinthians 13, we see that without love, all we do in the name of Christ is worthless.
In groups we strive to share the love of God through praying together, weeping with those that weep, rejoicing with those that rejoice, bearing one another’s burdens, being there through thick and thin, and doing everything else we can to truly share life.
In Life Groups we are devoted to caring for and serving one another.