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The Story of Real Life

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  The Story of Real Life: Trailer

In this first episode of The Story of Real Life – we look back on the circumstances that brought the founders together. It begins with a handful of ordinary people, who, in response to a profound and unmistakable call from God, embarked on a spiritual quest that would forever transform their lives and the community they touched.

Through personal interviews, we explore the financial struggles, limited manpower, and profound moments of inspiration that paved the way for this church plant that would become Real Life Ministries. Join us as we unveil the heartfelt stories and extraordinary spiritual journey of these ordinary people who answered a call from God and, in doing so, were used by God to help reach a community of people that far exceeded their original dreams!



The Story of Real Life: Episode 2: The Backyard Gang 

In the second episode of The Story of Real Life, we get a glimpse into the early stages of this church plant. Despite starting with very limited resources, this small team of leaders had an unwavering passion to be Jesus’s church in their new community. They experienced rapid growth and soon outgrew the small backyard where they initially gathered. What drew people to them was the genuine connection that was being fostered.

This episode takes us on their journey as they search for a suitable place to gather, and introduces us to the individuals they encountered along the way. Join us and watch this young team as they are guided by God towards an unexpected solution. And as always – it comes one person at a time.


The Story of Real Life: Episode 3: Tear Up The Five Year Plan

In Episode 3 of The Story of Real Life, we embark on the next step of this journey with our young church planters. In this episode we witness God’s faithfulness in providing them with a space to gather. Although the transition from a theater to a church for a few hours every week was challenging, our team was determined to find creative solutions. And as this beginning church began to gather, something extraordinary happened – the floodgates opened and more people joined them every week. Word-of-mouth referrals coupled with the enthusiasm of attendees resulted in an influx of new people joining. Recognizing the need for additional leaders to guide and nurture this growing community, the core team began a search from within for individuals who could assist in leading small groups.

From the very beginning of Real Life Ministries, ordinary people were being put in the game and given a part to play. The deep relationships that were growing here helped people feel equipped and supported in a grace-filled atmosphere where failing and getting back up again were all part of the culture. However, within just a few short months unexpected circumstances emerged that presented more obstacles for this fledgling group, obstacles that were neither anticipated nor adequately prepared for.


The Story of Real Life: Episode 4: Breaking Ground 

Episode 4 of The Story of Real Life finds our young church plant, Real Life Ministries, blessed with amazing growth in the movie theater they were meeting in. In fact, within a few months they found themselves beginning to outgrow the space. Just as they were struggling to come up with a solution to the growth, they were approached by a church building organization with a surprising offer! In a matter of weeks they were breaking ground on a new 30,000 square foot building on a 33 acre wheat field in Post Falls. And then within 6 months they were ready to launch their opening day in the new building! And when they opened the doors that first Sunday morning, the people just kept pouring in, and to quote Jim Putman: “We had never seen the like…….”

Watch this episode to discover the story of how this Church went from their small humble beginnings to begin down the road towards what would become a Mega Church. See how they kept the core values of reaching and discipling one person at a time, when the number of people coming grew overwhelming. Watch as these young church leaders make the shift from breaking ground, to shepherding broken people..


The Story of Real Life: Episode 5: One Person at a Time 


In Episode 5 of The Story of Real Life, we talk about the definition of relational discipleship and the way Jesus intended it to look, and we also take a closer look into the story of how it played out in the life of one person, Christian Putman – son of Real Life’s Senior Pastor Jim Putman and his wife Lori. You will have a front row seat to the emotional story of how people living out the principles of relational discipleship within the Body of Christ helped pull Christian back from the edge of darkness into the light.

From the very beginning, Relational Discipleship has been the backbone of all we believe and value at Real Life Ministries. 25 years ago, the leaders approached Jesus’s commission to make disciples from a different direction. While most churches looked at it as a program contained within the church walls, Real Life considers it a lifestyle that permeates every sphere of a disciples life. This principal was derived from the simple belief that Jesus gave us not only a message for making disciples, he also gave us the method for doing it. We can see the method by what he modeled in his time here with his disciples.


The Story of Real Life: Episode 6: Growing Pains  


In Episode 6 of The Real Life Story, our leaders tackle unexpected challenges as their small church plant blossoms into a Mega Church, gaining national attention. This rapid expansion sparks curiosity among other churches and leaders across the country, eager to discover the successful strategies behind Real Life Ministries significant growth and large congregation.

As the leaders continued to look towards expansion, they acquire an amazing plot of land that seems like an answered prayer! However, as the economy begins to decline, this opportunity begins to look like a big mistake. It soon became apparent that God was guiding them to abandon their initial plans and dreams for a plan that went far beyond their imagination.


The Story of Real Life: Episode 7: One Church, Multiple Locations 


This episode of The Story of Real Life reveals a fundamental shift in the leaders’ philosophy. Rather than continuing the effort to expand their present location to accommodate all the people who were coming, they decide to start placing churches and campuses in the areas that the people were actually coming from. The shift in strategy made a significant change in Real Life’s approach to reaching people, and the momentum continued to grow until they had 7 church plants across the Northwest and Texas, and 4 different campuses in their surrounding county.

This change not only opened up room for a few thousand more people in their main location, it gave each campus an opportunity to be more community specific with their serving, reaching out to nearby schools and businesses to offer support and care . It also opened up many more places for volunteers to serve and the need for more leaders.

From its humble beginnings – this small backyard church with 4 couples has grown to a combined weekly community attendance of over 8,000, with many more thousand in attendance across the church plants. And as we said at the beginning – God remains the hero of this story. The miracle lies in how He has worked through ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.


The Story of Real Life: Episode 8: Epilogue 


In this heartfelt conclusion to “The Story of Real Life,” we celebrate 25 years of a truly exceptional journey. It’s a tale where God has used everyday people in extraordinary ways. These are individuals who may have been overlooked by others, but when chosen by God, every weakness is transformed into strength for His glory. From modest beginnings, God’s church here has blossomed into a powerful influence that touches lives worldwide. This story stands as living proof that God’s plan for creating disciple-makers thrives anywhere and in every demographic.

What is genuinely inspiring is the role each individual person has played in the overall narrative of Real Life Ministries. We have truly been reaching the world one person at a time, and we cherish and are deeply moved by the stories and lives reshaped by God within these walls and beyond. And by keeping our eyes fixed on Him and remembering what He has done in the past, we will continue to pursue our mission with unwavering faith and purpose into the future. The story isn’t ending; if anything, it’s just getting started!!