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May 5, 2018

From a Bus Garage to a Horse Barn, Real Life is Reaching Thousands

By Tyler Feller

Nestled between Norfolk Lake and the Ozark Mountains is an amazing God story worth knowing about.  It features a pastor who heard the whisper of the Lord, a group of people that believed in him, and thousands that have been transformed.  All of this in a rural town, population 12,000. 

“If you can stretch your mind beyond what you may have once held as impossible, you can see God do incredible things,” said Vince Daniel, church planter.  Less than six years after getting its feet on the ground, Real Life Church of Mountain Home, AR, is the case study of God doing what no one thought could happen. 

Finding a facility in a small rural town is one of the most difficult parts of the church planting process.  For Real Life, their roots are about as humble as they get.  Despite that, God proved faithful. 

They began having services in a rented bus garage. Quickly the church grew and their small auditorium was out of space.  So they added a second service and people were still having to sit in the (tiny, tiny) lobby to worship and hear the message.  Eventually three services … at times even four! 

Obviously, they knew their space was challenged.  They had a hypothesis that they could reach even more people if they had a larger auditorium, but like most fast-growing church plants, their dollars were chasing staffing and ministry as well.   

After prayerfully considering several options, Real Life courageously purchased land and decided on a new building that would best serve their needs.  Knowing construction and fundraising were still a few years out, the plan was to stay in the bus garage until then.  God had other plans. 

A set of unique circumstances at the bus garage forced them to immediately assess their options.   

“Our motto during this time had to be, ‘God is moving and so are we.’ We put our trust in Him and His plan,” Daniel said. 

That recent land purchase was also home to a horse barn, including stables and breezeways. The biggest open area was the indoor riding track. After a few truckloads of cement, this became Real Life’s new auditorium.  The new space was larger in size with increased seating capacity of 100 chairs. 

Over the next 8 months and through the summer, the church doubled in size. The unfortunate situation at the bus garage was actually a huge win. 

Now, two and half years at their horse barn address, Real Life is inside a brand new, state-of-the-art facility.  The horse barn is under construction by the Real Life team to be used a crisis facility for Baxter County residents in need.

Recently, Real Life Church celebrated with 2,600 in attendance.  A lot of people would say it’s impossible to reach that many in a town of 12,000. Real Life would disagree.   Many would say you can’t have church in a bus garage, much less a horse barn. Real Life would disagree.   When God is at work, believe that he can do it anywhere.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tyler Feller

Tyler Feller has served for seven years in ministry at the local church level. He is passionate about serving the local church because of the impact that his relationship with Christ has had on him. He has a Master’s Degree in Business Management and Leadership. Currently, he serves as lead pastor at M1 Church in Illinois and is a sought after speaker for events throughout the US.

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