In Luke’s Gospel, there’s a crucial turning point at chapter 9: here Jesus turns towards Jerusalem and sets himself on the path which will ultimately lead to his arrest, his death – and then his resurrection.
It’s a big moment for his disciples too: as they follow on that path, they shift from being ‘passive observers’ of Jesus’s life & mission to becoming ‘active agents’ in the kingdom Jesus came to build.
Here’s where RealLIFE comes in: a diocesan-run course tracking that shift in Jesus’s disciples, aiming to deepen discipleship (transforming us into ‘active agents’), activate vocation (helping us live out ‘real life’ in our churches and communities) and all-in-all empower and equip God’s people in making the life-long journey of following-after Jesus Christ.
Take a look at the videos, have a read through the FAQs underneath – and why not sign up to join us from September by clicking here?
Hear about the experiences from some of those who have undertaken the course by clicking on the video link below:
Real LIFE FAQs
How does RealLIFE work?
The course is made-up of three ten-week blocks which, in their own different ways, look at ten aspects of discipleship that emerge from the teaching and example of Jesus:
• LifeCORE introduces these aspects, beginning in Luke 9;
• LifeCREDO considers some bigger theological themes that lie behind them;
• LifeSTORY asks what habits you can develop to ground each aspect of discipleship in your everyday experience.
Do I have to do all three ten-week blocks of RealLIFE?
No. You could register just for one term (LifeCORE) and leave it there – or you could change your mind at the end and sign up for term two (LifeCREDO). Or you could come back and do the later terms at a later date. (Please note, you have to do the terms in order, so if you want to do term 3, you have to have done terms 1&2 already and so on.)
Who can take the course?
Anyone who wants to follow-after Jesus and into real life – living the gift of knowing God in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit and shaping the world through their discipleship. RealLIFE is open to those who consider themselves early on in their Christian faith as well as any who have been Christians for many years. There’s no age limit, but anyone under 18 will need parental consent to take part.
Do I need any prior study before joining RealLIFE?
No. (Although, if you’re very new to the Christian faith, you might want to talk to someone at your church about something like an Alpha course before this.)
How will I learn on RealLIFE – is there lots of pre-reading or homework?
Learning how to follow Jesus happens best in the context of worship and in community. So, each RealLIFE session includes times of corporate worship and prayer, some input from the speakers and a good chunk of time in group discussions. (The friendship and encouragement which builds in these groups – they remain fairly stable throughout the terms – are often the thing people highlight as having been most helpful.) There’s usually the opportunity to bring questions back from the group discussions to ask the speaker too. There’s no expectation that you’ll read anything in preparation, though we do encourage you to take some time after an evening just to prayerfully reflect on what you’ve heard and been thinking. The teaching input is provided by Revd James Halstead (Principal, School of Discipleship), supported by a team of clergy from within the diocese.
Is the course open to people from any church?
Yes. The course is run by the School of Discipleship which is part of the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham in the Church of England, but people from other church denominations and people from outside the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham are also very welcome to attend.
What about practicalities?
The next RealLIFE course starts week commencing 14th September 2020 and a typical evening runs from 7.30-9.30pm (including worship, input, discussion and prayer). RealLIFE will be available at:
St John’s Centre, St John Street, Mansfield, NG18 1QH * – Tuesday evenings
St Ann with Emmanuel Church, Robin Hood Chase, Nottingham NG3 4EY – Tuesday evenings
St John’s Church, Graylands Road, Bilborough, Nottingham NG8 4FD – Tuesday evenings
St Nicholas Church, 12 Church St, Bawtry, Doncaster DN10 6HX -Wednesday evenings
St Thomas’ Church, 4 New Row, Aslockton, Nottingham NG13 9AN – (Thursday evenings)
*The taught material will be delivered live at St John’s, Mansfield. In all other venues, the core teaching will be ‘streamed’ in, though worship, group discussions and all other elements of the programme will be live on site.
(Please note, once you have registered for one venue, we do assume you will stay at that venue throughout – if you miss a week, we can usually provide registered course-members with a video recording of the main input.)
How do I register for Real LIFE?
You can register for Real LIFE by clicking here: this will open an online registration form which you will need to fill in.
How much does the course cost?
There is no charge for Real LIFE.
Who do I contact if I have more questions?
If you have problems with registering for Real LIFE, then please contact Catriona Gundlach at email@example.com or 01636 817232. If you have more questions about the course itself, then please contact Revd James Halstead at firstname.lastname@example.org
***Covid 19 & Lockdown Restrictions***
At present, we are planning to deliver RealLIFE in person from September 2020. Of course, we realise that Government restrictions may prevent that – in which case we will move the programme fully online until such time as we are able to meet together. For this, you will need a computer/tablet and a working internet connection at home. The best learning comes from the quality of the small group discussions, so we will look to meet together as soon as it is safe to do so – this means we wouldn’t expect people to register who are looking to participate solely online. Please do contact us if you wish to discuss this.
To hear more about Real LIFE, watch these short videos.
Thinking about trying Real LIFE? Listen to the people in the video above describing how the course has helped them in their journey of faith