Updates and information on our search for a new lead pastor

UPDATE FROM FRED GRAY | March 27, 2024

Hey Real Life,

I can hardly believe it’s Easter Week! I am filled with anticipation for all that God is doing and will do through our church, including celebrating baptisms with the over 100 people who have signed up thus far. As promised, I wanted to keep you updated as we continue the search process for our next Lead Pastor. Since Rusty announced he was leaving back in November 2023, I have been reminded of just how special this place is, talking with people all over the country who are interested because of the way we do church. The reality is, they are talking about you! Real Life Church is only possible because of you—those who call this place home and have partnered with us in Helping People Find and Follow Jesus.


While we do not have a candidate to present to you just yet, I believe we will soon narrow down our conversations and be able to present a candidate(s) for you to meet and get to know better. As a reminder, our promise to you is to find someone who loves our vision and mission and wants to enhance what we do as a church.


Looking forward to this weekend and with our mission in mind, I invite you to participate in Easter and invite a neighbor, friend, or coworker to one of our seven Easter services. Research shows us that people are more likely to attend church services during Christmas and Easter, and that likelihood increases with an invitation from a friend. For all our Easter information, visit rlc.is/easter. For information on our Lead Pastor search, click here.


Fred Gray 

Executive Pastor 

Real Life Church 




Dear Real Life Church Family,

We want to express our deepest gratitude to Rusty and his family for their unwavering dedication, commitment, and obedience to the Lord throughout these two decades. This transition is undoubtedly bittersweet, yet as a church, we trust completely in God’s plan. Rusty’s faithful response to God’s call has been inspiring, and our prayers continue to surround him, Lorrie, Sydney, and Lindsey as they embark on this new call at Crossroads Church in Grand Prairie, TX. 

As we begin the process of finding our new lead pastor, our commitment remains unwavering—to uphold the fundamental values that define Real Life Church. We are steadfast in our dedication to being a church that is REAL, RELEVANT, and RELATIONAL, all while fulfilling our mission of Helping People Find and Follow Jesus. Please rest assured that we will be diligent and prayerful in our search for an individual who not only embodies the essence of Real Life Church but also contributes significantly to the bright future we envision. We firmly believe that our best days are ahead of us and are filled with eager anticipation for the continued work that God will accomplish through our church.

During this process, we humbly invite you to join us in prayer. Together, let us seek God’s guidance for the right person at the right time. We are open to His divine timing and trust in His wisdom to lead us to the individual who will help us fulfill our mission and vision.

We are also profoundly grateful for the interim leadership provided by Mike Breaux and the steadfast support of the entire team at Real Life Church. Their dedication ensures that our pastoral needs are met, and we are truly blessed to have such a capable and devoted group of individuals guiding us during this transition period.

In closing, we want to extend our deepest appreciation to you, the members of our Real Life Church family. Your faith, support, and understanding are invaluable to us. Together, we will navigate this transition with grace, unity, and faith in God’s plan for our church.

Please continue to keep Rusty, his family, our church leadership, and the search process in your prayers. We trust in God’s providence and eagerly anticipate the exciting chapter that lies ahead for Real Life Church.

Board of Directors


Letter from Rusty

EMAILED - Sep. 30, 2023

Dear Real Life Family,

From the start, RLC has embraced and lived out our values. And for the past 20 years as your Pastor, I’ve been so encouraged by the way you volunteer, support, and partner with our community to help people find and follow Jesus. It’s incredible, and I love this place more than you can imagine! But, after 20 incredible years at RLC, Lorrie and I have decided it’s time for us to take a new ministry at a church closer to our aging parents. While this decision was just made recently, it has come after several months of prayer and seeking wisdom from trusted spiritual advisors.

This Sunday, October 1, at our RLC services (Valencia and Online), I will be sharing more with you about this decision. I pray you will join me. And while I have much more to say on Sunday, here’s what I want you to hear from me at this point;

Nothing is wrong. I love this place, and love what God is doing! We are on pace to baptize over 400 people this year, we’ve connected thousands of people into Story groups studying the Bible, and we have planted 12 churches in 3 years in the state of California, and we continue to see new people come to RLC every week. The mission of RLC is moving forward.

And, this is not goodbye. I’ll still be serving on the teaching team in the months to come and will continue to serve you, love you and tease the Raider fans.

Most importantly, however, I want you to remember that even though we’ll miss each other, RLC is so much bigger than one person. Despite tragedies, recessions, pandemics, and transitions, God continues to use everyone to help people find and follow Jesus through Real Life Church. The best is truly still to come!

While this weekend, I’ll be walking through my story, you can catch Chapter 3 of The Story from Thursday starting Sunday at 1 pm.

I love you. This will always be home. You’ll always be family.



Outlined here is a high-level overview of the process to select our next lead pastor. It’s crucial to emphasize that prayer guides every step we take in this search. As we progress, multiple individuals might be part of this process, ensuring we conscientiously navigate through each stage to find the perfect fit for Real Life. Our search team is composed of our Board and the Lead Pastor Search Team.


Identify candidates who embody the DNA of Real Life, are passionate about helping people find and follow Jesus, and are ready to lead us into the future. 


Candidates will undergo comprehensive evaluations to determine their compatibility with Real Life, including interviews and meetings with constituents representing various aspects of our community.


Candidates we believe align well with our values will be invited to engage with our community in several ways, such as teaching on stage, participating in small gatherings, and attending various Real Life events.


After completing our thorough review and evaluations, once we believe we’ve identified the individual whom we feel God has called to lead us in this season, we will make our hire. 


Who's is responsible for the search and selection?

While the Board holds the ultimate responsibility for the hiring decision, it’s essential to note that our approach involves a comprehensive evaluation in which numerous stakeholders, including the search team and Rusty, will participate. The Board will make the final decision following a thorough process guided by prayer, collective wisdom, and collaboration.

Who's in charge now?

Mike Breaux, a longtime friend of Real Life, who has served on our teaching team and previously held the position of lead pastor at multiple churches, is stepping into the interim lead pastor role as we actively search for a new permanent lead pastor. Additionally, the Real Life staff will maintain their regular operations, ensuring that you experience no disruptions in your spiritual care and growth.

Will this transition change the mission, vision, or DNA of Real Life Church?
No! Although some things will inevitably look or feel different, the Board is committed to finding someone with a passion for the lost, keeping Real Life a church you can feel comfortable inviting your unsaved neighbors to. 


Is there a timeline to make a hire?

While our aim is to expedite the process of selecting a lead pastor, we understand that finding the perfect fit might require time. Our prayer is for God to guide us and bring forth the right individual at the opportune moment. We remain open to His will during this season to ensure we identify the right person to lead us forward.

How will we know when we have a new lead pastor?

As we progress through the process, it is our goal to ensure you stay informed. As we navigate through this process, we will update you as often as we can, and upon the selection of a candidate, you will receive notifications through our communication channels.

Do we get a vote?

The Real Life bylaws do not incorporate voting for the new lead pastor. Our comprehensive process involves participation from diverse community members, including Rusty, our board, staff, pathmakers, and volunteers, ensuring a broad spectrum of feedback in selecting the next lead pastor.

How can we help in this season?

There are a few ways you can help in this season. As we say, prayer isn’t the only thing we do, but it is the first thing we do. Would you join us in prayer during this season, asking for wisdom as our team navigates this transition period? Additionally, consider getting involved—whether by showing up and inviting friends or by participating in serving and giving. Now is a great time to jump in and contribute to our church community!

Have more questions? Ask them HERE, and a member of our team will review.

Missed Rusty’s Message?

Watch it here. 

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