Church Check: Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho
Updated: Mar 21, 2021
Basic Church Information
Church Name: Real Life Ministries
Senior/Lead Pastor: Jim Putman
Leadership Staff/Elders: Unknown
Address: 1860 N. Cecil Road Post Falls, ID 83865
Email: https://www.reallifeministries.com/contact-us / email@example.com
Denomination: Non-Denominational / Possibility of Calvinism & Lordship Salvation
Preaching Style: Topical
Membership Requirements: Yes
Tithes/Compelled Giving: Yes - Tithing is actually taught as a command to Christians
Financial Transparency: No (See Questionnaire)
Answered Questions: Yes...Sort of
Online Services: https://www.reallifeministries.com/watch-listen?Location=76882ae3-1ce8-42a6-a2b6-8c0b29cf8cf8
Affiliations: Celebrate Recovery, Relational Discipleship Network
Other Information: RLM has a Podcast where Jim Putman addresses specific topics regarding women in ministry (this church does not allow women in leadership positions), membership questions, etc. (https://www.reallifeministries.com/podcasts). I will be starting a series of opinion pieces in response to Jim Putman's statements on these issues.
Red Flags of Abuse:
As always, we recommend that anyone attending their church, including Real Life Ministries, walk themselves through Steve Hassan's BITE Model and Undue Influence Continuum to make sure they're not being victimized by their church or ministry. Both documents are available here:
Our initial request for Real Life Ministries to answer our questions was over a year and a half ago. I emailed the contact email from the church's website and reached one of their office employees. After I introduced myself and sent them the list of questions, they looked them over and said 'No.'
This time (8/27/20), I decided to try and get in touch with Pastor Jim Putman himself. He has ignored my email so far, but after realizing he probably won't respond, I took a more creative approach.
While I was able to find many of the answers myself, I popped into RLM's live Facebook service yesterday morning and asked the questions I was missing answers to. What do ya know? They answered them ;).
Update: 1/28/21: I have finally managed to get in touch with Pastor Jim Putman. While I've been distracted discussing other issues with him, I will be asking him about any questions I still don't have answers to and update this report accordingly.
1. What is your church's official position on tithing?
This is what their official Doctrinal Statement on Stewardship and Generosity says (emphasis is mine):
"RLM Doctrinal Statement: STEWARDSHIP & GENEROSITY
We believe our whole lives; our time, talents and treasures are to be given obediently and generously in response to God's grace, mercy and love for us. We believe that giving 10% of our income is defined as a "tithe", the Biblical starting point of giving to the local church (the storehouse). We believe that any giving over 10% is an "offering" of gratitude for the great things God does for us daily and can be directed at the givers discretion to any worthwhile ministry, church or organization. We believe that generosity and stewardship are essential to maturity and the accomplishment of Christ's mission..."
We hear Pastor Jim Putman talking about tithing as a "command" on the Real Life Discipleship Podcast during their November 26, 2019 episode entitled "Ever Wonder Why We Pass The Offering Bucket At Church?"
Also, Old Testament tithing is taught on this page teaching Christians to practice the habit of giving in order to grow spiritually: https://www.reallifeministries.com/page/2145?Item=718
Lastly, on the church's Give page, it states: "...THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY AND FAITHFULNESS IN YOUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS AS WE CONTINUE TO REACH THE WORLD FOR JESUS, ONE PERSON AT A TIME."
2. Does your church have official memberships, and if so, does it include a membership agreement or contract?
They do, but it can't