Meet our team
Scott considers himself something of a Mutt because he is from everywhere and nowhere. Born in Africa to missionary parents and then living all over the US has given Scott a unique perspective on life. Scott has several degrees (a Bachelor’s in both Business & Theology from MidAmerica Nazarene University and a Master’s in Christian Education from Nazarene Theological Seminary), but he’s much prouder of the fact that he can hold his own with a power tools, and even prouder that he’s a husband to his wife of 20 years and dad of three great kids (2 boys and a girl). After 15 years of ministry Scott became the Lead Pastor of Real Life in July 2012.
Scott is passionate about teaching the Bible, seeing people genuinely follow Jesus in a radical way, and building leaders who build leaders. Don’t ask him about his love for the Cardinals in Cubs country.
Scott lives in Portage with his wife Andrea, and their three children.
Tim was born in San Diego and got addicted to tacos and old VWs while growing up all over Southern California. He graduated from Olivet Nazarene University, where he met Sharon, started a band, and then went to work full-time for Youth For Christ. Tim started leading Worship, singing and songwriting when he was 12 with a borrowed guitar in a youth group. We eventually found him years later singing jingles and leading worship in Chicago.
Tim and Sharon and their kids Kylie, Kacie, and Kody have been a part of the Portage community and Real Life since 1996. To find him, you can email him, hit him up on Facebook or run into him at any of the four Taco Bell restaurants here in the area.
Student Ministry Pastor
Reed is the newest member of our Pastoral Team and has been with us since April 2016. He’s a recent graduate of Olivet Nazarene University where he earned a degree in Youth Ministry. He’s passionate about students, loves to meet new people and loves it when students find out they have gifts and can lead. Reed was raised in Cincinnati, is a huge sports fan and played baseball and football in High School and College. He’s been married for almost 3 three years to his fantastic wife Ariel.
He loves weird office memorabilia. Give him something ridiculous and he’ll love you forever.
Interim Kids Ministry Pastor
Cathy is a kid at heart who is passionate about kids & families. She is in her eleventh year as an elementary teacher at a local public school, and has taught specifically in the area of high ability for nine of those years.
She has served in kids ministry for over twenty years; seventeen of which have been at Real Life Community Church. She currently serves on staff at Real Life as the Interim Kids Ministry Pastor. She uses her artistic talents to bring fresh ideas and create inviting spaces for kids. She and her husband Shane have two amazing kids and are actively involved in the community.
Office Manager & Bookkeeper
Laurie has attended Real Life for 22 years and been on staff for over 17. She has had many different administrative roles at Real Life, but the one that fuels her the most is being behind the scenes supporting the staff and volunteers to do what they’re passionate about — she loves when things come together and truly enjoys being part of the process that makes that happen. She and her husband John have an amazing daughter and are natives of the Region — born and raised in Portage. When it’s not work, it’s family, fishing and the beach.
Pre-K Director (Part-time)
Christine Hurd has made Real Life her home since 2004 and has had the honor of serving in the PreK Ministry since 2015. Monday – Friday of each week you can find her working as the main teacher for our Preschool partnership with the Portage Township YMCA; Arrow Early Learning Center.
Christine is passionate about teaching young children. She loves the beach, even though she has a fear of deep water (she’s working on that one!). Christine loves to learn and is always letting God teach her and help her grow.
Christine and her husband Bert have lived in Hobart for 27 years.They have 4 amazing children and 5 awesome grandkids. Christine is excited to lead the amazing team of people who teach and demonstrate the love of Jesus to your kids.
Director of Operations
Chandra has attended Real Life for 16 years and has been involved in a lead volunteer role for the last five. She recently joined the Real Life Team full time as the Director Of Operations, where she will be able to use her 20 years of financial and operational management experience. Chandra is dedicated to leaving people better than she found them, and hopes to make a difference in the lives around her. Chandra and her husband Paul live in the Portage area, and together they have three children; two of which are in college and the last one is still at home in school. In her free time, Chandra can be found serving on area non-profit board of directors, serving the community in various volunteer events, or attending one of her children’s athletic or academic events.
Facilities & Maintenance
She and her husband Tom have been married since 1977. 1981 was a big year. They had their first child (twins came a couple years later), started attending Real Life, and began the journey of following Jesus. Since then Debbie’s done a bit of everything–served in the Women’s Ministry, Vacation Bible School, Student Ministry, the Nursery and way back in the day, Bus Ministry. She’s our longest-tenured staff, working here for over 30 years!
Debbie loves the behind the scenes part of her job where she gets to help and serve people by making our campus a comfortable and clean space so people can get closer to God. When she’s not with one of her three grown girls, her husband or her four teenage grandkids, you’ll find her hiking trails, going to the beach to watch sunsets and cooking.
Kyle has attended Real Life for 17 years and has served with the worship band and productions team for 10. He has a real passion for production and creating environments where people can encounter God. He also enjoys developing people and has recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Leadership and Management. Kyle and his amazing wife Abagail are lifelong Portage residents. In his free time Kyle enjoys time with family, trying new restaurants, cooking new foods and dishes, and discovering new hobbies.
JR was born in Gary, Indiana, and grew up in a Christian home in Portage. He attended Portage High School but graduated from Calumet Baptist School, where he attended his senior year. At Calumet Baptist he met Michelle McKinley, and they were married while attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. After graduation with a major in Christian Education, they lived in Illinois for a few years working at Moody and then moved back to Portage to start a family. JR enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, and working on old cars. JR is the third in a line of JRs (that is his full name–just initials), and his son carries the name for the next generation. If you’re old enough, you’re already asking, “Who shot JR?”
JR and his family started attending Real Life Community Church 9 years ago when they realized a need for more opportunities for their kids. He took on the role of Facilities Manager 7 years ago and enjoys helping people while maintaining and improving the church’s facilities. JR and Michelle live in Portage and have two grown children, JR IV and Rachel, and a black lab named Molly.