About The Ottley
As the founder of Real Life, Inc. I have wondered why we think offering church worship is the only way to offer spiritual help to young adults in the city. This millennial generation is leery of walking into a church. Church represents an institution and is perceived to have a set dogma with an agenda to change people or make them conform. But if we as Christians are called to love our neighbors, why not create a neutral space that is not a church? Why not build relationships with young adults on their terms? Why not offer a safe social setting that is an alternative to the bar and club scenes that predominate? Why not gather a community and simply offer resources to assist them in creating a life of meaning and purpose? Then, rather than seeking to make this new generation conform, we help them explore and even earn the respect to share about our own faith in Christ.
Real Life, Inc. is gathering “an authentic community of twentysomethings in Atlanta” to address the present crises to this group who are often labeled “The Lost Generation”—due to concerns with employment, debt, alcohol/drug abuse and addiction, loneliness, boredom, and a lack of clear direction. “Authentic” refers to a diverse group who respect each other, care about each other’s struggles, and encourage each other toward their hopes and dreams. Thus, we offer a safe place to make friends as well as offer resources to assist these young adults in developing a “real life” of meaning and purpose.
We are located at a cool warehouse in Atlanta that we call “The Ottley.” Thus, this young adult community is beginning to be relabeled “The Ottley Community.” This space is also the home to The Ottley Auction & Antique Gallery which is a nonprofit subsidiary of Real Life, Inc. and 100% of the “profits” benefit this outreach to young adults.
We are engaging CTS students through the Community Engagement Fellows to stir up a peer outreach to young adults in Atlanta, especially targeting the Americorp and Faith-Based Volunteer Organizations in the city. Our Fellows are assisting with marketing to these groups and inviting them to activities and spiritual small groups meeting at The Ottley, as well as Druid Hills Presbyterian Church. We hope CTS and other seminary
students will participate and recruit peers to some large activities such as Juice & Jam Band & Improv nights as well as the monthly Ottley Auctions. These Fellows and other volunteers will also get experience in the startup of a social entrepreneurial ministry by
participating with the auction gallery.
Why not leverage the large number of young adult seminarians to reach out to the enormous influx of twentysomethings in the city? And why not offer seminarians experience in a creative entrepreneurial ministry venture? We invite the whole CTS community to get involved in creating “real life @ The Ottley.”