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What does effective ministry and enduring faithfulness look like in a city like Los Angeles? What are the unique challenges and opportunities facing pastors and churches in the “City of Angels,” a sprawling and complex metropolis Jack Kerouac once called “the loneliest and most brutal of American cities”?
Jeremy Treat is a good man to ask. He’s the lead pastor at Reality L.A., one of the largest and most vibrant churches in the region, located in the heart of Hollywood.
Reality - LA - Enigma - Observers - Los
Reality L.A. is an enigma to many observers in Los Angeles, who don’t have a category for a theologically conservative, Bible-centered church packed with 20-something artists, actors, DJs, and entrepreneurs who sit attentively through doctrinally rich, 50-minute Sunday sermons preached by a non-tattooed, non-bearded, non-edgy guy who wrote a book on the atonement.
As one secular journalist recently put it, “How, in famously liberal Hollywood and among statistically progressive millennials, had good old-fashioned evangelism gained popularity? In this context, a church like Reality L.A. seemed like something that could never work.”
Treat - Alaska - Seattle - College - Basketball
Treat grew up in Alaska and Seattle, played college basketball at Biola (where today he teaches theology as an adjunct), and earned a PhD in theology at Wheaton College, studying under Kevin Vanhoozer. He’s been in pastoral ministry since age 20, but even he admits he’s an unlikely person to be leading a prominent church in Hollywood.
“Our church is Hollywood; it’s artistic. It’s hipster. And I’m like this jock,” says Treat, who lives in L.A.’s Los Feliz neighborhood with his wife, Tiffany, and four young daughters. Treat has been on staff at Reality L.A.—an outpost of the larger Reality family of churches—since 2013. In 2015 he became the lead pastor after Tim Chaddick was sent to plant Reality London.
Treat - Los - Feliz - Landscape
I recently sat down with Treat in Los Feliz to talk about the spiritual landscape...
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