Being new and small, and with no preconceived notions, debt, or people to upset by change, we can be free to re-think how church is done. This does not negate the work being done within other local congregations, simply another outlet for those who can not find a home within those bodies, or who haven’t been reached by those movements.
The Vision of Refuge.Church
- Never forget that churches are to care more about pleasing God than pleasing people, and that the role of the church is to make disciples of Jesus.
- Limited paid staff, most ministry roles to be filled by self-supported or bi-vocational ministry leaders.
- Our goal is that a minimum of 50% of all tithes and offerings to be used missionally outside the church walls in SWFL and internationally with a focus towards:
- Orphans (adoption, fostering, orphanages)
- Widows (single moms, women who have been hurt, etc.)
- Mental disorders, addictions, and those marginalized by society
- Monthly statement of financial activity (income & expense statement) to be posted to Refuge.Church for complete transparency of our shared resources.
- Pillars of Focus
- Deep Relationships
- Deep Study
- Deep Service
- Emphasis on healing the hurting and being a refuge in storms.
- Focus missionally in SWFL with the following people groups:
- The nones (un-churched)
- The dones (de-churched, refugees)
- The doubters (cynics, atheist, educated that want more than simplistic answers)
- The hurting (counseling ministry)
- The marginalized (by society and the church)
- Decentralization of power to the congregation. No one ministry leader should be the focus of the church.
- Refuge will be a church of action, not just words.
- Empower more, validate non-traditional ministry.
- Making disciples is a group effort, not the responsibility of any one person.
- Biblical Exegetical and Expository teaching, meant to not only preach the Word with a focus on grace & mercy, but get believers into the Word themselves to experience God.
- Synergy of weekly teachings across all age groups. What is taught in our main adult gatherings, will be broken down and taught in our youth and children gathering time as well. This will allow the entire family to be on the same page, and have meaningful conversations and discussions through the week at all age levels.
- Focus from childhood through adulthood on understanding of God’s Word. From learning the books of the bible as a child, to seeing how the whole fits the parts, and the parts the whole as a teen, understanding how to study, not just read; how to interpret; how to look at context and cultural; the intended audience, etc …
- Honesty/Transparency in preaching/teaching. We’re all human; we’re all flawed; we’re all messed up, broken sinners.
- Fluid/organic/experimental. Not locked into any musical style/genre, preaching/teaching style, service format/order, etc.
- As a new start-up, we have the ability that established churches do not, to try new things without the risk of alienating an entire congregation.
- Smaller worship environment, meant for intimate encounters with God.
- Children to be involved in corporate worship (singing).
- It’s not about the building, but about the people and relationships.
- We must not mistake what happens for an hour on Saturday night as church.
- We are neither Republican nor Democrat, Conservative nor Liberal. We are refugees living in a foreign land.
- Focus on relationships; knowing You are Not Alone
- Encourage natural, unforced opportunities for church members to engage with one-another, whether it be pitch-in dinners, beach days, bible studies, yoga, craft parties, service events, mission trips, etc …
- Sundays will be our Sabbath (rest). There will be no formal Sunday programming at Refuge.Church.
- Partnering with OTHER churches, congregations and ministries is critical.
- Jesus is coming back for a bride, not a harem.
- The feel of a home church, even if we may not always be as small as a home church.
- Stop compartmentalizing our church life and daily lives.
- A family is a family 7-days/week, not just Sunday.
Let me know if you want to start a MI is try in Englewood. There is a whole group of generations that seem to feel like misfits.
When do you meet?