a heart for serving
Because we love others, we are called to serve. God has given every person a different personality, with different gifts and skills—He has made each one of us uniquely and in His image. As a church family, we celebrate the diversity of our members, and love to serve one another—and we love to find ways to serve the community around us, too. Indeed, Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve, and as His followers, we are likewise called to serve. There are lots of ways to get involved in serving our church family and it is also a great way to get to know people at Refuge. Some of these ministries are listed below: please contact us if you would like to get involved or just to find out more. firstname.lastname@example.org
In John's gospel, Jesus tells a Samaritan woman that,
The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
At Refuge we believe in worshipping God in spirit (that is worshipping Him deep within our hearts and our very being); and in truth (worshipping Him for who He is based on what we know about Him from Scripture). Worship is a business of directing our whole lives towards God. It is an expression of our love for Him and our devotion to Him.
One way we express this love and devotion as a family at Refuge is by singing together. We sing songs about, for, and to God. As we worship in this way, God responds faithfully and makes Himself known to us. Scripture is permeated with paradigms of God’s people singing songs as a response of their hearts towards Him; at Refuge we believe that God still works powerfully through music and song when His people gather together to sing to Him. If you are musically gifted and would like to get involved in our praise band, then we would be glad to hear from you.
At Refuge, we are committed to fostering a culture of prayer—as individuals and corporately for one another. Each Sunday, before our service of worship in the morning, and at one of our homes in the evening, we come together to pray for our church and our city.
Additionally, towards the end of our Sunday morning worship gathering, Refuge has a trained team who are equipped and excited to minister to people through prayer. We offer this service to the church after the sermon each Sunday, during which time we are ready to pray for people for whatever burdens they might have. This often includes: prayer for a difficult life circumstance; spiritual support for confession and turning away from sin; and for emotional or physical healing. We really see this as a time of powerful ministry for our church and have seen much fruit come from it.
We want to ensure that—whoever you are, wherever you’re from, and whatever's going on in your life—if you come to Refuge, you will be made to feel immediately at home amongst us. On arrival on a Sunday, you will be warmly welcomed with complimentary refreshments and baking to enjoy. It is a relaxed and informal atmosphere, and there is an opportunity for conversation before the service begins. At the end of the service, we value an extended time of fellowship: it is a time to get to know people who are visiting a little bit more; a time to get to know one another more deeply; a time when friendships are forged and cultivated. It is also an opportunity to engage in conversations that delve deeper. It is a time to share in each other’s joys or sadnesses; uncertainties and affirmations—and this is the valuable work of building up the church family by sharing our burdens and gladness.
At Refuge, we all endeavour to contribute in creating a caring and hospitable environment. We are a family, after all, who seek to love others. Additionally, we have a dedicated and servant hearted team that work hard to oversee the preparation and setting up of the refreshments, thereby facilitating these times of fellowship, which are such an integral part of creating this friendly atmosphere at Refuge.
Our church family is committed to making disciples, teaching them to know God's grace and be fully surrendered to His will. The children of Refuge are part of this commission and therefore we actively seek to teach them to know God's love, and encourage them to model Christ. We want to see every child welcomed into the family of God and encouraged to be who they were created to be. Alongside all-age worship we have Refuge Kids each Sunday, which provides children with their own teaching at an age-appropriate level.
We rely on a team of dedicated volunteers to make this happen. These volunteers are involved in teaching the children through creative activities and supporting them in prayer. Our volunteers participate in biannual training and are committed to making Refuge Kids a safe, nurturing environment for our littlest members.
The people of Israel had been accustomed to setting-up and taking-down the Tabernacle as God trained His people throughout the desert wilderness for 40 years (in preparation for leading them into the land He had promised them). Whilst we might not be nomadic in the same way at Refuge, we are nevertheless, and in a very real sense, pilgrims—we want to be swift to follow where God leads us. We are a budding, recently-established church plant; and although we have outgrown the house-church where we began, we don’t yet have a building of our own. Currently we rent a hall each week for our Sunday services and by necessity, we are therefore required to set-up and tear-down our equipment each week. Our committed team arrive in good time in order to be ready for our band to rehearse—well before the start of our Sunday service—and are usually the last ones out of the door after the tear-down of the church equipment at the end.
If being up at the front of a busy church speaking or singing words isn’t your thing that doesn’t mean that you can’t play an important part in communicating the words of the gospel. At Refuge we value our people on the media production team—who run audio visuals—as a vital part of communicating the good news of Jesus. They ensure everything runs smoothly; that the band sound just right; and that the message gets across clearly. Working closely with our worship team and our speaker, the technical people are an integral part of crafting our Sunday morning worship.