Breaking the Mold – Finding the Middle Ground
Finding a church these days can mean a time-consuming search, wading through churches that offer various programs, styles, beliefs, and traditions. In the church world there are a lot of buzz words such as “come as you are church”, “seeker church”, and “postmodern church”. All of these are used to describe the personality, character, and style of a church. However, Refuge Community Church doesn’t fit into any of these (or any other neatly packaged categories). So what are we like?
In many ways, we are a seeker-oriented church in the sense that we want everything that happens in a service to be relevant and easily understandable to those who have never attended a church. Our goal has been to weed out unnecessary traditions and lingo that are outdated and difficult for a visitor to comprehend. It’s like an inside joke: it might be really funny to those in the know, but to someone who just walked up to the conversation, it would be confusing and irrelevant. So while we don’t dumb down the message of Jesus, we keep our explanations of it simple and concise. If our pastor preaches more than 30-40 minutes, that’s usually considered a long sermon.
Typically in seeker churches there is a lack of meaningful worship during the Sunday gathering. This is not the case at Refuge. Our approach is to take our philosophy of relevance into our worship, not weed out worship altogether. In our services you will be inspired to connect deeply with the Living God through meaningful worship. Worship comes in many forms and is not limited to Sunday services, but on Sundays we spend time worshipping our God by singing songs and praying. The difference is that at Scruffy, you will hopefully understand the lyrics and will be guided through the worship experience so that what’s going on around whether you choose to participate or not, makes sense. We don’t sing hymns typically and our music is led by a band. Yep, guitar, drums, keyboard, bass, vocalists. Our worship rocks. If you’re hip to what’s going on in the youth worship scene these days, we’re kind of like Jesus Culture in our approach.
So Refuge doesn’t really fit into the “seeker” category. Nor do we fit into the “traditional” category although at times we love to celebrate time honored Christian tradition. All you need to do is join us for a Christmas Eve service and you’ll see what that means. On Christmas Eve, we light the Advent Candles and sing timeless Christmas songs. But we do them in our own way, normally with a twist. It’s a blend of the old and new sacred. The entire service is lit almost exclusively by candles. It’s really beautiful.
We’re not a church of only poor people and not a wealthy church. We have a variety of people from all walks of life who attend. So there’s no dress code at Refuge. God is not impressed with our clothing and we don’t teach or believe that it honors or dishonors God to dress up or dress down. Our pastor preaches in jeans, not because he thinks it’s cool but because that’s how he’s comfortable. So you can come dressed any way you feel comfortable…as long as you’re dressed.
The words of Jesus were meant to free people, not enslave them. Yes, there are standards in the scripture that we affirm. However, we understand that everyone gets there at their own pace. Rather than beat you over the head with rules, we will do our best to show you how living a life unto God frees you from sin. We believe this approach to be how Jesus taught and lived. Rather than cast people aside because they don’t measure up, we love Jesus into them and develop meaningful relationships that encourage personal spiritual growth. We present the word and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. You won’t find us trying to do His job for Him.
So what are we? We’re Refuge. We’re a little edgy, but mostly just normal people who work for a living. We’re pretty updated, but don’t hate all things traditional. We’re pretty down to Earth. We are accepting of people but challenge everyone to live as Christ teaches. We love the truth, but won’t beat you down with it. We let it lift you up. We love modern worship, we have a rockin’ band and we spend a good deal of time adoring Jesus through song and prayer on Sundays. But it will all hopefully be easy to comprehend and process. Most of all, we’re approachable. We want to know you and introduce you to Jesus, the Son of God who loves you and wants you to be a part of His church whether that’s Refuge or another church.
Please come visit some Sunday at 10. We won’t stalk you, prod you, embarrass you, or pressure you. We will offer you a cup of coffee though after service if you feel like hanging around. See you at church.