Saturday night I visited the Refuge, a simple church that my friend Bill Benninghoff is part of. The group started off with a meal, went to announcements then did something that really surprised me. Instead of worship and teaching, they had a member share his story, his giftings, and his struggles. Then the whole group ministered to him. There were words of knowledge, some prophetic words. There was a prophetic song, and scriptures shared and the Brother was encouraged and built up.
Kevin, one of the leaders explained that they believed they should really get to know one another. So for the moment, each week one or two people are sharing their lives with the group. I think this is an extraordinary idea. Kevin explained that they are still struggling to navigate away from traditional ways of doing church into a more organic or simple model.
What I really appreciate is taht this group is really trying to get to know one another and love one another. I am convinced that this can only result in a stronger community of faith.
The Refuge is also being very missional. One lady, Anita, has been ministering to a family in the apartment complex, with others coming along side to help. Two other gentlement are ministering to the homeless. Some are ministering at a local nursing home and others are helping people by cutting lawns. They are serving people in ways that will allow them to connect with the people they are serving. Hopefully, it will open up the opportunity for people to share the gospel.
I was really encouraged to see this group of Christ followers dedicated to following Jesus and reaching out to people.