Great turnout for our cookout/vision interest meeting tonight. I’ve posted this for those of you who weren’t able to join us, but still planned to be involved! Here are the actual minutes from what I shared at the first meeting. God bless and please keep this all in your prayers!
January 6th, 2013
As several of you know, I’ve waited some time for this day.
I’ve actually talked about starting a church here in Walterboro as far as back as five years ago.
There was a time when I thought we would put a GracePointe Campus here….but I guess that was not meant to be.
Over the last two years especially I have processed and prayed about this matter many times over but for whatever reason I just didn’t feel led that it was God’s timing to move forward.
Over a month ago, after concluding that God would have me stay right here in Walterboro and after seeing the great need for a church reaching the unreached, I am now 100% sure that God has called me to plant Refuge Church.
I’ve prepared some handouts for you that further clarify “Why I’m Starting Refuge Church,”
and “How Refuge Church Will Be Different.”
This afternoon we’ve not gathered to just start a church, but to start a movement that is going to have impact beyond our wildest dreams. It is a movement towards reaching out to the countless unchurched and lost throughout Colleton County, Dorchester County and beyond.
But, right now, let me explain where we are at this point…..
Starting a new church is not as simple as just finding a building and setting a weekly worship time. Starting a church like Refuge will be take much PRAYER, PATIENCE, PERSISTANCE, & a whole lot of COMMITMENT.
For clarity purposes…I’m going to compare the birth of this church to the birth of a child.
When an expectant mother finds out she is pregnant she typically carries that unborn child in her womb for nine months because this gives that child the best chance for development before entering this world.
It has only been a month since God birthed into my heart a clear vision and call for Refuge Church. Since that time, God has been flooding my heart with things that need to be done and steps that have to be taken in order for this new church to not just survive, but thrive.
1. I need to invite others to join me on this journey.
2. I need to seek wise counsel from those who have failed and succeeded before us.
(I presently have two successful church planters who have committed themselves to be on my advisory team. Both of these guys have been and still are in the trenches of the challenges and changes new church works face.)
3. We need another healthy church to sponsor us. (A mothering church as they call it)
(not necessarily financially, but to provide us with much needed support when challenges come our way.)
4. We need to join a network of other churches that are similar in vision, strategy, and structure. -We will be a non-denominational church because we don’t want to create any barriers that might keep someone from attending.)
-Aimee and I have already gone through a training and assessment time with a group called Launch back in April of 2012. I will be having a meeting with the director of that organization on January 16th. (You can check out their website http://www.LaunchStrong.com). Launch partners with church planters all over the world to help them plant successful outreaching churches. There is also the potential of them supporting us financially once we approach the official launch date.
Here are some other things that need to happen next…..
Over the next month…
-We will work to become incorporated and obtain our non-profit status
(This will allow us to receive tax-deductible donations and be protected as a group.)
-I will be meeting with advisory team members, Launch (Church Planting Organization), and seeking a potential church sponsor.
-I will also be putting together a clear course of action for the months ahead.
Over the next few months this is how things could tentatively play out…
January- February-We will meet for monthly fellowships and make some road trips in between to churches that we can learn from their success.
–I plan on us visiting the following churches each of which are anywhere from 1 to 12 years old: New Spring Church (North Charleston), Freedom Church (Moncks Corner), Tidal Creek Fellowship (Beaufort), and The Journey Church (Summerville).
-We will visit these and possibly some other churches over the next several months. Each of these road trips will be followed by an optional lunch gathering.
In February (Time & Place TBA) will be another Vision/Interest Fellowship
where others will have opportunity to join us. This will be followed by a time of commitment for all those who feel led to be a part of the launch and journey. At that time, there will be much greater detail given for the days ahead and we will each need to make a decision. As mentioned before, there will be no hard feelings for those who don’t feel called to go any further.
March (at the earliest)- We may start monthly preview services. We would rent out a facility that could accommodate our celebration event and child care needs. These would be great times to invite unchurched/lost friends/family/co-workers, etc. These times will help us learn how to work together, realize our future needs, and expose Refuge Church to the community.
March/April….Maybe even earlier we want to establish localized life groups. At the very least, one in St. George and one in Walterboro meeting once to twice a month….WE DON’T WANT SUPPORT GROUPS TO BE AN AFTER THOUGHT. These groups are critical!
May – August- We would continue with our monthly preview services, do some community outreaching events, light up our facebook statuses with Refuge Church buzz, get our website (www.RefugeChurch.org) up and running, secure a launch location, create a budget, make sure we have the staff and man-power ready to make a successful launch on Sunday, September 8th (This would be right after labor day which has proven to be a great time to launch a church.) *We would likely start a few trial services a few weeks prior to this launch date.
*Expect within the week to get an invite to our next event, which will be a church road trip….
And, as you go out to where you live, work, and play….BE JESUS TO THOSE AROUND YOU.
-Be sure to “Like” the Refuge Church, Walterboro Facebook page.
-If we’re not friends on facebook please friend request me.
–Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have. I want you to know that from this day forward, I will treat you like I’m your pastor. Let me know how I can pray for you! Cell # 843- 560-2508