I’m sure this article will offend someone, but I can honestly say I have no selfish agenda as I write these words. If you already attend church this article isn’t for you. If you live in Colleton County and are one of the nearly 30,000 folks that don’t attend church, this message is for you.
Yes, I realize there are many reasons people don’t attend church. Some feel the church is full of hypocrites, boring, irrelevant, self-centered, after their money and just another social club. I’m not even going to attempt to argue with you about these accusations. In fact, I fully understand why many of you may feel the way you do. However, maybe you’ve just not had the best of experiences.
Before I go any further, please let me say that I know several great pastors and churches in the area. Believers that would give you the shirt off their back if they really knew you were in need. Folks that spend most of their days trying to leave this world a better place.
For the record, I don’t believe churches need to change the truth. I believe God meant every word He wrote in His best selling book called the Bible. I believe whether you’ve ever darkened the doors of a church or not, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. To know God’s truth and to not follow that truth is sin. And, sin will always separate us from a right relationship with God. Thank God for His amazing grace!
Now, God did put it heavy on my heart a few years ago to start a church here that approaches things differently than most. A place where people can truly “Come As They Are.” A place where people will never feel judged, but always loved. A place where the truth is always presented in a relevant way that changes people’s everyday lives. A place where people can wear what they have, give what they can, and never leave the same. A place that “Changes The Way You Think About Church.”
In March 2011, my wife and I started Refuge Church after a lot of prayer. It probably appeared foolish for a family of six to rent the Colleton Rec Center for weekly worship. All we knew was God had called us to this mission and that was all that mattered. You see, I learned a long time ago that God’s plans don’t have to make sense to any of us. If you do what’s right, you can’t go wrong.
After setting up for weekly Sunday worship the past 2 years and 8 months, God has more than proven His faithfulness. Word has traveled that Refuge Church is a place that is very serious about meeting people on their front porch. We understand you don’t care how much we know, until you know how much we care.
Hundreds of previously unchurched folks have walked through those Recreation doors. Many touched by the genuine love they’ve felt. Many shocked by the fact that we’ve never even passed around an offering plate. As one gentlemen said, “I just don’t think most people believe church could ever be like this.” I’ve often said that anytime you mix calling, compassion, competancy, and consistency you will discover something great.
Refuge has grown from a family of six to a house full of worshippers. We offer two identical Sunday morning worship experiences where lives are always changed. Most importantly, the majority of our members were once like some of you. They never attended church before, nor did they have any desire to do so. Now, we can’t keep them outside the doors.
This Sunday, November 8th Refuge Church will relocate into our own 24/7 Worship Facility. Many will feel right at home in our new building located right in the heart of Walterboro. If you are among the many unchurched please join us Sundays @ 9:15am or 11am. I guarantee we’ll change the way you think about church. Learn more about our vision and what to expect at www.RefugeChurch.org.
Our new location is 203 Eddie Chasteen Drive. Right across from Wells Fargo and beside Walterboro Eye Care Center.
(Hebrews 10:25) And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.