We believe that discipleship and mission happen best in community. We also believe strongly that being a disciple of Jesus means more than learning theology or doing private spiritual disciplines. Being a disciple of Jesus entails learning to follow him on mission. Any given month should include an opportunity for everyone to experience each one of our values: Gospel (how is the gospel changing me and my character) Community (how can the gospel form us into a loving family) Mission (how can the gospel change my neighborhood and or my city). Multiple weeks in a Gospel Community (GC) could look something like this:
CONNECT in a Gospel Community
Connect is where Jesus’ family learns to care for each other as we invite others to experience the blessing of what it is like in God’s family. Connect is the entry point for people to begin the shift from guest to family. We practice hospitality and “sanctified feasting” not just with one another, but with any that welcome our friendship – spiritual seekers and spiritual misfits, the downtrodden and those considered hopelessly lost. There might be some guided conversation, but the goal of the family meal is primarily to celebrate life together.
EXCHANGE in a Gospel Community
Exchange is where worshippers of Jesus take responsibility for our own development so that we can develop others. Exchange is a men’s or women’s only gathering focused on studying scripture, prayer, and opening our lives for honest dialogue and encouragement. The Exchange is both high on invitation and high on challenge. Exchange will be limited to followers of Christ who are committed to the mission of the Gospel Community. The goal is that out of the Gospel Community Exchange, even smaller and more intimate triads will form organically.
As we interact with each other, there are times where we have to confess or lovingly confront one another with truth, about sin, lack of belief, or inability to deeply apply the Gospel, as well as pouring out words of encouragement. Being a committed part of the Refuge Church family means being open in relationship about your own issues and open to being lovingly confronted about them. At least monthly, the men and women who form core of the Gospel Community will meet separately for prayer and honest dialogue.
GROW in a Gospel Community
Grow is where learners become students of Jesus. What our city needs more than a new program or a new church is God. So we seek God together, begging that his kingdom would come in Memphis as it is in heaven. Monthly we set aside an evening to encounter God, pray for our city, our neighborhood, our friends, and minister to one another.
GO in a Gospel Community
Go is where missionaries are sent by Jesus into our city. We tend to think of service primarily as an event. However, our service does not have to be an amazing venture that the grateful locals are still going to be talking about decades later. Rather than seeing mission as an event, let’s view it through the lens of process. Once we see the process aspect as primary, we release much of the pressure off ourselves to produce the best event ever, focusing more on serving the real needs of those we are trying to reach, however unspectacular that may feel to us.