Core Values

The Gospel is our core passion, and the source from which all of our other passions and ministries flow.

The word Gospel means “good news.” The Greek word was used for military leaders who would return home triumphant after a battle or campaign. The leader’s fame would be heralded (gospel-ed) in the streets of the city.  The good news of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension is the vehicle the Holy Spirit uses to save sinners. It is the only means of salvation (justification) and to grow in holiness (sanctification). Because the gospel is the only way that true spiritual change can occur, every environment at Refuge is structured around the proclamation of the gospel and its implications. (Genesis 3:15; 12:1-3; John 3:16; 14:6-7; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:16; 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Galatians 1:1-10.)  

We are passionate about living a life that is sacrificial in the same way Jesus came to serve, not to be served.

We tend to avoid sacrifice because we feel entitled to greatness. But in the kingdom of God, true greatness comes through sacrifice. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Anyone can be great because anyone can serve.” Jesus didn’t come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. It’s through his sacrifice that we learn to live a life of sacrifice for others. We sacrifice our preferences and comforts for the good of others. We serve those in need by sacrificing our time. We sacrifice financially for the sake of the kingdom. We identify and use our talents for God’s mission and the joy of the nations. (Exodus 35:10-19; Matthew 20:20-28; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 John 3:17.)

Our passion is to do justice alongside the vulnerable, marginalized, and oppressed.

God commands us, Jesus compels us, and the Spirit empowers us to proclaim the gospel AND do justice. A life with Jesus leads to a life of mercy and justice toward others, so much so, that we meet the needs of others in word and deed, with all the speed, eagerness, energy, and joy with which we meet our own. We don’t just give hand-outs but hand-ups. We address individual brokenness and structural and systemic injustice with the power of the gospel. (Leviticus 19:18; 25; Psalm 41:1; Proverbs 14:31,19:17; Isaiah 1:10-17; Micah 6:8; Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 10:25-37; 2 Corinthians 8:9; James 2:15-16; 1 John 3:17-18.) 

We are passionate about living life as God meant for it to be lived, in community with others.  It is within community that we grow in Christlikeness, live on mission, and care for one another with the gospel.

We are created for community (Genesis 2:18), however, sin distorts and destroys community and leads to our isolation from God and others (Genesis 3:7-13). The gospel restores and renews our relationship with God and others (John 17:20-26; Acts 2:38-47; 1 Peter 2:9-12). When we follow Jesus as Lord, we become the family of God: God is our Father, Christ is our brother, and every follower of Jesus is our sister or brother.  

We are passionate about pursuing racial and ethnic harmony and growing toward a biblical community that reflects the racial, socioeconomic and generational diversity of our neighborhood and city. 

The gospel reconciles us to God and to one other across all racial, cultural, social, and economic barriers. The gospel takes enemies and makes them friends; it kills hostility and brings peace. Our relationship with God and with others is now marked by peace, love, forgiveness, acceptance, nearness, and family. Reconciliation does not happen by ignoring the past but rather through repentance, both individual and corporate. (Romans 5:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:11-22; Colossians 1:15-20; 1 Peter 3:18). 

We are passionate about making mature disciples of Jesus that make mature disciples of Jesus. We want to see Family Groups multiply because they are reaching their neighbors, friends and coworkers with the gospel. We want to plant church-planting churches. And we want to send missionaries and church-planters to the nations. 

We don’t just want to see converts and baptisms, we want to see mature disciples (followers of Jesus) and multiplication. Refuge is an answer for the renewal of the city of Atlanta but it isn’t the answer. For that reason, we seek to multiply our efforts by growing mature disciples of Jesus that seek to multiply themselves in their neighborhoods and workplaces, so that we can multiply Family Groups and eventually churches. (Genesis 1:28; 12:1-3, 17:2; Exodus 1:12-13; Habakuk 2:14; Matthew 9:37-38; 13:23; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8, 6:7, 9:31, 16:5, 19:10; Ephesians 4:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:2; Revelation 7:9.)