by Megan Pardue
Refuge has a…what? A web site? Not possible.
This is a long standing joke for those that have worshipped at Refuge. We’ve never had a website until now! How can a church that began in September of 2007 survive until 2013 without one? How have new people come to Refuge? How did people find this mobile church that rarely met in the same place two weeks in a row?
Practically speaking, we’ve communicated about where we are meeting via email. In order to find out where church is, you’ve got to get on the email list. New folks have come and gone entirely by word of mouth. When I think about it, it’s kind of a cool thing. In an age when people search for churches on the web or visit churches because they drove past the big sign in front of the building, Refuge has made it work, without a website, big sign, or even a building. People have talked about Refuge with their friends or acquaintances, forwarded the weekly email along, and sure enough, people come.
I remember our first Sunday at Refuge so clearly. We pulled up to a house on Iredell we’d never been to before, occupied by people we’d never met. Keith and I got out of the car and awkwardly knocked on the door, hoping we had the right place. We’d been invited by Chris and Rachel and Todd had forwarded the weekly email to me so that we would know where to find Refuge. After our first Sunday, as strange as it was to visit a church at someone’s home, we knew Refuge would be our church.
Why now? Why is now the time for Refuge to go online? First of all, it’s practical. You accidentally deleted the weekly email? Check the web. That’s right. Refuge is at Dana’s place. Second, having a website allows people to find Refuge. What if someone attended a wonderful home church in Chicago, but now they’re in Durham? Are there home churches in Durham? Is there another church committed to meeting in people’s homes, using resources intentionally, and being invested in relationships with one another and the community? The answer is, “yes.” Third, the website, specifically the blog page, creates an opportunity to read about what’s going on at Refuge. Whether you were helping out with children, missed this past Sunday, or live on the other side of the country, you can stay engaged with what’s going on at Refuge and the conversations we’re having. Finally, we now have Kristen. Kristen has graciously and generously given her time and expertise to building this site and we couldn’t have done it without her.
So, why now? Why not now?