Brotherhood After the Refuge
How do men plan for completion of the ministry?
The 3 Pathways
In addition to helping men prepare practically for completion (including drivers licenses/IDs, budgets, housing, transportation, mentors/support, and more as needed), we have found it very important for the long term success that men finishing or leaving the Refuge remember – (1) their identity as a son of God, (2) their mission as a vital part of the local church, and (3) their giving back as servant leaders. Our sincere desire is to develop men in these areas throughout their time at the Refuge; so to help them plan what life looks like next, we created the “3 Pathways”.
As men enter Phase 3, we propose men choose one of these “3 Pathways” to receive training throughout Phase 3 and 4 of the Refuge, so that they are well prepared before they ever leave.
Coordinator – Men without committed relationships/responsibilities elsewhere can apply to be a Refuge coordinator – a house-manager type position, whose responsibility is to coordinate the day to day of a particular phase, set a healthy and biblical culture, and support the phase director in serving the men well. A coordinator is paid a small stipend, given room and board, and asked to make at least one 6-month (no longer than 1 year) commitment to serving the men behind them.
These coordinators are the “boots on the ground” and the bedrock of our ministry, so the selection process is intensive. Many coordinators, however, say that they learn more in leadership and personal growth in this position than in their first 13 months with the Refuge. Eventually, our hope is that men will be able to trained up through this role to serve as coordinators and strong leaders at other faith-based residential ministries if there is a need!
Champion – For men going back to family or home responsibilities outside of Columbus, we ask them to commit to being a Champion in their local church. They are introduced to the idea of serving in a church regularly, helped to make strong connections with a home church in which to serve, and asked to consider leading a small group that would serve other active or recovering addicts once they return home (with their minister’s approval. See the Champions page for more information!). These men often become the foundation for a whole church and/or community to see the way Christ can impact a community through addiction. They bring hope, connect people to resources, and learn to step out in faith and lead with integrity.
Project 614 – Finally, men can choose to remain on the West side of Columbus and engage in what we call Project 614. For the whole story, check out the Project 614 homepage, but this is an opportunity for men to build a gospel community on the West side of Columbus. They begin by renting from another alumni, and ultimately move to home renovation and home ownership within just a few years. An increased commitment to outreach and active service in the local church are requirements for consideration, since the first focus of each man will be to live out the gospel that he’s learned through the Refuge in gospel community together. These men hold each other accountable and support one another as they fight the good fight. Together, we are seeing men move from homelessness and hopelessness to home ownership!
I’ve left the Refuge. How can I stay involved?
Let’s just get one thing straight. You are welcome back. You know the culture and the mission of the Refuge, and if you are in line with that and want to come give back or just get fellowship and encouragement – you are welcome here.
A few ways you might be able to get involved:
Attend the Annual Alumni Reunion! Typically held in July (check Upcoming Events for details!), this event is built specifically to encourage, connect and challenge you with your brothers every year. We’d love to see you there!
Become a Champion in your local church. Want to stay connected somewhat to the Refuge but live far away? Have you thought about serving in your local church? Join a growing group of champions across the state who simply (and powerfully!) host small group recovery through their local church and help men throughout their community find true freedom.
Come back to Encounter – the third Saturday of every month. Call the information line at 614-991-0131 to confirm the date, but you are welcome to come back to worship, hear updates, and encourage the men behind you.
Volunteer with the Refuge. What volunteer most impacted you during your time at the Refuge? You of all men know the importance of deep relationship and connection, investing in the lives of the men behind you. Visit our Serve page for more specifics!
Be a table captain at the fundraiser! While you were in the Refuge, you worked and paid for yourself and the men behind you to have a chance at true and real freedom – the same kind you’re living out today. Help us make that available to hundreds more men in the year to come by attending the annual fundraising banquet. You can make the same difference for a man that someone made for you.