Refuge Residential Ministry
The Refuge began as a radical commitment to small group discipleship in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. As we learned from both best practices and directly from the men we came to serve over the years, our residential model has grown and changed many times, but our values have remained the same. You’ll see them posted at every location, but also – and most importantly – lived out in the lives of the men, staff, and (hopefully!) families and volunteers as well.
Our 7 Practices define who we are, setting the culture for the residential core of our ministry – a completely free, 13-month, faith-based rehabilitation ministry for men (ages 18+) discipling men from homelessness and hopelessness to hope and homeownership.
The 7 Principles Of Discipleship Transformation
Commit to God – Matthew 22:37
Be Relational With Others – Matthew 22:39
Be Willing To Be Taught: 2 Timothy 2:2
Choose Honesty & Authenticity – James 5:16
Practice Gratitude & Thankfulness – Philippians 4:6
Display Courage & Faith – Hebrews 11:16
Develop Work Ethic & Stewardship – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Learn About The Process
Select An Option
The “Discovery Phase” is set on a secluded 100+ acre property in Lancaster, Ohio. In Phase 1, we desire to be a safe place for every man to discover God and experience unconditional love and acceptance.
Safe environment, free from drugs/alcohol and other distractions
Structured and secluded environment
Development opportunities for mind, body, and spirit
Personal development small groups
Comprehensive, individual plan for personal growth based on biblical study
No outside contact is permitted, so that the men can focus on growing personally and with Christ.
The “Relational Phase” consists of four months split between Lancaster, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio. Here, men begin to develop an intimate relationship with God as well as learning to trust and rely on each other.
Focus on relationships – with God, himself, others, and God’s creation.
Regular emphasis on the study of God’s Word, praise and worship, serving, giving, curriculum, and connecting to the body of Christ beyond the Refuge.
Relational growth is focused on sacrifice, discipleship, brotherhood, conflict resolution, and submitting to authority/peer evaluation in regards to our 7 Principles.
One on one counseling focused on discovering how God created him uniquely and redeeming his story to use as a vehicle to serve the Lord.
Gradual transition back into a work environment to learn responsibility, commitment, and dignity
The restoration process with friends and family begins slowly and gently through weekly phone calls, letter writing and a once a month in-person visit at Family Day.
The “Application Phase”, is the next four months of commitment and is located in Columbus, Ohio. Here, the process more closely resembles what most would consider “regular life”. Men work 35-40 hours per week and have much more freedom to make choices, while still under the authority and obeying the rules of the Refuge.
Men work 35-40 hours per week, paying for the majority of their way through the ministry and investing in the men behind them
Make a small monthly stipend to start saving or spending as they choose
Engaged in the local church and community, especially in the Franklinton/Hilltop areas of Columbus
Volunteer coaches meet with the men weekly to walk alongside them as they begin to prepare for life after the Refuge
May begin making monthly home visits
Phone calls still permitted, along with weekend home visits every two weeks.
The “Launch” rounds out the ﬁnal 4 months of a man’s 13-month commitment. The focus is on preparing men to return to society as responsible men of God, with a developed life plan and ongoing support. Men are given more autonomy than anywhere else in the ministry, while they also have more responsibility – to serve the community and the church, to pour back into the men behind them, and to set a good example for all the men in Phases 1-3. We raise up these men as leaders in the ministry, so that they can also learn to lead in their homes, churches, and communities as responsible men of God.
Men continue to hold a full-time job through partnering employers.
Begin building a life plan and career portfolio that will help them find gainful employment before leaving the ministry.
Connect with a long term mentor for personal growth and development
Freedom is given but responsibility and accountability are key
May begin making monthly home visits
Phone calls and bi-weekly home visits still permitted, along with additional freedom the last month of the ministry to figure out housing and transportation needs.
"Trust the process. God has your back. This is the best thing I’ve done with my life."
"There is so much unconditional love that I haven’t experienced in any other area of my life."
"Relying on God more since he’s already created this restoration."
"There is hope. God loves them. Anything is possible if you just trust…"