I have struggled with depression and anxiety off and on since high school/college. Some seasons are symptom free and others are…well…horrible. A few months ago, I felt God’s call on me to start a new church here in Owasso. Shortly afterwards, I was impressed to call it: “The Refuge Owasso.” Why? Because I want our new church to be a safe place for the hurting, the confused, the downcast, and even the sinful. Several times the Bible describes God as “Our Refuge.” We know that when Jesus walked on the earth, He was a refuge to the sick, the hurting, the downcast, and to the vilest of sinners.
As I have said for years, Everybody is “JACKED UP!” Don’t believe me? Let me spend just 5 minutes with you and I will discover how jacked up you really are. 🙂
Jesus was a refuge and as believers we are to be refuges for the hurting. Recently I was asked, “Scott, how are you going to hold up with your struggle with depression and anxiety if you surround yourself with so many needy people? Won’t that get you down?”
That was a great question and an easy one to answer; not just to the person who asked it, but to the greater number of friends that might be reading this right now.
You see, “needy” people don’t get me down. At least they admit their need(s). People who act like they have it all together … now they get me down. Why? Because, I know it’s not true. Again, I just need 5 minutes.
Scripture teaches us that Jesus won’t forgive your sin until you acknowledge that you are a sinner. And to be honest…you are more than a sinner. You’re a professional sinner. You are a sin addict. Why? Because you keep on sinning. And you’re so good at it. But here is the breaking news: all of us are good at it. It’s not just you.
Needy people are refreshing because they are so much closer to their healing than those who aren’t even aware of their own issues. And who better to help the hurting than someone (me/you) who is hurting right beside them?
You can’t let your own wounds stop you from helping others with wounds. Some might call my battle with depression and anxiety a liability or a disability. I call it my “Thorn in the Flesh.” I continue to ask God to deliver me, and God continues to tell me, “My Grace is enough!” So until God delivers me from my pain, I am going to serve Him through that pain to help others with whatever issues they have.
Here is my invitation to you to join me. Will you use whatever “weakness” you have to help others? If you are waiting to get yourself together, then you are going to be waiting for a very long time.
You will never feel worthy! You will never feel put together! You will never feel complete! That is, until you are wrapped in the arms of Jesus helping others get out of their pit.
Please help your church be a safe place for hurting people. Take them by the hand and make them part of your tribe. Love them. Lead them. Disciple them. Be patient with them. Look at them through the eyes of Jesus and be His hands and His feet to introduce them to The Refuge…and then walk with them until you take your last breath!!
Now another invitation. Will you help me make this new church plant a reality in Owasso?
Currently I am meeting with 40-50 people (including children) on Sunday mornings. I am calling them “The Launch Team.” Why “The Launch Team?” Because they are going to help me “Launch” our new church – hopefully in September of this year. Our desire is to grow our launch team to around 100 before we open to the general public. We have a lot of work to do. Would you be interested in joining our team?
There are many ways you can be a part of The Refuge Owasso, whether you live here or anywhere in the world. We need prayer partners. We need financial partners. We need people encouraging us. And we need people who will pray and give and encourage as they put their boots on the ground to launch this new church plant.
Here is my email if you would like to contact me directly. I answer every email. I would love to hear your comments or questions. God bless you!! Scott.email@example.com