NEW TO Refuge
I gave my life to the Lord at an early age and was raised in the church my Dad was the pastor of until I was 13 years old. From the age of 13 until I was 22 I didn’t step foot into church. Heavily involved in various sins in those years, my life was spiraling out of control. In those days I was severely demon oppressed to the point where the enemy convinced me that I had blasphemed the Holy Spirit and couldn’t be forgiven. I came to the place where I decided I would rather serve Jesus and go to hell than continue to live in rebellion. Over the next few years I studied my bible night and day trying to find out the truth concerning my salvation.
During this time I started sharing the gospel through rap music and I saw hundreds make decisions for Christ still not knowing if I was saved. Then on a day that I’ll never forget all that I had been reading in the Bible about the forgiveness and love of God seemed to sink from my head into my heart. I knew that I knew that I was forgiven and that I had a mansion waiting for me in heaven.
In 1995 I married my beautiful wife, Shannon. The Lord has blessed us over the years with four children. I eventually became the youth pastor at Calvary Chapel Atascadero. In 1998, at the age of 28, I became the senior pastor of the church which is now named Refuge .
On Staff Since
Teaching and Preaching the Bible
In my youth I did not finish school because I was involved with drugs. I continued into adulthood feeling an emptiness so I thought by getting a job, house, money, car, relationships, and drugs that would resolve my emptiness. I got married to my wife Becky, however their was still a void in my life. In December of 2004 my wife got saved and started attending Calvary Chapel Atascadero, now called Refuge Church. I saw a change in her life which gave me a desire to know more about Jesus Christ. I started attending church with her and eight months later I gave my life to the Lord.
August of 2005
On Staff Since
October of 2009
Spanish Ministry in San Miguel
The summer following 4th grade I attended Vacation Bible School for the first time. I had gone to church for four years but had never heard about surrendering my life to Jesus until that VBS. I gave my life to the Lord that week. Later in the summer, at camp, I saw a young man worshipping the Lord with his guitar out on a big rock under a Sequoia tree. That week the Lord birthed in my heart the desire to worship Him with my voice and a guitar. I have served the Lord in worship ever since.
June of 1978
On Staff Since
February of 2002
Psalm 28:7; Philippians 2:5-11
Playing Guitar; Skiing; Golf; Watching Football
Administrator/Children's Ministry Director
I came to the Lord in November of 1998 after my youngest sister died tragically in a car accident. It was in my grief that I saw how much God loved me and it was during this time that He gave me understanding of why I needed a Savior. God captured me, my husband, my three kids, and transformed our lives. He continues to transform us giving us understanding and a deeper love for Him.
November of 1998
On Staff Since
March of 2007
Proverbs 3:5-6; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 John 3:1
Sewing; Paper Crafts; Photography
I grew up in a Christian home and knew the Lord at a young age. However, it was not until I was seventeen years old that I fully surrendered my life to Jesus and began following Him. Since that time, I was blessed to be able to attend and graduate from Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta Hot Springs, CA. I have also been blessed to serve on missions trips in the U.S., abroad, and in various ministries at Calvary.
On Staff Since
Refuge Church Elders
Steve Shively (Senior Pastor)
“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22
We recognize that the New Testament doesn’t give a clear definitive statement of God’s preference for church government. In Scripture, we find three basic forms of church government. One of them is in the Old Testament and two of them are in the New Testament. The first form of church government was the rule by bishops, or overseers. The Greek word is ’episkopos’. In 1 Timothy 3:1, Paul wrote, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.” There is another form of leadership that utilized a group of gifted men called the ‘presbyteros’, or elders. Acts 14:23 tells us, “So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”
The New Testament clearly teaches the establishing of bishops, the episkopos, and the appointing of elders, the presbyteros. The question arises, “Is the church to be led by the bishop, or by the board of elders? Is it the episkopos or the presbyteros? The fact that they both exist shows that there isn’t a clear definitive teaching about the correct form of church government. However, the answer must be sought in the Scriptures alone, and there does seem to be ample implication regarding this issue.
The Bible does teach a plurality of elders functioning together in the leadership of each local church as in Acts 20:17-38 and 1 Peter 5:1-4; but this is simply a description of there being several elders who work together as team members to accomplish their specific task of ministry. So, there should be multiple elders serving in the church.
The Bible also teaches the idea of a strong singular pastoral leadership for each local church as in 1 Timothy 3:1 and Titus 1:7. The “Bishop” or “Overseer” is always referred to in the singular form. As we look at the Scriptures overall, it would appear the pattern of God’s government to be related to a single authority. So the Pastor seems to be in the unique position of being the “Overseer” of the church, but at the same time as one who is to function as a member of the elders of the church.
At Refuge Church we believe that Jesus Christ is the Head over the body of the church. It’s His church. He’s the One in charge. Jesus being the “Shepherd” (John 10:11) the Senior Pastor is a “Under-Shepherd” ruled by the Lord and recognized by the congregation as God’s anointed instrument to lead the church, and aided by the Elders to discover the mind and will of Jesus Christ for His church. This in turn is implemented by the Assistant Pastors.
More to come.