Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

7 Steps to Starting a Refugee Ministry

Story by Edwin Manuel Garcia

1. Prayerfully study the Great Commission and the inspired counsels on reaching out to “the stranger in our midst.”

2. Get acquainted with refugees and immigrants near your church—in apartment complexes or grocery stores that specialize  in ethnic foods.

3. Contact refugee resettlement agencies that help identify and place refugees in local communities.

4. Identify church members who can teach English as a Second Language classes, provide transportation, assist with tutoring school children or know about the availability of meaningful jobs or employment agencies.

5. Appoint a coordinator who will be sensitive to the refugees’ needs and fears.

6. Prepare the church by educating congregants and engaging families to accept the diversity refugees bring; embrace differences and similarities.

7. Gather Bibles and other church materials in the refugees’ native language, and find interpreters.

Source: Adventist Refugee and Immigrant Ministries of the North American Division,


The March 2016 Visitor Underscore article shares what several Columbia Union churches are doing to help refugees. Read more here.

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