photo provided by Kylee Shipp

 by June Jeong, opinions editor 

The Roar interviewed senior Kylee Shipp about her experience leading and participating in Refuge Club at AMCHS. 

What is Refuge? 

I don’t want to say it’s a Bible club or a Christian club because we really desire people of other faiths and other beliefs to come, but the things that we talk about are based on the Bible. We’re very open to hearing about other views. And we encourage people who are Christians to grow in their faith, and want to share the gospel with others. We share the message of Jesus Christ. And if they decide that that’s their thing, they can still come, but it’s not like ‘Okay, I’m going to preach something else because that’s not what you believe in.’ It’s a cool place where a lot of people come, and we have a huge diversity ethnically and in age groups. A lot of churches in Texas, and even College Station, the people are all white, and all the same. But Refuge is somewhere where people of all backgrounds can come. There are people who are there who don’t have any kind of strong faith, and there are people like me who are really confident in what they believe in. It’s a club where people encourage one another.

What do meetings look like? 

On Wednesdays, we usually have a game where we just hang out and get to know each other, and have fun. And after that, we usually have worship, and by worship I usually mean that I’ll play a song on the guitar, which talks about characteristics of God’s love and sing praise to the Lord. But it’s not a requirement to participate, so you can sit and observe or participate. And also, after worship, we’ll have a speaker or some kind of activity, like we’ve had Young Life leaders come and speak, leaders in the community come and speak. We’ll have small groups where we split up and pray for one another, like, ‘What are you struggling with?’ or ‘How can I be there for you?’

Why is the club called Refuge? 

The reason it’s called Refuge is because we want it to be a place of welcome, and a place of safety for people, not the Christian club that is exclusive or you have to be this kind of person to come. 

What is the main message of the club? 

The main message of the club is the gospel of Jesus. That’s the reason I started it, and the reason we started it is to share our faith and the love that God has for us that we believe in, in a way that’s not rude or aggressive, in any way, shape, or form. The purpose is to have a community, to let students know about Jesus if they are willing to listen, and to provide them with a community of people who will support them at the school. 

How do you try to encourage or invite people into the club? 

A lot of times we make little flyers and pass them around, and I know a lot of people see the things we put up around school about the club. A lot of is it by word of mouth. I know that a lot of people have come by people inviting them. I always encourage the regular members who come to invite other people to just check it out and see what it’s like. I think out most encouraging aspect is small groups, and we get to split up and be real with one another. I think a lot of times we get stuck in the routine of high school, and high school is never really a place where we can be real.