What is a Welcome Team & Volunteer Interest Meeting?

John Barnett our staff leaders Refuge Louisville

The following details about our Welcome Team & Volunteer Interest Meetings came from an interview with the Executive Director of Refuge, John Barnett. You may find it to be a helpful as a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for these important events.

What is a Welcome Team & Volunteer Interest Meeting?

It’s simply an opportunity for someone to come and learn about different ways to serve refugees in Louisville through their local church. The two big categories for service are what we call (1) Welcome and (2) Journey. Welcome means being part of a Welcome Team, a small group from a local church whom Refuge connects with a newly arrived refugee family during their first three months in the US. Journey means serving refugees after their first three months in the US, including opportunities ranging from teaching ESL to helping with art therapy.


Who’s it for?

As an intrachurch organization, Welcome Team & Volunteer Interest Meetings are for churches who are partnering with Refuge to prepare their members to serve with refugees.

How long does it last?

Two hours. 6:30-8:30 PM.

What’s included?

  • 20 minutes of Refuge vision and strategy
  • 40 minutes of cross-cultural basics
  • 15 minutes to mingle and dialogue
  • 15 minutes of currents opportunities to serve
  • 30 minutes getting plugged in (paperwork, personal connections, etc.)

How often do they happen?

1-2 times per month. They are updated on our website and social media.

Where do they meet?

They usually happen at Refuge, but also sometimes at local churches who desire to host or to mobilize multiple Welcome Teams from their members.

Is there childcare?

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been possible up to now. However, we’re certainly looking for volunteers to help with this. Nevertheless, children are always welcome. In fact, at most trainings there have numerous full families. We actually want you to come as a family so you can serve as a family. There are many ways to serve as a whole family!

Can someone just serve individually?

Yes, groups and individuals are more than welcome! Everyone involved at Refuge goes through the same training so that we build a common vision and cultivate relationships among churches. We have ways for people of all life stages to be involved. We need you!

Does anything fun happen at these meetings?

Of course! The building of new friendships, book giveaways, social media stuff, international snacks. It’s churches embracing refugees, so the atmosphere is great.

Who leads these meetings?

They are led by Refuge staff, former refugees, and international believers.

Does it cost anything?


Do I have to be in a certain denomination?

Churches who are partnering with Refuge are from various denominations. As long as they agree on basic beliefs, we are happy to work together.