Nurturing and Cultivating Missional Community in Knoxville.

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Nurturing and Cultivating Missional Community in Knoxville.


Why. Missio Dei

(The Mission of God)

The church in our culture is in crisis. The statistics are alarming: in the last fifty years the church has experienced a position of trended decline across the Western world. It is estimated that the prevailing models of evangelistic churches at their best can reach 40 percent of the American population. But probably 90 percent of evangelical churches spend the majority of their time and resources improving these models of church and vying for the same 40 percent.

There is a great need to develop a new way looking at the mission of God with the 60% in mind. This is precisely what Forge exists to do.

Forge aims to focus its energy on developing leadership that can understand the missional challenge and proactively develop strategies and approaches that will be able to take the mission of God into new and uncharted ground with fresh and creative expressions.

How. Equipping Missional Leaders

Forge is a residential learning experience in a relational and communal context with ongoing support and resources. We seek to create and establish networks of learners and practitioners designed to teach people to translate the story of Jesus and engage their culture.

To do this, Forge cultivates learning communities across the United States and the world by identifying, developing, and nurturing missional leaders. Forge does not plant churches or run ministries, but instead trains missionaries to thrive in whatever context they are called, be that a local church, a non-profit, a neighborhood, a professional network, etc.

Forge is unique in that it allies innovative church plants, mission ventures, a wide variety of theological colleges, and a number of major evangelical denominations and agencies. The Forge network is led by active missional practitioners who are able to offer significant experiential training.

What. Forge Knoxville

The Forge Knoxville residency is for anyone interested in learning how to engage their particular context with the story of Jesus incarnationally.

Each resident will participate in the following:

Learning Cohorts (2 per month). A time to discuss each member’s missional context, share wins, and engage in God’s story through teachings as well as through discussion of selected books in the residency curriculum.

Individual Coaching (2 per month) from a Forge leaders who will come alongside residents on their missional journey.

Three Two-day Intensives. These will involve teaching and dialogue with practitioners from around the world. Some previous practitioners who have taught at our intensives include Hugh Halter, Tim Catchim, Brad Brisco and Kim Hammond.

Who Are Forge Residents

Our residents are stay at home moms, athletic trainers, mall employees, leaders of housing associations, members of neighborhood associations, pastors, non-profit founders, and more - and what they all have in common is, “We commit to stay engaged in God’s mission in our neighborhood and community, to remain teachable, and to keep a posture of learning throughout!”

Because we believe place matters and that staying matters, the place and the people that you are near are the very places where God is working. We encourage people to remain a full time student, a state worker, a mechanic, etc- the trust they’ve built in their particular context, we don’t want to extract them from that to train. Discipleship and formation happens through the lens of mission. For the entirety of the residency, our residents (think participants) are matched up with mentors that they will meet with regularly. These mentors, what we call “coaches”, are there to walk with them through the process of breaking old paradigms and shaping new ways to see God, our neighbors, and ourselves.

We are about slowly changing a posture, not adding new models and programs. We are about stirring imaginations, not simply dispensing theological information. Forge trains men and women to live as missionaries in their neighborhoods and in the places they’re already doing life. We are bent on empowering ordinary people to join in the extraordinary mission of God right where they live. By partnering with local churches, universities and seminaries, we aim to take those oh so cryptic words of Jesus seriously and literally, when He says “Love your...neighbor.”

Cost. $600 for a six month residency.

(Can Be Paid in Installments)

This includes: books, cohorts, coaching, intensives, administrative costs, affiliation with a broader Forge Network of thought leaders and practitioners and discounts to various conferences as well as IVP resources.

Missional Learning Community

FORGE AMERICA, in partnership with local churches, universities, and seminaries, trains men and women to live as missionaries in their own context. In our present cultural climate most experienced pastors recognize that intentional incarnational responses and church planting is the most effective approach.

FORGE is an initiative which specifically addresses these challenges by linking experienced mission practitioners with emerging missional leaders. FORGE aims to focus its energy on developing leadership that can understand the missional challenge and proactively develop strategies and approaches to be able to take the church into new and uncharted ground.

FORGE KNOXVILLE encourages the dreamers, entrepreneurs and the risk takers in our communities to boldly seek new expressions of faith and new approaches to mission so that we can be genuinely connected to the heartbeat of Knoxville. The FORGE dream is to see both new missional communities birthed AND established churches encouraged to refocus on the task of misson here in Knoxville.

With this in mind, FORGE KNOXVILLE is offering a  6 month Missional Learning Community in downtown Knoxville starting in the Fall of 2017. We aim to come alongside existing churches and faith communities in training, equipping and encouraging local church leaders in missional practices. 

We would like to invite you, and any leaders in your community, to enter into this missional conversation with us. During the cohort we will be looking at the Foundations, Principles, and Practices of missional living and how we are joining the Missio Dei, the Mission of God, in our faith communities and our neighborhoods.

This community will gather starting in October and going through March. It will be held at 4 Market Square on one Tuesday a month from 12:00-2:00 pm. The cost is $150 and will cover all books, materials and a catered lunch for each session. During this cohort you are also invited to join our FORGE Resident Intensives. These are typically two days sessions with thought leaders and practitioners from across the country who are active voices in the missional conversation.

Hub Leadership.

Mark Nelson

Mark Nelson

Mark is the lead pastor at Crossings in Downtown and North Knoxville and has co-led the Knoxville Forge Hub with Alan since it's beginning in 2012. He is a graduate of Johnson University and has been in vocational ministry for 28 years. He is married to Monica, and has three children (Michael, Matthew & Meghan).

Alan Bradford

Alan Bradford

Alan has been in vocational ministry for 15 years and has been a youth pastor in Indiana and in Tennessee for 11 of those years. Currently Alan is on staff at Crossings as the North Pastor. He and Mark co-lead the Knoxville Forge Hub.

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Questions? Contact us.

©2015 Forge Knoxville.