What is Forge Albany?
History of Forge
The Forge Mission Training Network began in Victoria, Australia in 1996, launched by Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost as a response to the dire need for Christians to go into the world, amidst the many cultural changes, to actively engage others with the Gospel Message of Jesus. In 2010, Forge America began rolling out to various cities such as Dallas, Sacramento, Kansas City, Chicago, Raleigh, Knoxville, New Jersey, and others, aiming to bring about a shift toward a paradigm in which every member of the body is part of the mission of God. As a servant to local churches and a partner towards universities, seminaries, and mission organizations, we believe Forge will play a huge role in re-imagining and re-shaping the Western Church to engage the not-yet-followers of Jesus.
TRAINING MEN AND WOMEN TO LIVE AS MISSIONARIES WHERE THEY'RE ALREADY DOING LIFE
Adult Church Attendance
According to Pew Research Center, as recently as 2014, 30% of Americans reported that they "seldom/never" attend a religious church service. That's over 95 million people, our neighbors, our coworkers, our friends, who simply aren't interested in walking into a church building. Holding better church services or preaching better sermons isn't the answer for people who won't walk through the doors. Instead, we have to go to them. Forge Albany trains men and women to be a "sent" church. Through an action-reflection model, we walk our residents through what it means to be "sent" to their own neighborhoods, work places, schools, mom groups, or favorite coffee shops. For Forge Albany, the bedrock of mission is the ordinary life of ordinary people.
How Are We Different From Other Missionary Training Organizations?
Place Matters, staying matters
We don't ask people to uproot their lives - to quit their job or to quit school or to move to another country. Rather, we believe that we are sent to the places we already live. God's mission is in our neighborhood and our workplaces. We encourage people to stay in their context and embody the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their communities.
WALKING WITH SOMEONE MATTERS
For the entirety of the training, our participants are matched with mentors that they will meet with regularly. These coaches are there to walk with them as they discover their contexts and engage with their communities, teaching residents how to become a disciple of Jesus who makes disciples of Jesus.
DOING AND BEING MATTERS
Sure, we have an online aspect of our training that involves head knowledge, and each of our coaches and directors can wax eloquently about the theology of being a "sent" people. However, our aim isn't merely good teaching, but rather, good learning and changed lives. Not only do our coaches understand "sentness," they live "sentness" in their communities. They do "full-time ministry" in their workplaces as beauticians, project managers, instructors, store clerks, and educational assistants. We are about equipping and empowering our residents to identify and live their full-time ministries, not simply dispensing theological information.
How Do We Train and Equip?
Our primary vehicle for training and equipping disciples who make disciples is through our missional training cohorts. Throughout the year, participants can:
- Gather bi-weekly for missional training, action based learning, group reflection, encouragement and soul care.
- Study book and online curriculum developed by established and accredited missional leaders, pastors, and practitioners.
- Meet with training coaches regularly for mentorship, training, and encouragement.
- Practice missional living with activities designed to start your community mission.
See our MISSIONAL TRAINING page for more details.