While I’ll probably post a lot more about Forge over the next several months, this is the last one I’m planning to write explaining why I decided to go through this training. (You can check out part 1 & part 2 of this series as well.)
If we had moved to Ireland believing that we were to plant a church just like the church we planted in Ithaca, we could have taken a few months to get an understanding of the culture, the people, and the city, and started Sunday services with a few people and hope it grew like the church in Ithaca did.
But we knew we were doing something very different. Different from what we have done, and different from what we have experienced.
I remember writing around the end of our time in NY that while there were certain things about our vision for Dublin that were clear, there were others that were not. And our sense was that we wouldn’t have a fuller picture until we were on the ground in Clontarf. And that has happened as we’ve been here.
Since I got back from my first Forge weekend in Brussels last month I’ve been asked a few times if I learned a lot of new stuff. And in my response has been “not really.”
Clearly the first weekend was an introductory weekend. And like many of the people who are part of Forge, we are making an 8 month time commitment and a financial commitment because we know the material to some level and believe it has enough value to make this type of commitment. I wouldn’t do this for something I was vaguely familiar with.
Forge is something I’ve wanted to be part of for a while now…I just didn’t see how that was going to happen until this opportunity opened up. I was looking back at a couple of blog posts from when we were getting ready to move over, just to refresh my memory a bit, and found one post where I was explaining a bit about our hope for Dublin, and found this quote:
“If you’re familiar with Alan Hirsch, this is pretty similar to the hub/network model he writes about.”
The thing is, when it comes to this concept of “missional church,” I sometimes feel like I’m looking at a puzzle box. I can look at many of the pieces and they are familiar, and make some sense, but I still don’t necessarily see how they all fit together yet. And while I can see the picture on the box, part of my being able to really understand it, is simply going though the process myself and putting it together.
I remember a several years ago reading Ladd and Wimber on the kingdom of God. It was so different from what I’d learned previoulsy that it took some time to get my head around it…and it wasn’t until I was trying to put it together in a way that I could explain it in a Sunday morning message where it really started to click for me, I had that “I get it” moment, and the pieces fit into place.
And my hope is that being immersed in it to this level through Forge will help me to see much more of the whole picture, and how it all fits for what we are doing here in Dublin, rather than being a bunch of disconnected pieces.
Hope that helps.
If you still have questions about Forge, or what we’re doing I’d love to hear from you!
Also published on Medium.