Today I met with three different denominational leaders in one day – and even enjoyed it!

At one meeting I was putting my case for future funding for Forge (nice alliteration hey?!) and was given a fairly intense questioning by the guys I was meeting with. They were doing their job so don’t read this as me being upset at them. They are both friends and we had a really good and mutually affirming conversation.

The key questions were along the lines of ‘why should we invest in what you guys are doing? What’s to say this approach to mission and church has currency and will bear fruit?’ These are the most common questions I hit everywhere and I feel quite at ease with them now.

Perhaps 2 years ago I might have been feeling under fire and ducked for cover, but in the last 24 months I have become increasingly convinced of the desperate need for the church to re-examine its practices and ask ‘how are we doing missionally?’

Because hard cold reality is, the punters still aren’t flocking to our services no matter how we funk them up.

I like the concept of Forge as the R&D dept of the church – the people who experiment, try new things and report back what has been learnt in the process. What it means is, we make things up as we go and we don’t have ‘models’ to work from. It means we have to be well earthed theologically as we are constantly checking our assumptions. It means people who want definite answers and clarity will struggle in our settings because we are challenging the ‘clarity’ we have come from.

For true blue missionaries this is not an issue, but if you just want a church to go and ‘enjoy’ then I reckon the Forge concepts will not be up your alley.

I’m not sure if they’ll back us… but I am absolutely convinced they ought to!!

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