A Letter From Cam Roxburgh, National Director of Forge Canada
Thanks for reading our next round of the Missional Voice. After taking a year off from producing this bi-monthly newsletter, we are pleased to provide this resource once again for the church in Canada and the United States. We are thrilled to work alongside you towards a renewed theological vision of the church on mission. For those of you new to Forge and Missional Voice, I would like to welcome you into the Forge Network and provide an introduction to this missional movement.
Forge originated in two places. Alan Hirsch and Mike Frost began a work in Australia that impacted thousands for the Kingdom. They called it Forge Australia. In Canada, there were a number of us that started something called the Missional Training Network out of a growing church story in Vancouver, BC, as an attempt to train future leaders for ministry in their neighborhoods. Both Forge Australia and the MTN grew over time and became national ministries.
As Alan moved to North America, he and I developed a friendship and over time decided that we would become the Forge Missional Training Network. Alan’s work with others like Kim Hammond in the United States has already produced a rich harvest and our own work in Canada has seen growth over the last 18 months. We are excited together about the future as Forge is now launching into other countries around the globe and we are in the process of creating an international team. Forge exists to help local churches become missional, join God in what He is doing in their neighborhoods and beyond, and to multiply for the sake of the Kingdom of God. It is all about the King and his Kingdom.
The word “missional” feels overused. I have heard the term attached to almost every kind of ministry you can imagine. It drives me crazy. However, in order to really understand what the term “missional” is all about, we must go back to some of the original people in the movement. People like Craig Van Gelder, Darrell Guder and Alan Roxburgh (I am proud – he is my uncle) were all a part of the original group of theologians and practitioners who coined the term in North America. (If you have not read The Missional Church, it is the place to start). Charles Ringma was another person early in the movement who began to underline the reality that the missional church starts in the very being of our Triune God who is a missioning God. It was Ringma who wrote that the missional church is “a renewed theological vision of the church in mission….” It is about God, who He is and what He is doing in a particular context. It is about who we are and how we join God in that particular context. For those of us who are a part of the Forge MTN, we understand that Missional Church is all about the King and His Kingdom.
One of the ways that we are able to tell the stories of where we see God at work is through the Missional Voice. Our desire is to send this out every two months as we head into the fall (look for a few more before September). It is one of the ways that we will seek to inform, resource, equip and educate the increasing number who are a part of Forge. Our desire will be to create a newsletter which will be both thoughtful in its approach to theology, rooted in its understanding of missiology (primarily in local neighborhoods) and intensely practical when it comes to its ecclesiology. It is one way we hope to describe the missional church and help it to “land” in local neighborhoods.
Another resource that we think will prove valuable to the Forge Network is the website (www.forgecanada.ca). This website will contain articles, blogs, calendar of events, videos, stories and other information of where we are seeing God at work across the continent. It will have information about the growing number of Hubs and those who have become a part of the Forge Network.
Over the past 18 months, Forge has partnered with different denominations in an effort to see change in local churches. We now have six denominational contracts with close to 800 churches involved. Some are new to the concept of the missio dei and are just learning what the implications are for their community of Christ followers, but there are some other exciting stories of God at work in many places. We look forward to sharing these stories often.
We invite you to join in this growing network in whatever capacity you can: as a denomination, congregational leader, or a person who understands God’s invitation to participate in his mission. Stay tuned for more!
For Christ and His Kingdom,
Cam Roxburgh is the National Director for Forge as well as the Team Leader of Southside Community Church in Vancouver, BC. email@example.com