Forge has been traveling and speaking for over 30 years as an organization. We believe that part of Jesus’ unique style of ministry was journeying from place to place (itinerant ministry), sharing the good news of the Kingdom and sparking movements of disciples to live with hearts on fire and lives on purpose.
God’s vision and calling has never stopped. Neither has the effectiveness of His methods. That’s why Forge continues to cultivate and equip a new generation of itinerant speakers through a 3-year, apprentice-based training program called Forge Firebrand. Drawing upon the diverse ministry experience, skills and passion of current Forge Speakers and Staff, and through a variety of practical learning methods and settings, the program aims to:
Think God may be calling you to a lifestyle of itinerant ministry? Apply online or pick up the phone to talk to us directly. Check out our current team of Speakers and Firebrands at ForgeForward.org/Speakers!
A firebrand is a tiny, coal-like ember that can easily rest on a fingertip. Don’t let its size fool you, however. Though small, it’s incredibly powerful. Each firebrand embodies the DNA of a raging inferno. Firefighters often caution that seed-sized firebrands are equally as dangerous as out-of-control blazes—that when carried by the wind, they wield potential for spawning new fires for miles in every direction.
Forge believes in the power of firebrands: unrelenting, contagious, fire-starting agents emboldened and directed by the wind. Throughout history, God has launched powerful movements of His love through traveling firebrands He calls and sends. That’s why we began the Forge Firebrand program—to further train and equip itinerant speakers to become passionate, unstoppable forces of God’s love and message under the power and direction of the Holy Spirit.
The Forge Firebrand program utilizes a training model similar to the one Jesus employed with His disciples: apprenticeship. Apprenticeship is a relational exchange of passion and skill between master craftsman (expert) and journeyman (expert in training). Perhaps you’ve seen an artisan, craftsman, or blue-collar professional devoting a great amount of time and energy into training an apprentice who will someday carry on the trade? Think blacksmith, electrician, potter. That’s apprenticeship. It’s an along-the-way relational exchange between master and apprentice, where heart and skill are shaped and developed in everyday life and work environments.
Unlike a strictly academic environment, apprenticeship goes far beyond simply transferring information or training technique. Apprenticing involves ongoing relational exchange, where every domain of life is examined and open for development.
At Forge, we recognize we aren’t the experts. Only one Master-Trainer exists: Jesus. He alone has the ability to shape the heart and ministry of Firebrand apprentices according to His plan and purpose. We do, however, recognize that we have a team of journeymen who have been apprenticing with The Master for decades. We cooperate (and grow ourselves)in His shaping work by connecting Firebrands to Forge Speakers and Staff who have a lot to offer but still much to learn from the Master. We simply seek to create learning growing space for each Firebrand to deepen intimacy with The Master, expand skills for ministry, and grow in confidence and uniqueness through community. All of this happens in apprenticeship-style for through along-the-way instruction, experiential learning, traditional study, purposeful relationships, intimate community and constant review and evaluation.
A question we often hear from those exploring the Forge Firebrand program is, “Do I have what it takes to be an itinerant speaker?” It’s a good question worth pursuing.
Below is a diagram that might help in your conversations with God and others. It represents the kind of heart focus, internal realities, and outward expressions God grants and matures in the hearts and lives of those He calls to itinerant ministry. This diagram documents what Forge is looking for in itinerant speakers and what our training focuses on to help Firebrands grow to be all that God has called them to be.
“What it takes” begins in the heart of all Kingdom Laborers—a deep desire to authentically and passionately love God and people. A right heart leads to right character (or internal realities)—a life continually marked and growing in humility, calling, integrity, and anointing. Right internal realities lead to fruitful outward expression as God gives and develops gifts and skills useful for the service of itinerant ministry.