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In early April, a group of youth and leaders from the Midwest flew to the Colorado Rocky Mountain region for a week of intense discipleship training at Forge BaseCamp. This was the second time in the last four years a group from this church visited Forge for equipping. Why did this year’s group come? Youth and leaders explained it was because several students from the first trip couldn’t stop talking about what God had done in their lives. This year’s team wanted to see for themselves what God might be up to.
And that’s exactly what they did. Nearly 25 youth and leaders came to Colorado to experience the first-ever Spring Break version of teaching and experiential learning. The team was pushed spiritually, emotionally, physically—both individually and collectively. From the classroom to the mountains to the streets of downtown Denver, we created spaces for God to show up as only He can. And show up He did! Lives were transformed and strongholds broken. Casual friendships found deeper fellowship. Kingdom Laborers were equipped and empowered to impact both the Midwest and the world.
When asked to express the impact of the trip in one word or phrase, here’s what some of the youth and leaders had to say: Explosive. Eye-Opening. Humbling. Unifying. Trust-producing. Refocusing. Revealing. Disciple-making. Inspiring. Compelling. Adventurous. Life-Changing. Awesome. All praise and glory goes to our Mighty God for what He did… and continues to do!
Want to see this type of transformation in a youth group near you? If so, contact Ron Klopfenstein ([email protected]) to see how.
One of the exciting things about Forge is our talented group of Itinerant Speakers who genuinely want the Spirit of God to show up at their events. For them, it is about seeing lives changed and Kingdom Laborers sent into the harvest fields. This happens in a wide range of places and platforms. We thought you might like a sampling of where Forge Itinerants have already been or will be heading in 2017:
Denver Homeless Ministry
Canada Promise Keepers
Indiana Men’s group via Skype
Safari Club International
Clemson University, SC
Hadza Tribe in Tanzania
Cowboy Church Family Camp, AZ
NAACP Annual Conference
Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation, SD
Multiple College Campuses
Resurrection Conference, TN
Sweetwater, FL Marriage Retreat
Churches, Christian Schools, Church Camps, Youth Conferences and FCA gatherings across the U.S.
What about you? God has, after all, created each of us with Kingdom-building impact in mind, and has left us with everyday ministry tips still relevant to today. The main idea was this: Jesus demonstrated the power of ministry that happens up-close, over time, through real relationships and real life. Take a fresh look through the gospel accounts—Jesus encountered questions and circumstances with His disciples that look a lot like what we face today. He mirrored God’s character and Kingdom through issues like rejection and injustice, illness and death, failed relationships, poverty, war and oppression, displaced people, cultural differences and church politics. He also engaged deep matters of the heart like worry, fear, anxiety and trust.
This ordinary group of people we know as the disciples didn’t simply hear Jesus teach about loving God and loving others; they watched Jesus, visibly and daily, live that out in real life with them. Because of the relational time spent with Jesus—hearing, receiving and putting into practice what He had to pass on—the disciples’ hearts were set on fire and their lives found true Kingdom purpose. This group of ordinary people would eventually impact the entire globe. How? They simply followed in Jesus’ footsteps, intentionally passing on the way of the Kingdom to everyday people facing real life circumstances.
Here’s the problem: Despite the power and success of the life-on-life ministry model Jesus taught and demonstrated, too few are following Jesus’ lead today. Do a survey of your own among your Christian friends. You will most likely discover what other church researchers have found: many Christians have never been discipled in a relational way.
Here’s your personal invitation: Will you be a part of the solution to this life-on-life discipleship need in the world? Jesus created us for ministry that looks like Him—to intentionally grapple and grow together in what it means to be a lover of God and a Kingdom Laborer in this broken world. With God by your side, you have all that you need! Ask Him today to show you where and how you can follow in His footsteps … one life at a time.
Forge summer Equipping Programs are in full swing! On May 19th, we welcome the 2017 Experience team to Colorado, with Surge and Deep Camp right around the corner. Year after year, we discover the truth all over again that prayer is the work. We would be deeply grateful if you’d commit to praying for those who will join us this summer to encounter God and be transformed, and also for our Forge Staff and Speakers. To receive weekly prayer updates, sign up today to become a member of our Prayer Team! ForgeForward.org/Prayer
Deep Camp—Still interested in joining us for Deep Camp 2017, June 25–30? Rooms may still be available! Contact us directly by phone (800.873.8957) or email ([email protected]) to learn more and register.
Equipping Programs & New Opportunities—Weekends Almost Alone With God or Group Life Planning provide great opportunities for your church or small group to grow together in a deeper way, all with the help of Forge Staff! Contact Forge for more information (800.873.8957). Also, strengthen your love for God and love for others through a new equipping opportunity for adults. Contact Ron ([email protected]) to learn more!
Hearts on Fire, Lives On Purpose Devotional—Grow as a Kingdom Laborer each week through challenging and encouraging email devotionals from our Forge Speakers and Staff. Sign up today at ForgeForward.org/Devotional. For even more fuel, text “Spark” to 33222 to receive daily texts right to your phone.
Add Fuel—Two great ways to move forward with us in 2017 is through your prayers and giving. We invite you to join the Forge Prayer Team at ForgeForward.org/Prayer and to consider giving a gift to fuel God’s movement through Forge at ForgeForward.org/Give.
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