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Our Story


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Our Story



 

The Forge Mission Training Network began in Victoria, Australia in 1996, launched by Alan and Deb Hirsch with Michael Frost as a response to the dire need for Christians to go into the world, amidst the many cultural changes, and actively engage others with the Message of Jesus.

Forge initially moved beyond it’s Australian borders through a partnership with a missional training network in Canada led by Cam Roxburgh.  It has now seen expansion into the United States, Russia, Scotland and most recently England and Wales. There is now an emerging network developing in Europe aiming to develop a new way of mission and being the church.

This is what Forge exists to do. We focus our energy on developing leadership that can understand the missional challenge and proactively develop strategies, approaches, and teams to be able to take the church onto new and uncharted ground.

 

 

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Our Team


Our Team



Founders & Elders

Alan Hirsch | Founder and Elder

Alan Hirsch is the founding director of Forge Mission Training Network. He recently co-founded 100 Movements and currently co-leads Future Travelers, an innovative learning program helping megachurches become missional movements. Alan is considered to be a thought-leader and key mission strategist for churches across the Western world. Hirsch is the author of numerous award winning books including The Forgotten Ways, The Shaping of Things to Come, and On the Verge. His experience includes leading a local church movement among the marginalised, developing training systems for innovative missional leadership, and heading up the mission and revitalisation work of his denomination. Alan is co-founder of the M.A. in Missional Church Movements at Wheaton College (Illinois). He is also adjunct professor at Fuller Seminary, George Fox Seminary, Asbury Seminary, and he lectures frequently throughout Australia, Europe, and the United States. He is series editor for Baker Books’ Shapevine series , IVP’s Forge line, and a contributing editor of Leadership Journal.

Michael Frost | Founder and Elder 

Michael Frost is an internationally recognised Australian missiologist and one of the leading voices in the missional church movement. Dr. Frost has been the founding Director of the Tinsley Institute, a mission study centre at Morling College. He is also an adjunct professor with Asbury Seminary and Northern Seminary. He is the author or editor of several theological books, the most recent of which are The Shaping of Things to Come, Exiles, and The Road to Missional. He speaks at conferences across the US, the UK and Europe, and as far as Nairobi, Rio de Janeiro and Moscow. He was one of the founders of the Forge Mission Training Network and the founder of the missional Christian community, smallboatbigsea, based in Manly. He was the weekly religion columnist for The Manly Daily for over a decade and helped establish Action Against Poverty, a localised micro-financing agency, linking the cities of Manly and Manado, an impoverished Indonesian community. He was instrumental in launching Street Pastors Manly, a church-based initiative aimed at curbing alcohol-related violence.

Lynda Robinson | Elder 

Lynda worked alongside Martin is their first ministry in inner city Birmingham followed by planting a church in their home over 30 years ago where she still worships. She has served on the leadership team since 2000 and as part of that spent 4 years leading the community centre which the church has responsibility for running.  Earlier in her career she spent 15 years teaching vocationally based courses to young adults and then specialised in training teachers. She brought this expertise to the development of the ForMission courses and continues to work part time.  She is a Mum to 3 adult children and a Nan to 4 grandchildren.

 

Deb Hirsch | founder and elder

Deb Hirsch is a speaker, church leader, and writer. She has led churches in both Australia and Los Angeles. She is one of the founders of Forge Mission Training Network and is a current member of the Forge America national team. She also serves as a board member for Missio Alliance. She co-authored (with Alan Hirsch) Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship. Her new book Redeeming Sex reflects something of her own journey and attempts to bring new conversations around sexuality into the context of the church. Deb has been involved in social work, community development and is also a trained counsellor. She and her husband live in community with others in Los Angeles.

 

 

 

Martin Robinson | Elder 

Martin was born in India of missionary parents and then brought up in Scotland where his father was a church planter. In his early 20’s Martin trained for the ministry and his first church was in inner city Birmingham. After 13 years in local ministry, Martin worked for the Bible Society in a variety of roles including his final role as Director of Mission and Theology. Martin has written many books on the broad theme of mission, including Faith of the Unbeliever and Invading Secular Space.  He is the Principal and CEO ForMission College who partner with Forge to run Forge hubs in England and Wales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


International board 

KIM HAMMOND | INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR

Kim is the lead pastor of the Casey congregation with CityLife, is on the teaching team and oversees  all of the multi-site lead pastors. He, along with his family, spent five years in America as the director of missional imagination at Community Christian Church, in Chicago, while he launched Forge America. He is the co-author of "Sentness" and has spoken all over the world. In 2002 he was a Forge Intern and church planter in Melbourne Victoria and co-planted the Junction, a group of missional communities. He has been part of Forge ever since. He has been married to Maria for over 20 years and they have three sons. 

ALAN MCWILLIAM | EUROPEAN DIRECTOR

Alan is passionate about Christ, the church and those who have not heard the good news of Jesus. He has a strong desire to see the Church in Europe rise up to express the love of God in every way and is the European Director for Forge International. He is the primary leader within the Whiteinch Church of Scotland with overall responsibility for vision, strategy and teaching. He is also involved in Clan Gathering (New Wine Scotland) as well as the emerging missional movement Cairn. Alan is married to Diane and has two sons, David and Steven. He is a diehard Glasgow Rangers football fan!

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MARK MICHAEL | DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 

Mark lives in Edinburgh Scotland with his wife and 2 kids. He has worked in the areas of spiritual formation and church planting in Florida and the Chicago area before selling everything and moving across the pond. He is a fan of the Underdog, both the cartoon and anyone that finds themselves marginalised and on the edges of society.  He loves collaborating, networking and connecting people and ideas.

 

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CAM ROXBURGH | DIRECTOR OF FORGE CANADA

Cam Roxburgh, DMin. Fuller Seminary, is the National Director of Forge Canada as well as the team leader of Southside Community Church in Vancouver, BC. He also serves as the VP for Missional Initiatives with the North American Baptists. He continues to have a passion for helping the church join Jesus on mission in local contexts. He lives with his wife Shelley and their four kids in Surrey, BC. 

Hugh Halter | Director of Forge America 

 Hugh and his wife Cheryl have planted two churches and are currently working on planting a third. He is the founder of Missio, a mission training organisation, and the author of Sacrilege, BiVO, and co-author of The Tangible Kingdom and Flesh. His latest book is titled Brimstone: The Art and Act of Holy Nonjudgement. He speaks extensively, encouraging and equipping pastors in incarnational ministry and missional leadership.

 

BRAD BRISCO | STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT WITH FORGE AMERICA

Brad is currently the Church Planting Strategist for a network of churches in Kansas City. He holds a doctorate in the area of missional ecclesiology; his doctoral thesis was on assisting existing congregations in transitioning in a missional direction. He also serves on the National Leadership team for Forge America Mission Training Network and is co-founder of the Sentralized Conference. Brad is the co-author of Missional Essentials, a twelve-week small group study guide and The Missional Quest. He blogs regularly at missionalchurchnetwork.com.


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What Makes Us Different


What Makes Us Different



As followers and lovers of Jesus Christ, who we are and what we do is shaped by the person of Jesus both individually and corporately; we hope to inspire and lead others to fall more in love with Him.

 

We are not a church planting organisation. We seek to train people to live as missionaries in the places they are sent. As the gospel is planted, church communities will often birth as a natural byproduct.

We champion, support, encourage, and give voice to the ordinary people on the ground joining God in mission in their context.

Although we allow for necessary critique of the Church, we desire to serve the Church and not attack it.

 

We aim to model training in a different manner than the prevailing Western Church without detaching ourselves from the local church.

 

Those who lead and train through Forge should be practitioners who can communicate and inspire others to be innovative in their missional incarnational contexts.

Because we embrace an action-reflection training model, we believe that learning should be a whole life encounter, if we teach theory it is to aid in important paradigm shifts and is relevant to a person’s experiences on mission.

We value all forms of leadership and work to equip and release all functions of APEST (Ephesians 4: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, and Teacher) for the maturing of the church.

 

We seek to give a voice to those in the margins of society

 

We want to be an organisation that is always learning, while keeping the important things always before us.

We hold high the power of a story and continually tell an alternative story.

We will work to build partnerships and networks with local churches, seminaries, denominations, non-profit organisations, & para-church ministries. Networks are the fabric of movement.

We seek to help every person be released to engage in incarnational mission and serve established churches by equipping individuals to live incarnationally.

 


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