Into the neighbourhood: A Forge Canada Conference
by Danielle Martell
God is on mission and so are his people. This month Forge Canada is hosting conferences across the country to equip people in practical ways to join God on mission. Into the Neighbourhood aims to provide attendees with a rich imagination of how to live out the kingdom of God in, among and with one’s neighbours.
According to Forge’s National Director, Cameron Roxburgh, the conference engages important questions like: “How can we be a church that lives in such a way that people actually get excited about the good news because they see the kingdom lived out in us? What does it look like for a church to live into a neighbourhood, be in a neighbourhood, be with a neighbourhood?” He makes the insightful comment that, “Way too often we do stuff for the neighbours rather than with the neighbours.” He remarks that, “We as churches have this idea that it is us versus them rather than that we are in and among and with [the neighbours].”
Into the Neighbourhood is a two-day missional training workshop that will be held in Edmonton, Oct. 25-26 and in Vancouver, Oct 26-27. On the first day Karen Wilk and Preston Pouteaux will be presenting on issues that lead to neighbourhood transformation by the Spirit. The following day, Roxburgh and David Fitch will be teaching on what it looks like to bear witness to God in the neighbourhood by being a faithful presence. Fitch will be speaking specifically on various practices that Christians can participate in as their lives bear witness to Christ. Several biblical themes that will be discussed include: Jesus sending out the 72, practicing hospitality, communion, noticing where we see the presence of God, keeping prayer central, the Good Samaritan, and ‘the kingdom of God is near.’
According to Roxburgh, this conference is great for “pastors and leaders, mission leaders or small group leaders,” but he also sees it as an event “that anyone in the church can come to because it will be done in such a practical way.”