What’s next? That’s the question that stared my wife Sharon and me directly in the face in the summer of 2014. Where did we fit? In leaving a ten year church pastorate and a six figure salary, had we just made one of the biggest and most epic fails of our lives OR had we just taken one giant and freeing step of faith?
We felt lost and yet found all at the same time. We were in a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing. And this space is what is sometimes called a liminal space. The word liminal comes from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold – any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space according to the Pier Learning Center is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing.
And it was in this liminal space that we found Forge Dallas and the greater Forge family, which is made up of passionate followers of Jesus and missionary practitioners. The more we immersed ourselves in the conversations and the friendships and the moorings of the movement we knew we had found our tribe. And that was a new word for us, tribe.
Author Jane Howard writes, “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” And we needed one! After serving inside the walls of churches for 35 years (and don’t get me wrong we had some glorious times) we knew God was shaping our hearts and transforming our calling to an exponentially growing population of those in our community who had no faith connection and who were not part of anyone’s church.
And it was in this sense of calling, missionaries to the everyday places and people of life, not picking up and moving to some distant land that left many in our “what was” circles scratching their heads as to what we were about. The idea of missionaries in North America, a community pastor, a neighborhood advocate was a foreign concept.
And it was undoubtedly a learning time for us as well. While not at all rejecting the church as we had known it, for us it was now intentionally choosing to imbed our lives into our neighborhood. Embracing the posture of being good neighbors, we began to build relationships and serve the needs of our community. Previously, a majority of our time centered on church and our church friends. Now most of our time is invested in our neighborhood and community. We purposely are living out missional rhythms.
And that’s why we have chosen Forge Dallas to be our tribe, our clan, our family. In Forge we have found a richly diverse group of friends who are on this journey of greater missional engagement. Together we aspire to see the reign of God revealed in the everyday places we live, work, and play.
Together we join in the calling to “announce and demonstrate the good news of God’s reign to others. The good news of his reign through Christ as we meaningfully and powerfully communicate, befriend, bless, and share stories of life and faith with those in our current contexts.”
Are you in a liminal space in your life, a space author and theologian Rich Rohr describes as, “…a sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed…”? If yes, may we warmly recommend Forge Dallas as a community to help nurture and develop your next steps. “If our liminal spaces are approached intentionally and within community, rather than staying paralyzed, running away or going at it alone, we can boldly approach it and confidently move forward into our futures.”
Forge Dallas will begin its 2018 Missionary Residency in January 2018. If you would like more information about the residency or to attend an upcoming informational gathering you can email Forge Dallas Residency Director Kevin Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.forgedallas.org.