Vision and Mission 2019

Sara and I launched Forward Church in our living room in October 2008, a little over 10 years ago! We just wanted to invite people into our home and help them know and feel God’s love for them. I graduated from Ministry School with the intention of starting a church but we didn’t have a preconceived notion of what it had to look like.

As more and more people came we had to move out of our home and find a building. We bounced around about every 9 months the first few years but eventually landed in our current location. Buildings to me are just a means to an end. I personally would enjoy meeting in my home just as much as meeting in a building, it really doesn’t matter to me. However, our current building has been useful.

We have used this building as a home to love people and bring them to wholeness in God’s love for them. Once people begin to actually know and feel God’s love for them they open their hearts a bit more. Once people actually open up to him they begin to allow his grace to flow through them. The primary thing that happens once people rest in his love and allow his grace to flow through them they experience radical transformation.

Transformation starts with mind-renewal. Once a good foundation of God’s love is in place we begin to help people understand what Jesus did for them. It’s still surprising to me how many people are not aware of the effects of the finished work of Jesus on their relationship with God.

Far too many people still think God is holding their sin against them, their behavior effects their righteousness, we should be afraid of God, believers still have sin natures and misinterpretations like “God won’t put more on you than you can bear.”

We are committed to changing the way people see God, that’s the big picture vision for us. We don’t have some private interpretation we want people to believe, we just want to help people look at Jesus to understand God. The way we help people change how they see God is by helping them establish a new covenant lens in matters of life and faith. The new covenant must be the foundation of our doctrine. The resurrection of Jesus Christ and what that means for the believer is so simple yet it is still misunderstood at large in today’s church.

This is why Forward exists, to help people understand God through Jesus, become established in his love and allow his grace to transform them. Grace is God’s divine influence in our hearts that will shape every aspect of our lives for the better if we will let him. And we let him by renewing our minds to our new creation identity in Christ. As we get our minds in alignment with our new spiritual identity, it will shape our earthly existence.

Going Forward

That vision is more clear than ever before. We know that God is bringing increase because people are hungry for the Gospel. We are honored to stand firm in our place in the body of Christ and declare his goodness. Our community needs to hear of his goodness and his kindness.

To increase our influence in people’s lives in our region we believe God is asking us to expand our hearts. Over the last few months we have seen much fruit in people’s lives as well as numerical growth. We want to steward the growth well. We believe these are the next steps for Forward Church:

The second morning service will alleviate some of the congestion in our nursery and kid’s church classes as well as allow a little more room for more numerical growth. We would love to remain in one service and all worship together but we also don’t want to stunt our growth. As with any living organism, if it’s contained in an environment too small it will not grow and thrive.

Forward Church Kenya

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At the same time we are allowing for increase and expansion in our local body, we believe God is also leading us to increase our efforts in Kenya. In 2015 we launched a church in Rongai, Nairobi Kenya pastored by George and Leah Odero. Pastor George has recently launched a second location in Rangwe. Forward Church Kenya is being used to bring many pastors to the knowledge of the Gospel. Kenya is overrun with legalism and tribal traditionalism, we are setting pastors free from performance based religion and establishing them in the New Covenant.

These pastors are taking this message back to their churches are are setting people free from legalism! It’s a beautiful thing to see, maybe you can join us on a mission trip to Kenya one day and minister with Pastor George.

You Can Help

I’m asking you to help. We have never announced a building fund or even tried to grow the church really, we’ve just stewarded what came our way and loved the folks in attendance. We feel that God is now leading us to expect increase. We have taken our time to lay a proper foundation for the church. Our message is firmly rooted in the teachings and the finished work of Jesus. We have established an effective discipleship path that is easy to engage no matter what age or Bible knowledge. We have seasoned and mature elders and team leaders in place as well as a congregation that understands the mandate of Christ to love one another.

It’s time to take the limits off and grow!! If this is your church, whether you’re local or you engage with us online, I’m asking you to sow financially. I so believe in the vision and mission of Forward, I am not ashamed to ask for your support. In fact, we need your help.

We have operated debt free for 10 years and we will continue to do so as much as possible. The plan is to make a building fund available and sow into it for all of 2019. At the end of 2019 we’ll assess the fruit and evaluate our options.

Please take some time to pray and ask God what he would like for you to do. We appreciate your consideration in partnering with us as we expand our hearts for increase so we can increase our footprint of influence.

What To Do

Set up a monthly recurring gift in one or more of these areas:

You can add multiple donations if you’d like to also sow into our general fund. If you are a church member who already gives, I’m asking that you give just a little more, on top of your regular gift, into one or more of these funds. Whether it’s $5 per month or $5000 per month, every single dollar is important.

We’re not going to promise a special blessing from Heaven for sowing into this ministry, we can only promise that we will not guilt you into giving and we will take every dollar and put it to work as we increase the spreading of the Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ!!

Thank you for your continued support and for your consideration in investing into these projects,
Pastor Clint Byars

Understand the Different Types of Covenants

Understand the Different Types of Covenants

This is a foundational series for Forward Church. We base everything we teach and all of our ministries on the finished work of Jesus through his death, burial and resurrection. Understanding our New Creation identity in him is the driving force of our path of discipleship. Understanding the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ and the establishment of the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus is absolutely vital to a successful life of liberty in Christ. We pray this series is a blessing to you. You can read articles related to each message on Pastor Clint’s blog.

How to Stop the Pain - Dr. Jim Richards at Forward Church October 2018

Dr. Jim Richards ministers at Forward Church in Sharpsburg, GA on his book, How to Stop the Pain. This book has been setting people free from offenses and unforgiveness for nearly 20 years. This paradigm-changing book is a must-read for people who are stuck in the pain of the past, you can end the suffering.

Who Is Jesus and What Did He Do?

Did you know there were over 300 prophecies about his birth ranging from 3500 years to 50 years before his birth? If just 8 of those prophecies came true it would be statistically impossible; 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. The odds of all 300 prophecies coming true about him would be impossible to calculate.

There is actually more written about Jesus by his contemporaries than Alexander the Great. The earliest writing of Jesus was within 5 years of his death. The earliest writing of Alexander was 400 years after his death. Though people do not question the existence of Alexander, they do question the existence of Jesus. It’s not because of the lack of evidence, it’s because of who he claimed to be.

Beautiful Testimony About Hiding Yourself Away with God

A powerful thing happened at church Sunday, God knit together Psalm 16 and a beautiful testimony from my friend Austin. He shared a power experience he recently had with God. It was so amazing because God had given me Psalm 16 for my sermon just a couple days before and it couldn't have been a more perfect fit. I know this will encourage you and even give you insight into how to overcome those areas you've been struggling.

Psalm 16

  1. Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.
  2. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”
  3. I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
  4. Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.
  5. Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.
  6. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
  7. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart (innermost being)  instructs me.
  8. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
  9. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,
  10. because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
  11. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Powerful Worship and Communion

Have you ever been confused by communion? Have you ever finished communion feeling worse about yourself? In this Forward Moment of communion, you learn that communion is a celebration that is focused entirely on what Jesus has done for you. Communion was never meant to make the believer feel condemned and unworthy but to serve as a reminder of Jesus' redemptive work.

Expect God to Empower Your Passion - Sermon Notes and Discussion Guide

Expect God to Empower Your Passion - Sermon Notes and Discussion Guide

Jesus commanded us to love others like we want to be loved. I say we let this be the compass to define our calling. If Jesus wants us to love people, then our love for people is what's most important for you to fulfill what God wants you to do, i.e. your calling.

Who Do You Love? Sermon Notes and Discussion Guide

Who Do You Love? Sermon Notes and Discussion Guide

#4 IN MOVE FORWARD

We all want to "do more" for God but we're not sure what to do or how to do it. Too often the church defines your calling by some performance based construct relating to ability or skill. It's goos to apply our abilities and skills to ministry but a calling is better defined by love.

Includes Sermon Notes and Life Group discussion guide.