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.
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:
Start a second Sunday morning service
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
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