A LIfe Changing Experience

On June 8, 2015, Waken Ministries & Forge Dallas concluded the 2014-2015 Forge Dallas Residency. Forge Dallas is the training arm of Waken Ministries and as you might know, the Forge Dallas mission is to train everyday men and women to live as missionaries where they're already doing life. We hope lives are changed and the participants are empowered to make a difference in the places they live, work, and play.  

Recently, we asked the graduating residents to answer the question, "How have you changed as a result of your Forge Dallas Residency experience?"

Below are a few of their responses:

"Forge Dallas has given me a new lens to see life."

"Forge Dallas has given me license and language for joining Jesus in his mission in the everyday spaces of my life."

"Forge Dallas has helped me to be present in the places I live, work, and play. I now talk with people and pay attention to people I would have never spoken to and been attentive to."

"Forge Dallas has helped me to see my workplace as my mission field."

"I am an architect. As a result of the Forge Dallas Residency I changed jobs and am now using my gifts to aid in community development so that my city looks more like Heaven than Earth."

"Forge Dallas has given me direction."

"Forge Dallas has helped me see that the primary work of God is not in the church building but in the world around me. I am now asking how can I join You, God, in your mission in my neighborhood."

"Forge Dallas has given me hope for what could be."

"Forge Dallas has given me a picture and real life examples of what it looks like to follow Jesus."

"Forge Dallas has helped me become more like Jesus."

"Forge Dallas has given me a tribe. I do not feel alone."

"Forge Dallas has helped me answer the question, “To whom have I been sent?” I am now mentoring kids in poverty with the hope that wholeness and purpose can be brought to these kid’s lives."

"As a result of Forge Dallas, we moved into the neighborhood we felt called to."

"Forge Dallas helped me to realized that my workplace and my neighborhood are my mission field. I feel equipped and empowered to make a significant difference in these places."

"Forge Dallas has grown me as a leader. I have invited others to live  as missionaries in the places God has placed them alongside me."

"Forge Dallas has helped me make my neighborhood look more like the Kingdom of God."

Pictured are those who competed the 2014-2015 Forge Dallas residency and their coaches.

Posted on June 9, 2015 .


Forge Dallas resident Cristina Roberson spends most of her time on North Lancaster Street in her Oak Cliff neighborhood. She’s trying to be Jesus to the kids, parents and teens who live there.

On this night, she didn’t even make it out of her car before one of the neighborhood boys ran up and announced the news: "Cristina, a kid got shot last night and now he's dead." His sisters weren’t far behind, and together they made their to another neighbor’s house, where more kids were gathered. She sat with them, listening, as they talked about the 15-year-old boy that had been killed, how he had been a good friend, how just one night before they were all hanging out, how sad they were, and how afraid they felt that they might be next.

Mostly she listened, and then listened some more. But they had questions, too. So Cristina stepped into this time of pain on a dark night in the “hood” and partnered with God where He was already at work. Even in the midst of this tragedy and chaos, she shared that God was with them, and that he was upholding them with his mighty right hand. He allowed her to represent the heart of Jesus, that even in this brokenness, God has not abandoned them. Cristina walked away that night, poured out and once again aware that Jesus is often found outside of the church walls, in the streets with broken and hurting people.

How easily she might have missed this moment. She earned the right to sit with them in their pain over time. She shows up, consistently. She has celebrated with them. She has listened to stories of young love and family drama. She has stepped into their boredom and hardship and joy over so many everyday moments.

They were able to hold a memorial prayer time for the boy that was killed. In the home of a neighborhood family, they gathered a couple of the boys from neighborhood gangs, and they had the opportunity to speak life, and to pray with them.

As a tribe, we want to join them. Please be in prayer for Cristina’s neighborhood. For the families of this boy, for a 7th grade boy battling cancer, for a young girl who just became a mother, for a young gang member who recently ran away and hasn’t yet been found. Her neighborhood is a rough place to grow up, but these are children made in the image of God, children who matter to Him. “Many people see these kids as troubled kids that will never be anything,” Cristina shared with me. “But I truly believe God has a purpose and a destiny for each and every one of these kids and he desires them. I believe that if we step outside of our comfort zones and go to the broken hurting people in this world, we will truly see God's power.” 

About Cristina
Cristina is a Forge Dallas resident who lives and works in an inner-city of Dallas. She is humbled to get to live her life with the kids and teens in her neighborhood, striving to love them as Jesus would. For more info about her organization, check out The Urban Bridge on Facebook. 


Posted on January 30, 2015 .

Remembering the "Why"

Recently I have been reading a book titled, Start With Why by Simon Sinek. In short, Sinek discusses how great organizations and organizations that make a difference know and communicate the "Why" behind what they do. As I read I could not help but reflect on the "Why" behind Waken Ministries & Forge Dallas.

You may know what we do and even how we do it but, I would like to take moment to remind you of the "Why."  When we started this organization 4 years ago we did so because:

  • We dreamed to see the world changed, communities transformed, & neighborhoods filled with life.
  • We dreamed to see every Jesus follower wakened to his/her ability to join God in His mission right where they already live, work, and play.
  • We dreamed to see every Jesus follower empowered and equipped to make a difference in the communities and neighborhoods they live.
  • We dreamed to see those who will never walk through the doors of a church building experience the love of Jesus from the Jesus followers they rub shoulders with.

Throughout the last four years these "Whys" have been our inspiration and as we begin this new year these same “Why’s” continue to drive us.  Many have joined us in the venture and we look forward to meeting those of you who will join us in the future.  


Posted on January 5, 2015 .

This Christmas Choose Incarnation Rather Than Invitation


A few years ago while having lunch with a friend my friend asked me, 

“Why is it that Christians are always inviting me to their stuff. They invite me to their services, their events, their programs, their classes, their church buildings, and the list goes on and on. I don’t get it. They always invite me into their world but they never want to step into mine. What’s up with that?”

At this point my stomach sank. I honestly didn't know what to say. The only thing I could initially come up with was an apology.

I went on to confess that we “Christians” somewhere along the way had missed the Jesus of the Gospels. Jesus did not expect us to enter into His world; rather, He did the exact opposite. He came into ours.

 It still makes me cringe  to think that my friend, and probably others who are not yet Christ followers, have this impression of “Christians.” This shouldn't be. 

As followers of Jesus we must embrace the Incarnation, step out of our worlds, and enter into the worlds of those around us. We must incarnate into our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, & other social spaces we inhabit.

In the book Untamed, Deb Hirsch writes,

“God became a man not only in order to identify with us (presence), but also to live with and among us! He was no recluse, keeping a safe distance; he literally immersed himself in people. Much of his time was spent just hanging out and getting to know the people around him. Jesus didn't expect people to come to where he was, as we so often do, but rather went to them. He hung out in their social spaces, markets, and synagogues, and visited their homes. In other words, he came into direct proximity; he was near to them.

Likewise, we need to reflect this in our own lives. Too many Christians "hang out" only with other Christians and in environments frequented by other Christians. If we are to follow Jesus, we need to make intentional choices to move out of our religious zones and be where the people are. It will require that we come into direct social contact with others and become a regular part of the natural rhythms of their community.“ 

The next time you think about inviting someone to your church service stop and ask, “Have I taken the first step to enter into this person’s world?”

In the spirit of Christmas, live as Jesus. Make an intentional decision to enter into the world of those in your neighborhood, and as you do, enter with a posture of humility and love. See those in your neighborhood in the same way Jesus sees them; as people who have been created in His image, who are loved, and who have value to bring to us and the world.

 Here are a few ways you can enter into the world of those in your neighborhood: 

  • Apologize to a neighbor for not really knowing them. 
  • Meet a new neighbor. Share a meal with a family in your neighborhood.
  • Attend a neighborhood Christmas Party.
  • Join a preexisting group in your neighborhood.
  • Ask a neighbor for help with holiday chores.
  • Consider having a Christmas Eve party in your neighborhood and invite your neighbors. Have great wine, wonderful food, and be with those in the places you have been sent.
Posted on December 5, 2014 .

FORGE DALLAS - Empowering the Everyday People of God

God is at work all around us and He invites us to participate with Him in His mission. It’s not just the professionals who get play a part in God’s kingdom, rather God invites all people to join Him in His redeeming work. He uses moms, mechanics, accountants, artists, grandparents, & gamers.

This is a story of how God is using one person to make a significant impact in the lives of those around of him. 

Interested in learning more about the Forge Dallas Residency? Click HERE!

Also, We would love for you to join us at our next Forge Dallas Residency Informational. Details HERE.

Posted on August 28, 2014 .

Embrace Your Sentness

There are two competing postures for the people of God today: a church of consumers, demanding goods and services, and a church of missionaries, sent and sending into the world. These compete for the minds of Christians. Every church functions according to one or the other. Every disciple stands on these two foundations for life, two theological bases for making decisions, two postures that shape all we do: selling or sending.

We must break away from the things that hold us back from living in fullness and sentness. How might we do this? 

On July 17, 2014, Forge Dallas & Waken Ministries will be hosting a 1 Day Event to help individuals and churches find practical ways to break away from the posture of consumerism and embrace the posture of Sentness

Kim Hammond, author of Sentness, will lead our conversation on this day; we hope you can join us.

For more information about this event visit: Embrace Your Sentness

Posted on June 18, 2014 .

Empowered & Equipped

Waken Ministries started the Forge Dallas and Forge Dallas serves as the training arm of Waken Ministries. We train men and women to live as missionaries where they are already doing life. It is in the midst of our everyday lives that God invites us to join Him in His mission. We believe that all men and women, not just the “professionals,” have abundant amounts of potential to impact the communities and neighborhoods they live in.  Our goal as an organization is to come alongside these everyday people and empower and equip them to be the good news to those they rub shoulders with. When ordinary people are empowered, watch out, because this is when movement happens.

Here is the story of an individual who recently completed the Forge Dallas Residency and finished feeling empowered and equipped.

“When my wife and I started the Forge residency we were burnt out and frustrated with our experience of church. There seemed to be such a large gap between what I read in scripture and what I saw lived out in our church community. I was tired of coming to the same realization week after week that we were not engaging our world like Jesus did. I felt like there was a great divorce between what we said we believed as a faith community and the way we lived. I was tired of just talking about engaging the world. I wanted more but felt stuck. My church, it seemed was still trying to convince me that Jesus was worth following and what prayer to say to “sign up”. In our bible studies we seemed to do little more than acknowledge that we weren’t living the way we ought to be living. It was like collectively we knew something was wrong but didn’t know how to move past it, or for some reason seem to care. It was from this spot that we connected with Forge.

The people of Forge put flesh on what were only ideas. By that I mean to say that I found a group of people that were willing to follow Jesus into the world. They were willing to bring the Gospel of Christ to those who may never enter through the doors of a church building. They were willing to seek out the broken and engage them right where they were, whether in the neighborhood, the pub or the work place. What I found through the Forge residency was a group of Christ followers who had left the status quo of the American Church and stepped into the world with all of it’s mess. I found a tribe that was willing to admit their shortcomings and imperfections. A tribe that was ok with hard questions. The Forge residency has expanded my view of the Gospel. It has allowed me to see people as worth pursuing and equipped me with a gospel fluency that allows me engage the lost and broken. We started the Forge residency feeling frustrated and burnt out. We graduated a few weeks ago feeling equipped, empowered, renewed, and a part of tribe that despite it’s imperfections was willing to follow Jesus in his mission to seek and save the lost.”

Interested in learning more about Forge Dallas or the Forge Dallas Residency? 


Posted on June 18, 2014 .