The Forge story

Forge began life in 2007 when Rich Atkinson and his team came up with a vision to do youth ministry in a different way. In those days Forge was a small group of 60 teenagers and leaders embarking on a journey to put discipleship and mission back at the heart of youth ministry. Our desire was to plant multiple expressions of youth ministry (which we call Targets) all over Sheffield with the aim to see a missing generation of teenagers reached and discipled with the Good News of Jesus.

As we fastforward to 2012, just five years after Forge was founded and it had become one of the largest church youth works in the UK. In 2012 over 800 young people were connected into Forge Targets and were going on their own journey towards Jesus.

So how did God lead us there?


In 2007 all we had was an idea. Instead of building a big central attractional youth work based around a charismatic leader our heart was to start small local youth missional communities all over Sheffield. We called these Targets and watched amazed as God breathed his life into these communities, young people came to faith, teenagers grew in their relationship with him and they started to multiply.

4 C’s

At the heart of our Targets (youth miss comms) was the 4C process through which all of our leaders would seek  to lead the young people.

teenagers Making contact with young people who don’t yet know Jesus. Taking the Good News of Jesus to the young people rather than desperately trying to get a disinterested generation to come to us.  We learnt early on that you can’t just go in talking … the first step of Contact is always listening.
Building a real sense of community amongst the young people. Every young person is desperate for family and family is what our Targets would seek to become. 
Connecting young people to Jesus is what this whole journey was about in the first place. However its amazing how many times in youth ministry I’ve seen this vital part of the process get lost. It’s a risk … they may walk away, they may reject us, they may not want Jesus … but more often than not they start on their own adventure with God and there is nothing more important than that!
Living out this life for Jesus isn’t just for the adults. Targets looked to commission young people to fully life the life which Jesus is calling them to live.. 

So why Rebuild?

This amazing adventure with Jesus has caused us to spend time reflecting on what God has taught us so that we could create simple repeatable systems which would enable others to go on their own adventure to seeing a generation transformed. We didn’t want to start multiplying forge as a ministry all over the place because the vision of Forge has remained the same … to reach the young people of Sheffield.

There is no more important challenge facing the church than to reach and equip this current generation of young people to step into their place.  At Rebuild our heart is to see youth workers equipped with tools to help them go on their own faith adventure with Jesus to see the young people of their town, city, village or area impacted.

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