Brad is currently the Director of Bivocational Church Planting for the North American Mission Board. He holds a doctorate in the area of missional ecclesiology; his doctoral thesis was on assisting existing congregations in transitioning in a missional direction. He also serves on the National Leadership team for Forge America Mission Training Network. Brad is the co-author of Missional Essentials, a twelve-week small group study guide, The Missional Quest: Becoming a Church of the Long Run, and Next Door As It Is In Heaven. He and his wife have three children and have been foster parents to more than fifty other kids. He blogs regularly at


PRE-CONFERENCE: FORGE Missionary Training for the Local Church - Creating a Missional Sending Culture to Every Neighborhood and Network – Hosted by Forge
Now that America has become a mission context, churches are beginning to recognize that the need is not for more and better programs, presentations or preaching. Instead a mission field needs Missionaries. Normal everyday people who know how to engage culture with the gospel, form missionary communities, and re-orient their lives around kingdom values and behaviors. In this Preconference, the Forge team (Alan and Deb Hirsch, Hugh Halter, Ryan Hairston and Brad Brisco) will move from missional inspiration to doable missional apprenticeship. We will discuss: The Missionary Nature of Church; "Deconsumerizing" & Decentralizing the Saints; Moving Small Groups to Missionary Communities; Activating ALL the People of God; Synergizing the Gathered and Scattered Structures; and How to Apprentice Others into Mission. See list of all speakers in this pre-conference here.
Day / Time: Monday 1:00pm – 5:00pm and Tuesday 8:00am – 11:30am
Location: Faith Hall - Room 301A

Workshop Session 1: BIVO REALITY: Starting a Church Without a Dime – A Doable and Enjoyable BiVO Lifestyle
Whether you are a marketplace leader looking for help in leveraging your kingdom calling, or you are a ministry leader looking for creative ways to manage and fund your calling, this workshop is for you. The Gospel got to us by fully paid, barely paid, or non-paid saints and the future will be bright for those who learn to leverage all they have for one calling. Hugh and Brad will discuss the benefits of Bivo church planting and give practical steps towards creating and sustaining a Bivocational movement.
Time: Tuesday, 2:30 – 3:30pm
Location: Student Center - Room 101A

Workshop Session 2: The Missional Quest: Shifting an Existing Congregation in a Missional Direction
Before talking about the how of missional living, it is important to discuss the why. In this breakout Brad Brisco and Lance Ford will survey the theological foundations that set the stage for the church to move in a missional direction. Without a clear understanding of certain foundations, any change a church attempts to make will simply not be sustainable. Topics will include the missionary nature of the church, incarnational mission, participation in the missio Dei, and practical first steps of implementing change.
Time: Wednesday, 8:45 – 9:45am
Location: Student Center - Room 128

Workshop Session 3: Pipeline Creation: Developing the Bi-Vocational Planter
As a result of declining attendance and the closing of many existing churches, every major denomination is focusing more resources towards starting new congregations. In the midst of this proliferation of church planting, one of the most significant trends is the starting of new churches by bi-vocational leaders. They are making this decision out of the conviction that bi-vocational church planting actually provides a more desirable way to plant a new church, rather than on the basis of limited funds. In other words, it is becoming a first option, not a last resort. In this breakout learn the philosophy behind creating a bi-vo pipeline of planters and discover how to best resource and send them into Kingdom activity.
Time: Wednesday, 1:00 – 2:00pm
Location: Faith Hall - Room 301C

Workshop Session 5: Engaging God's Mission Where You Live, Work and Play
While more and more people are less and less interested in the programs and activities of the church, missionally-minded people must learn how to lovingly engage people in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places that we inhabit. In this breakout we will discuss the topics of biblical hospitality in and through our homes (1st place), understanding how God has placed us in a vocation for His missional purposes (2nd place), and what it means to identify, create, and support Third Places in our communities.
Time: Thursday, 8:45 – 9:45am
Location: Student Center - Room 128

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