The Forge Conference and Why You Need to Go

Being in a small church, I have a problem with most worship conferences.  Actually, I have two problems:

  1. They are ridiculously expensive.
  2. They are aimed at large churches. 
Take the National Worship leader Conference.  It's a great thing, no doubt.  But it's also $420 per person.  Four hundred and twenty.  No food.  No lodging.  No travel.  You're easily talking $800 to over $1000 per person to attend by the time you're all done.  I love the folks at Integrity Media, I really do and they do a good job pricing Seminars4Worship, but they can still be pushing two hundred bucks a head unless you register really early.  What working-a-full-time-job-volunteer-worship-leader-in-a-small-church can tell you in April what he or she is doing at the end of October?  

A scan over the workshops makes me wonder if they really are worthwhile for a hundred-member church with a couple of volunteer musicians running ten-year-old equipment.  And there are a lot of those churches out there. 

Here's a solution:  The Forge Conference.  

The Forge is going to be held from September 30 - October 2 in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.  Here's the thing:  the idea behind The Forge is to equip small churches.  The conference is going to focus on the needs of small congregations:  leading worship, songwriting, leadership, technical challenges, prayer, devotionals, musicianship and more.  

This is no bunch of hacks.   Speakers at this conference are going to include worship leaders who are in the trenches every day, like Fred McKinnon and Brent Hodge; internationally known worship leaders and Christian artists like Joel Auge and Brenton Brown, and small church leaders like Joel Klampert and Jack Osteen.  

The best part.  99 bucks.  Bring a team of six and it's 67 bucks. You can't buy dinner for that in Boston, but you can get an awesome three day conference in Ocean Grove.  And hotel rooms on the Jersey Shore are not exactly at premium prices in October.  I'm estimating that if you share a room, you can send six people for about $750 buck and be home for Sunday service.   

Not to mention the awesome concert at the end of the conference.  See ya there!!!! 


  1. Hi Mike - how would you get there? Fly JFK or Newark and then get a cab/bus/train?

    Good to see someone on your side of the pond is catering for 'normal' church too.

  2. There's be a couple of options to get there. One could fly to either Newark or Philadelphia and rent a car - it's less than an hour and a half from either airport.

    Or one could fly to Newark and take a train to Asbury Park and a cab or bus to Ocean Grove.

    Are you considering it?

  3. I had a mad moment of wondering about going, but as I don't even play in the church right now (though I'm actually playing Sunday night at an open worship meeting in the local town) I wonder if this is just a bit silly really.

  4. can't wait ... it's gonna be a blast!

  5. Hi Mike - talking of small church worship, have you seen this forum?

    I noticed Cory Zipperle in the PA side of things.

  6. Actually, I'm a member of WTR. I poke around in there sometimes. I didn't know Cory was on there, but it doesn't surprise me.

    This will be more than just worship leading. There's doing sessions on leadership, devotionals, technical resources, church life and more.

  7. Just found you there. Thanks Mike.


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