Christmas with Form

I can’t believe its Christmas already – time is going so fast! Feels like a month ago since I came to Sheffield, and so far, it has been a journey with God, Form family and people I’m living with. We have become a Form family that is telling jokes over lunch and standing together in difficult times. For me Christmas is about family. Time for the family to be together, without stress. Many of us are going back home this week. I’m going back to Norway to celebrate Christmas as my family does. I think this year Christmas will be a little different. This is the first year I have lived away from my family and also I have learned a lot in the last couple of months that I will take home with me.

Christmas tree decorating

As a team we started the preparations for Christmas by decorating the Christmas tree in church. It was funny to see who took the lead and who was happy to just help out. With Christmas music playing, a Christmas tree to decorate, and hot chocolate – advent was definitely here. Advent is a time of preparation for Jesus to come. We started advent by learning about “The art of celebration” in one of the leaders’ home. The house was decorated for Christmas and I got a lot out of the teaching that day. Advent and Christmas look different for everyone and it is important to understand that. This day we were challenged to think about what is important for you. For some of us this is the first advent without our family. That makes you think, what do I want to do? Which traditions do I want to take with me and what traditions do I want to start?

Christmas craft

This time of year is a good opportunity to think about giving love to people around you. It can be a smile, an encouraging word, a hug, a cup of tea or doing something together. I wanted to bless the family I’m living with. The family already has their own traditions and it has been good to see what they are doing during advent. I wanted to spend a couple of hours to be creative together. The kids where decorating a gingerbread house and made hot chocolate reindeers they could give to friends or other people they wanted to bless during advent. It was good to spend some time as family and just enjoy ourselves.

There are so many other opportunities in life to celebrate; Christmas is only one of them. I used to be a person that could do something special on an ordinary day if I wanted to – now I want to be that person again.  I’m going to do something special to celebrate on the day I got my driver’s license, on the day I got baptized and also to remember a family member that is not with us anymore. Every day is worth celebrating because I have Jesus in my life. I know it can be tough, but try to find something you can be thankful for in this season. I’m thankful for Form so far, and looking forward to coming back in January, but most of all I’m thankful that I can go home for Christmas. 

Written by Veronika Aaserod




Into the Internship

As the temperature starts to drop and the nights draw in, it’s prime time for Forge Sport to reach the young people of the city, showing warmth and kindness to those who just want an opportunity to play football and express themselves. This is the internship that I chose and which in turn chose me in September, at the start of my Form adventure. For me, it has the perfect mix of football and working with young people – combining a life-long passion with the new experience of youth work.

On Monday, I’m on hand at the recently established Forge North Football at Concord Sports Centre, in the Shiregreen area of the city. On Friday, I coach an under 18’s team in the Sheffield Christian Youth League (SCYL for short) at Goodwin Sports Centre, only 5 minutes from my house! Add in some office time at Philly on Wednesdays in between, helping Chris with admin for both projects, and hanging out with the wider Forge team, is what makes up a unique week of interning.


SCYL isn’t something new to me, after volunteering to help Ben and Chris on a few occasions over previous seasons, whether as a referee or helping organise and coordinate, or even with the tea! It’s a fantastic project, allowing teams aged 11 to 18 participate in a weekly five-a-side football league at a top facility in the city centre; reaching hundreds of kids and attracting support of some local businesses. I help a team in the highest age group, encouraging and giving advice from the side-lines. It’s great being involved this way and getting to know the guys on first name terms and having more meaningful conversations with them. It’s especially interesting work for me as I would consider going down the football coaching route in future and this internship is helping me realise this as a viable opportunity, by funding me through the FA’s football coaching level one award – the first step towards becoming a qualified coach.


Prior to the Forge Celebration in October, I was asked to write down the main reasons why I volunteer to do youth work. I felt God prompt me on this, reminding me that he has a plan for all young people, no matter where they live or what their respective backgrounds are. Coupled with this, I’ve seen how God can use the power of sport to bring communities together, putting their differences aside. Additionally, it can equip participants with important life skills like communication, leadership and teamwork – and not just about how well they can strike a ball! Looking ahead, I will test my skills by leading several Monday night sessions at Forge North Football to gain experience in leading a new Forge football project after Easter 2018. Exciting times ahead!

Written by James Radford

Form 2017/18 begins…

It’s not even two months since Form started but I feel like so many things happened already! We’ve been to a weekend away with fellow Formees from Ipswich and Liverpool, started to set up our businesses within the talents project, talked about fundraising for our mission trip to Sicily, had lots of teaching, meals, social’s, fun, prayer and worship together, but the most significant for me is that I’ve found a family here.

First weekend away 17-18

I had never thought this was even possible but at our very first introduction evening when I met most of the people for the first time I already felt like that was home, where I’m accepted and loved just because that’s how it is. And people who although I didn’t know that well yet, I knew would become very close to me and that our shared goal for this year (following Jesus) will change our lives. This continued and during the past two months I have experienced community, church and family in a way I never did before. Being there for each other in simple but genuine ways such as praying, encouraging each other to give everything to God, reminding ourselves that He is above all and is mighty, accepting each other just as we are, not judging, truly caring for and loving each other and by doing this also creating a safe place where we can share all of our lives – both struggles and joyful moments. All of these seemingly little things make me be amazed and inspired by how team members are fully committed to love us and lead us towards Jesus and how Formees are willing to give up everything just so God’s will can be done here on earth.

The weekend away was also a big thing for most of us as we shared our testimonies and prayed for this year. I have to accept it was a bit scary at first and imagining being truly open, vulnerable and reading the prayer in front of people half of who I’ve only just met, and known the other half for only a month was not quite pleasant. But I saw that they’re not only our prayers but the prayers of the whole form family, I knew it was only for good and that it meant letting God to do great things in our lives throughout the year and further. Not only that, it helped us build the relationships so deep in such a short period of time that the only explanation is God’s grace. I’m sure it is a part of a bigger picture that we can’t see yet, but He can.

I feel like there’s a lot more to write about what God has already been doing on Form, and I can’t even imagine what He’s planning to do during the rest of the year if these were only the first two months! What a good God we have!

Form Network - first weekend away

Blog post written by Zuzka Niedelova

A look back at Form 2016/17

Form, what a year it’s been. This year has been full of ups and downs, filled with a lot of laughter and a lot of tears. This year has been an opportunity to build relationships that will last a life time. As I look back on the past three months it is shocking to recall all that has happened. From the emotional huddles, to the profound teachings, to the spontaneous times of worship, Form has been a time full of learning and being stretched spiritually.

Final weekend away

As I look back to our very first Form social night at the Cutting’s house in September, it is hard to grasp how far we have come as a group. We have gone from being 14 individuals who knew nothing about each other to being family. I am confident that this family is one that will stick together for the rest of our lives. Although we will not all be living close to each other, I know that I can always rely on this family for support and for prayer. In twenty years, I know that the brothers and sisters that I met this year will still be there to encourage one another to persevere, and run the race of life well.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about his past year, is the potential impact for the kingdom that is coming in the near future. Form has prepared us as a group to “go out and make disciples of all nations.” In this Form year we are releasing leaders, teachers, pastors, potential missionaries, and professionals in all kinds of fields. In the words of the great John White “we have the potential to make an impact on Earth, for Heaven’s sake.” Josh always reminds us that “Form is not about this past year, but about the next fifty.” Daddy God has ingrained a desire to see the kingdom come to Earth in this group of disciples. It will be a great pleasure to see where we go in life and the impact that we make for the kingdom.

It has truly been a pleasure to be a part of the Form family this year. This year will be a year to remember for the rest of my life! A year of learning, growing, laughing, crying, and being stretched farther than we all would have considered comfortable. But at the end of the day we all came out of this looking more like Jesus than we did in September.

Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”


Written by Adam Smith

Sicily Mission Trip

Having all worked hard to raise funds for the trip, we were Sicily-bound…..

After being let in on the heart and vision that drive Jesus Generation and the lives of Josh and Marco and their families and church, we were on board and ready to put our all in to serving these families, the people of Sicily and each other.

The week consisted of various outings and tasks, for example:

A large derelict building close to the city centre has been purchased by Jesus Generation and other churches in the area as a safe place for the homeless and refugees to eat, wash, hang out, play basketball and be seen by a dentist or doctor if necessary. We worked in and around this building and got a lot done in the hours that we spent there during the week. I particularly enjoyed the vigorous, if somewhat aggressive assertion that went in to winning a fight against lino glued down since the 70s. “Leave that flooring, it will be hard work” was the advice, “no no, we’ve got this” was our response.

Sicily team - Agape House

We know that the power of prayer is real, so of course it took a front seat during the week. We were out on the streets blessing the city and the people who live and move through it. One morning we followed a prayer map that the Stanhopes and Louise had created. We spoke prosperity, possibility and provision over a huge piece of God-given land.  This will one day be a place of peace, refuge and hope for immigrants and refugees coming in to Italy from countries South and East of the island. What is impossible with man is possible with God.

Whether behind the scenes putting together an Ikea home to house future intern teams, out and about getting to know a mixture of immigrants and locals in and around the city, or going to spend time with families in the Roma camp nearby, we found it a privilege to get to serve and partner with what these guys are doing, and seeing firsthand how they are being led and blessed by an almighty God and loving Father.

Although a lot can be squeezed in to a week, it was only really a small glimpse in to the heartbreak and hope, separation and restoration and suffering and provision that seem to be ebbing and flowing side by side as God’s spirit and kingdom collide with the world.

Sicily - Roma Camp

We were struck by the hunger, sacrifice and selfless love that oozed out of Josh and Marco and we’ve been left encouraged and empowered to continue asking, seeking and knocking, running further in to the depths of God’s heart and advancing the kingdom of heaven on Earth.

With all the mission-trip boxes ticked off (a few cold showers, plenty of minibus-bonding time, the odd mosquito bite and let’s be honest, some “wees in the wild”) we returned home not only with a lovely glow and a few extra pounds, but of course plenty to process and celebrate as we get to step out in greater freedom and power as children of God.


by Steph Hilton-Turvey

Sicily Mission Trip – Fundraising Fun

At St. Thomas Philadelphia, there have been rumblings of a mission trip to Sicily commencing May 3rd. A motley crew of guys and gals brought together by a internship known as ‘Form’, have been fundraising these past couple of months to bring a portion of God’s love to the vulnerable and needy in Sicily. Many income generators of various description have been used by the Formees and team members to get the wonga flowing and here’s a few of them.

Our very own Thomas, has organised a football tournament where teams buy in to play league footie and the chance to emerge the victorious team. A less televised version of a famous dining show; ‘Come Dine With Grace’ has been offering a meal for two with Prosecco for a tidy sum and all going towards the trip to Sicily. As well as a sponsored silence that Jess managed to complete with the help of a whiteboard and pen. Not so silent was Beth and Frank appearing on the radio and paper to declare ‘Siselli’ to the whole of Sheffield. An auction pioneered by Beth, which included many items such as holidays, concert tickets a signed football and more.

Siselli Auction

Whole group activities such as bake sales, gardening, cleaning and car washes have been all part of the fundraising too. And if you fancy a bit of sponge action, Pete Gaunt will be offering up his head as a target for wet sponges too, this Sunday 30th April.

by Nick Wastie

Reflections on Lent and Form Men & Women’s Day

Lent Reflections

“When people think of lent, it is often associated with “giving up something”, whether it is chocolate, fast food or alcohol. On Form we had the privilege of Liz Lovell going into more depth about fasting at lent and what it means for us. We were taught how traditionally lent is the preparation for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. This is done through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial. As a time of preparation and reflection, we took time in quiet to reflect on how we were doing with these aspects of our lives.

This then lead into a further time of reflection as we did a mini “fitness review” of our body, mind and spirit. We looked at how it is important to “stay fit” in the discipleship journey, to constantly renew ourselves. For me, personally, I didn’t give anything up for lent. However, I decided to focus the period on prayer. It was really effective to look at how prayer affects my body, mind and spirit and what daily disciplines I could add to my daily routine to improve my prayer life. Disciplines in life seemed to be an overriding theme in the girl’s huddle. It was good to remind ourselves of the disciplines we have put in place in our lives and where we can improve them. Overall, it was a great day and we are all prepped for Easter Day!” – Lydia


Men & Women’s Day Reflections

“Asking those hard and often a bit embarrassing questions about sex and relations is probably something we would all like to do; still we sometimes tend to hold them in because we’re afraid of what someone else might think. Asking that particular question is a great way of gaining knowledge in the subject from a Christian viewpoint, however the opportunity to discuss them in a group with experienced people only of your own gender helps you to develop your understanding of the question and also to dig deeper into how we can put the answers and advice we receive into practice. This is why I think the men and women’s day was much appreciated among us all in the group. A day full of teaching about our futures biggest events and challenges that ended on a high note with a men’s trip to the pub.” – Jakob

“One sunny Tuesday afternoon the girls and the guys had a split and got to spend some real quality time together. Us girls were all lucky enough to have afternoon tea at the Lovell’s house with fresh cakes, lots of laughs and reminiscing chats. We had a great time thinking about influential women in our lives and in the world, reflecting on the women we aspire to be and the real strong confident women we are; a time to encourage, reflect and be thankful for the examples of women we have in our lives. I was very grateful to have a space to talk about the amazing grandmother and mother I have in my life and thinking about the wonderful example they set me and what I can put in place to see that fruit in my own life!” – Liv

Encounter God Weekend

The Encounter God weekend took place over a Friday evening and a Saturday in February with the whole of the Form Network. It was time to spend with God, worshipping Him, hearing talks, and praying into big situations in our lives. The talks were on big topics such as fear, shame and forgiveness and they enabled us to question some things maybe we would have otherwise chosen to put off. During the weekend, we all experienced Jesus in different ways and many of us experienced breakthrough and freedom. Below are a few of our experiences:

“Encounter God was an opportunity for us all to come together with the Form Network, and shift our focus fully onto Jesus. We had a time dedicated to whatever God wanted to do and we were willing to listen. I was impacted by the full force of Jesus’ love; his unending persistence in wanting a relationship with us, one that we do not deserve. I feel immensely honoured to be able to worship such a great God, and privileged that I had a whole weekend to think of nothing else.” – Liv

“Since I went on the Encounter God weekend I’ve realised how much your past can affect you and the impact it can have on you later in life. I experienced freedom from past events and I feel I’m now more aware of when God is highlighting things in my life.” – Nathan

“My personal expectations for this weekend were high as this particular weekend had been spoken about for the whole form year – ‘This is something that you by any means can’t miss’. I expected God to really work with each and every one of us. I had heard testimonies about God’s power of inner healing taking place during these days and was particularly excited for the weekend to commence. I was anticipating God’s move as I stepped into the first session of worshipeg-5 on the Friday evening. The outcome of it was just as good as promised, during the last worship slot on the Sunday evening, I had one of my few moments in truly encountering the Holy Spirit. His presence affected me through my emotions which was God revealing himself to me. At the end of the weekend, many of us stepped forward in front of the people who had been standing with me throughout the weekend. During the last worship, we shared our experiences of God’s presence. However, I was not one of those who felt the immediate effects from God after the weekend, although I was really encouraged and motivated to start working with what we talked about in our prayer together – this was with the prayer ministry couple, who’d prayed with me.” – Jakob

“At the Encounter God weekend, I didn’t have a profound revelation at the time like many of the others did. However, the weekend highlighted to me the root of something I have been struggling with for a while. It takes me a long time to process things but the weekend allowed me to process what was on my mind, pray into to it and give it to God. Since the weekend I have felt a lot freer, my mind is a lot clearer and I have been able to re-focus my gaze on Jesus. It’s a process but I am already experiencing freedom. It was great hearing the testimonies of the others at the weekend and what God had freed people from in such a short space of time. It reminded me how amazing God is, that he knows every intricate detail of us and always wants the best for us!” – Lydia


Tent of Meeting

The Tent of Meeting has been a week of 24/7 worship and prayer. The week was such a wonderful opportunity to focus our time and energy on God, waiting for Him to show Himself in different ways to us. Nights up until 3am of prophecy and prayer have been such a blessing to experience for some of the Formees – spending time together and with God. On the Wednesday, some of the Missional Communities came together to worship, the room was packed with people and the Spirit was so clearly moving amongst everyone. It is one of the clearest times I’ve seen Jesus and felt His presence. From this, God has fuelled us for this season and we are ready to take what we have experienced with Him into our internships and home for Christmas.



Tent of Meeting was held between the 6-13th of November. My strongest memory from the week was when the Forge team spent 3 hours in the prayer room, first worshiping and then praying out things we wanted to see in the city of Sheffield. It was nice to be together to pray against things like, abuse, poverty, alcoholism, and that we would reach out to more people. In other words, we prayed for a transformed city. We also divided into two groups and in the groups we took turns praying and prophesying over each other. I got some words from God that I still carry with me. During those three hours in the prayer room I also got some time to read the Bible and to just be in God’s presence.



The Tent of Meeting was truly a wonderful place to spend time with God. The time spent in there was very precious and amazing. We spent time praying and listening to what God was saying about the city of Sheffield, the church, our lives and listening to what God was calling us into. We encouraged each other through prophecy and scriptures that God gave to us. It was great to hear what God was calling us to do, what He was doing in us and His promises for us. The time of prayer and worship was amazing as I/we encountered God, and His presence was amazing, it was a time of laughter, tears and pure joy.


To live is Christ, to Die is gain…

“It is going to be the most exciting but challenging year of your life”, this is what the Form leader told us with the biggest smile on his face to most of us on Form. We were encouraged to undertake a year of discipleship to help us transform and look more like Jesus. From his face, he knew exactly what he was getting us into and he was very excited about the outcome. There are 14 of us undertaking this year of transformation, and over the past 6 weeks we have been very busy getting to know each other.

We have enjoyed so much together already, walking through the beautiful peak district, cheese and wine nights, and watching shooting stars! It has been great getting to know each other and the leaders. But as you can imagine it hasn’t all been that easy! We have also been pushed out of our comfort zone doing missional work for the student’s Freshers week. It wasn’t easy to step out and speak to the students about faith, but we found it encouraging seeing so many freshers wanting to know more about Jesus, and having the leaders at every step was very helpful. This was something that most of us have never done before and we would not have blamed you if you mistook us for street sellers. It sometimes felt like trying to sell a product that we did not ourselves believe in, I guess this is all part of growth. It was mostly about getting to know the students and building a relationship with them, welcoming them to the city, which would have been a new surrounding to most of them, and also to some of us. We also helped at a community festival at Kings Church which is a sister church of where we are based. This involved helping setting up for the event, serving and talking to the community.

A highlight, and probably also the most challenging time we have had so far, has been the weekend away in Castleton where we got to meet the other Formees from around the country, and got to know each more intimately. It was a weekend full of worship, prayer and teaching. We played games and grew in relationship with one another, growing deeper in our first huddles. In the huddles, we shared our journey with Jesus and what we have found difficult in our faith so far. It was a great time of being vulnerable and trusting one another and bringing it to God. We then all read our Form prayer to the rest of the Formees which was very nerve-racking! This prayer included what we wanted Jesus to do over this year and what we wanted breakthrough in. This was also a glorious time as we saw God mending hearts and speaking to us throughout the weekend and felt excited to return and get started with our internships!

The teaching we have received so far has been amazing, many of us have been moved by the Covenant and the Kingdom teaching amongst many other teaching we have received. It has brought the reality of the gospel to our hearts and has begun a change in our lives. We have learned so much over this term, some of the teaching that has challenged us is Andy Stone’s talk on the Covenant where in short we have learned that we get to “be to do to and not do to be”, this has really challenged our identity and knowledge of the gospel as it is not about what we have done, but it is about what Jesus has done and accomplished. The teaching has been practical, on how to do mission well and how to be intentional in finding people of peace and investing in them. Through our experiences many of us have learned to trust God even when it is hard, and to fix our gaze on Him when we feel overwhelmed.

Every day at Form we begin with prayer and worship to start the day, which has been a place where God has spoken to us and revealed himself. During the Form day we are able to spend time with God through praise and worship and spending time in His presence through prayer or simply being quiet. We are still getting hold of the truth that every time we breathe is spending time with Him and that we do not have to be in a specific place to do so for “He shall never leave us nor forsake us”.

Finding a rhythm in the week and settling in with a routine has been difficult for some of us, and fitting all of life into one week! Another challenge is being vulnerable with others and meeting new people. However, over time we have all grown closer and learned to support and encourage each other through the experience. It is also amazing to note that all of those on Form who can get a part- time job have been able to get one, all in the first few months! God has truly been amazing. We have seen healing take place through prayer and we also have been encouraged by the prophecies and words of knowledge given. So far it has been a very exciting few months and yet also very challenging.

Josh knew what he was getting us into, and he knows of the amazing changes that this year will bring. We have already started to see the transformation, and it is so exciting to think of the end of the year and what we will all have learned. We are living in Christ and still dying to ourselves each day, gaining more of Him and growing just to be like Him. To live is truly Christ, and to die is gain.

This blog post was written by Jill Straughan, Anna Gyllensten & Thomas Msadala