We started as missionaries to the college campuses in Tampa through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. For ten years we faithfully reached college campuses while also planting incarnational communities in the inner-city.
While we produced many disciples on the campus, we increasingly became frustrated, as young, passionate, and mature leaders were stifled in the traditional church context. This frustration was turned to a compassionate call to be the bride of Christ through a year of prayer watches called "Fire by Night."
From the frustrated disciples, we gathered a group of 50 potential missionaries weekly to study Revelation and started exploring what it would be like to be the church.
At the end of our Revelation study, we sent a team of 9 adults and 10 kids to be mentored in a nonwhite, nonwestern context. For nine months, they submitted to Filipino church planters who shaped our understanding of working with the poor and lost, and empowering others to be the church. Every week that team would gather to hammer out a blueprint of church for the Tampa context. Our basic structure, Manifesto Values, and conviction to serve people to hear their calling and help them try, all came during that time.
The Underground in Tampa has equipped leaders for God's mission, served the poor, and reached the unreachable. Everything we do is aimed to unlock the church's potential to create an empowering missional culture to send and serve lay-missionaries. And now we hope to pass on what we have learned.