This conference is a gathering for missional people, churches, networks, and movements who need a space to think, learn, and grow. If you are currently engaged in the mission of Jesus, or want to be, you are welcome.

February 7-8, 2020

Ybor City

Tampa, FL

a conference for missional people, churches & movements

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Looking at ministry through the lens of business, science or engineering; with an emphasis on efficiency, best practices and metrics has yielded some good fruit for the church. We have learned a lot from those fields, some good, some bad. Still, we think there are corresponding lessons to be learned from the poet and the painter, the musician and the actor, insight to be gained from the abstract world of the creative class. We want to both stimulate mission in a way that fits our time and also learn from a different kind of genius.


Our form of church has always been a bit experimental and as a result the people we work with are unique; needing input beyond the usual thinking. We are desperate for people and ideas which will help us grow and continue to imagine more. Because we work with so many creative startups and because what we are trying to lead is so different we are searching for other sources of inspiration and insight into the work of mission. It is obvious to us that we live in what Seth Godin has called “the connector economy” which is defined by making art that makes connection, or what Paul Saffo has called the “creator economy” where people define their lives by what they can create, we want to look to the artist, for insights into how to engage in the mission of God in our time. There are commonalities, similar sensibilities and a worldview that comes from the life of a working artist. It is our belief that in our time the missionary is more of an artist than anything else.


This conference will look at the challenges and wonder of mission through the lens of art and the insight of the artist. We want this conference to be a celebration of art as an inspiration for mission, so there will be moments of  of opportunity to take in visual, musical and performance art. It is not about art per se, but about reframing the work of mission as art. So, we will offer short insightful talks on the connections between ideas like imagination and faith, beauty and holiness, creativity and mission. We will also engage panels of working artists to help us understand their process as we gain insight into our own. We will offer classes for each of us to experience creative risk and we will convene studio spaces where we will work together to work toward solutions of key missional challenges in our time. We would love to have you join.

by Brian Sanders

If business gave the church ideas that helped us to navigate and lead in an industrial and then in a consumer age, the artist will give us the ideas to help us understand the current creative age. Mission is art. Prayer is art. Community is art. And these are the keys to reviving the church. 




The Underground is an experimental community pursuing change in the church and mission in the world. We want to be a place for innovative ideas, deep leadership community, and fearless pursuit of Jesus and his cause.

This conference is run in collaboration with
Mission Alliance and The Voices Project

Underground Open