TUMI is dedicated to empowering church planting movements to reach and transform America's inner cities. Therefore, we facilitate strategic partnerships with and among urban churches and their leaders to trigger pioneer church planting movements that multiply thousands of Kingdom-oriented churches among America's urban poor.
We will do all we can to ensure that these churches are led by godly undershepherds serving congregations that hold to the canonical story and narrative of God's Son and his kingdom in Scripture, that affirm and display the creedal emblems of the Church, and which keep their reflection and practice anchored in the Scriptures in sync with the theological interpretation learned from the early Fathers. We will seek to strengthen their Christ-centered identity displayed in their Spirit-formed worship and community life, shaped in spiritual formation by historically orthodox doctrine, and expressed passionately in their Kingdom-oriented practice and mission.
World Impact and Church Planting Movements
World Impact’s Mission Statement
World Impact is an interdenominational Christian missions organization dedicated to ministering God's love in the inner cities of America. We are unashamedly evangelical in doctrine and practice.
World Impact’s Vision for Church Planting
A graphic design of a volcano to explain World Impact’s social justice ministries with its evangelical mission’s outreach.
Since 1965, World Impact has been committed to ministering God’s love among the unreached urban poor in America’s inner city. Today, that vision has expanded to planting as many churches as possible as quickly as possible among those furthest from the reach of the Gospel in America today.
TUMI’s Relationship to WI
TUMI serves under the auspices and authority of its parent organization, World Impact, Inc., and seeks to advance the Kingdom in sync with its purpose and vision. The Urban Ministry Institute is World Impact’s missions research center, dedicated to equipping leaders for the urban church, especially among the poor, to advance the Kingdom of God. TUMI seeks to empower church planting movements to reach and transform America’s inner cities.
TUMI’s Missiology for Urban Church Planting
With a firm commitment to the historic orthodox faith, World Impact’s Urban Ministry Institute seeks to train leaders who pastor and plant churches that are Kingdom-oriented communities where Christ is exalted as Lord among the poor. Our missiological focus emphasizes the threefold cord of spirituality, contextualization, and multiplication.
Defining Church Planting Movements
What Is a Church Planting Movement?
The fastest, most dynamic, and most effective method of winning unreached peoples into the Kingdom, of establishing Christian community, and multiplying the Gospel in communities where Christ is not known is planting churches. Throughout the world, God is moving among the unreached peoples of the globe, spreading the Gospel among the lost through rapidly reproducing church planting movements.
Elements of an Urban Church Planting Movement
The unique nature of unreached urban poor communities demands that we carefully distinguish the ways in which church planting movements will spawn and grow within them, as the Lord leads. With the mind-numbing cultural diversity, the complex kinship relationships, the racial and class barriers, and the spiritual challenges of the city, we will do well to think long and critically about how the various elements of a potentially viable urban church planting movement will play out. This mind map highlights the key missional, theological, and spiritual realities and structures that will provide for healthy evangelical church planting movements. Further, it gives a blueprint for a new paradigm of urban church community, the kind which as it grows can lead to the unreached city's salvation and healing.
The Nature of Dynamic Church Planting Movements: Mapping the Elements of Effective Urban Mission
An at-a-glance summary of TUMI’s formative research on dynamic church planting movements. It highlights the dimensions of Shared Spirituality, People Group Identity, and Dynamic Standardization, showing how these, when properly integrated, lead to both fruitfulness and effectiveness in church planting among the poor.
This graphic describes the various elements involved in the kind of healthy, vital urban church associations that can lead to deeper levels of fellowship and fruitful ministry.
That We May Be One: Elements of an Integrated Church Planting Movement among the Poor
The ten critical elements of a coherent, dynamic church planting movement. These elements are expressions of the fundamental spirituality that growing movements among unreached peoples demonstrate, providing their rapidly reproducing movements with connection, integration, and unity.
The Threefold Cord of Urban Cross-Cultural Church Planting Movements
Graphical display of the three core principles/realities underlying urban church planting movements.
Imagining a C1 Integrated Church Planting Movement
A graphic design highlighting the ways in which an integrated vision of faith and practice can fuel a church planting vision
Dynamics of Church Planting Movements
The Necessity of People Group Identity: The Importance of Contextualization
Through the liberty won for all peoples through the death and resurrection of Christ, vital church planting movements among the poor must affirm the freedom of cultural neutrality. One need not change cultures in order to become a follower of Jesus Christ! All people groups (and the churches planted within them) are free in Christ to embody the faith within their own ethnicity and culture, expressing allegiance to him in light of their own unique cultural experience, under the lordship of Christ.
There Is a River: Identifying the Streams of a Revitalized Authentic Christian Community in the City
A tabular document that outlines what we believe are the key tributaries of renewing an authentic expression of the historic orthodox faith in the city, the kind that can revitalize and regenerate urban Christian community. Built upon the elements of the Church confessed in the Nicene Creed. Doing the kind of biblical church study from the sound position of the Nicene creed can help us rediscover our common faith, that common stream of faith and practice that Christians has shared and cherished since the time of the apostles, and which continues to transform lives today.
The Importance of the Great Tradition for a Vital Shared Spirituality: A Safe, Easy Way to Renew Urban Churches
Vital healthy church planting movements among the poor assumes a richness in spiritual formation, a depth of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and an authentic love for all the saints. The key, therefore, to urban church renewal is finding ways for believers in community to discover and retrieve both the content and the expression of our one true faith, rooted in the apostles' doctrine and tradition. This graphic highlights the various dimensions of such a dynamic and enriching spirituality, one which balances personal piety with humble service, that emphasizes the Word and the Lord's Supper, that incorporates new Christians in a community focused on the life and mission of Jesus Christ. Renewal emerges from our commitment to live the Christ-life in community, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God. For those interested in building a confession, spirituality, and mission based on a retrieval of the Great Tradition, these documents can show you where to start!
The Purpose, Elements, and Advantages of Shared Spirituality argues how we can be transformed and renewed by a rediscovery of the power of the Great Tradition, i.e., that faith and practice from the time of Christ and the apostles to the fifth century. Sowing Good Seed: First Steps in Recapturing the Great Tradition in Shared Spirituality offers practical, easy-to-apply steps for individuals, groups, and congregations to learn how to keep “the main thing the main thing” in spiritual growth and missional outreach.
The Efficiency of Dynamic Standardization: The Burden for Multiplication
Rapidly reproducing healthy churches among the poor establish processes that all its members submit to and joyfully practice. Vital church planting movements form, nourish, and multiply their churches in ways which allow them to leverage and coordinate their scarce resources, all for the good of each church in the movement. Aggressive advances of the Kingdom of God through integrated church planting movements allow for standardization, i.e., the ability for Christian workers, missionaries, pastors, and congregations to employ a common set of values, resources, practices, and structures to establish, sustain, and multiply its members, leaders, congregations, and church plants.
One of the central concepts in effective urban ministry is expressing the freedom of Christ within culture. To contextualize the ancient faith is the express goal of all urban mission–to make the faith come aline in the language and lives of the people to which the Gospel has come.
Effective urban church planting movement must be rooted in a people group’s own shared spirituality, expressing their embodiment of historic faith in a liturgy and praxis that is uniquely suited to their lives and situation. Such freedom to follow Christ can empower them to practice a common spiritual discipline, to submit to a shared governance and order, and to recognize and affirm their members and leaders according to a common protocol. All people groups are free in Jesus Christ to embody the faith within their ethnicity and culture. As those proclaiming the Good News in the city, we must declare our freedom in Christ.
The following resources emphasize the importance of cultural sensitivity and contextualization as we evangelize, disciple, and plant churches among the urban poor.
Culture, Not Color: Interaction of Class, Culture, and Race
The Difference that Difference Makes: Culture, Religion, and Diversity in Post-Modern Society
World Impact’s culture diagram which graphically shows the relationship between the dominant culture of American society, WASP, as it influences, shapes, and impacts within various races those who are bi-cultural and inner-city residents.
The Complexity of Difference: Race, Culture, Class
A graphic illustration showing the overlap and interconnection between phenotypical, cultural, and class differences in American society.
Outline of lecture for doctoral ministry students on the importance of the concept of difference in society today, with an emphasis on culture, religion, and ethnicity.
A short theological summary of the concept of Christian freedom as it applies to cultural diversity and Christian ethical practice, with a view to challenge urban disciples to flesh out their freedom under the lordship of Christ.
The following is a bibliography of some excellent texts that speak to culture and contextualization in urban ministry.
The School of Urban Cross-Cultural Church Planting
The School of Urban Cross-cultural Church Planting
The School for Urban Cross-cultural Church Planting is World Impact’s unique seminar designed to equip church plant teams to plant churches cross-culturally in neighborhoods where Christ is not yet known. The following articles detail World Impact’s rationale for Urban Church Planting: vision, overview and principles for planting churches in the city.
A Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future
A Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future
Today, as in the ancient era, the Church is confronted by a host of master narratives that contradict and compete with the Gospel. The pressing question is: who gets to narrate the world? The Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future challenges Evangelical Christians to restore the priority of the divinely inspired biblical story of God's acts in history. By engaging these themes, we believe the Church will be strengthened to address the issues of our day.
Resources for Urban Church Planting
Planting healthy evangelical churches in unreached urban poor neighborhoods is doing the work of the Kingdom today. Nothing in the history of the world has been more empowering or redemptive than the church among the poor, and our passion is to strengthen and multiply churches in urban communities across America and the world. We offer a number of resources to help you join us in this vision!
Surveying Your Target Community
A comprehensive question survey, this outline can help you gather all the information you need to minister effectively in your urban neighborhood. An excellent outreach tool, this survey directs you specifically to those key areas of concern and interest you can address as you start your church planting effort.
The Timothy Conference Workbook
Ground breaking dialogues and teaching on what it will take to win the lost and plant thousands of new churches in America’s inner cities. Complete outlines of TUMI's first major church planting summit on releasing aggressive, apostolic church plant teams in unreached urban neighborhoods.
Church Matters: Retrieving the Great Tradition
TUMI’s definitive teaching on Church History as it applies to contemporary urban ministry! This workshop was designed to cover in brief the major periods of the history of the church, including the Ancient Church, the Medieval Church, the Reformation Church, the Modern Church, and the Postmodern movements taking place today.
Winning the World: Facilitating Urban Church Planting Movements
Learn how a new understanding of church plant movements worldwide may help us trigger similar movements among the poor in the cities of America–and beyond! A comprehensive summary of the key elements of church planting movements across the globe, with a focus on how to ignite such explosive, dynamic, and reproducing movements in the American inner city.
Vision for Mission: Nurturing an Apostolic Heart
This course identifies and explores the various dimensions of the apostles’s vision that enabled them to risk all for the sake of Christ. It course examines what specific biblical insights, commitments, and values that energized them to "turn the world upside down," and challenges us to do the same!
TUMI Church Resource CD
This is our one-of-a-kind, comprehensive digital library of all the necessary info, forms, and resources to help you plant and multiply healthy urban churches. This CD contains well over 200 pages of church resources for worship, nurture and growth, service and ministry aids, evangelism and outreach, membership guides, administration and leadership tools, and more. Get your copy today!
Urban Church Plant School Training Manual
Take advantage of the expertise and teaching of experienced urban missionary church planters. This training binder is the official workshop packet of World Impact’s Urban Church Plant School, a multi-day training seminar designed to equip urban church plant teams to do pioneer missions in America’s inner cities. This massive resource contains all the themes, teachings, team exercises, and seminar notes that have equipped numbers of urban church plant teams!
The John Mark Curriculum
The John Mark Curriculum is our structured team-oriented training to equip urban church plant teams for effective urban ministry. Based on the various roles that team members play, this curriculum outlines specific ways members can sharpen their role on the team. Whether you’re the team leader or a support volunteer, this curriculum is structured to help you leverage your contribution in the church planting work. Designed for either individual or group led study, this is great resource for equipping teams for urban ministry.
Leading and Feeding Urban Church Plant Teams
Developed by World Impact’s missionary leaders, this excellent field manual outlines the critical objectives, principles, and steps involved in leading effective urban church plant teams into unreached urban communities. It covers every phase of church planting, from demographic work to evangelism, nurturing new Christians, and training church elders. Field developed and tested.
Marking Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year
From the earliest records we have of the worship and education of the Church, we find notice of its obsession with the life, teachings, and work of Jesus of Nazareth. As those who called themselves the "people of the Resurrection," these early disciples joyously celebrated and remembered his life and work, and highlighted their connection to him by remembering and reenacting his story in their worship and life. Today, Christians all over the world shape and form their spiritual journeys through observances and meditations organized around Christ's life and work, lived in the context of the “Church year” (as it is preferred in Latin documents), or the “Christian year,” “liturgical year,” or "Christian calendar" depending on the tradition. As one document refers to the Christian year, it represents “the whole mystery of Christ, from his Incarnation to the day of Pentecost and the expectation of his coming again.” When the Christian year is observed with humility, vitality, and hunger, it can provide a clear strategy to lead an entire Christian community together in its discipleship.
From Church Plants to Healthy Congregations to Church Planting Movements: The Path to Dynamic Traditions
The following three courses cover the entire spectrum of church planting, from the history of the Church to its contemporary witness as the body of Christ in the world today. In some ways they are uniquely suited together to engage those who are committed to moving through the phases of church planting, from a missions work, to a healthy church, to an aggressive movement of reproducing churches, to a dynamic tradition of the Church. Winning the World
provides an overview of the elements and issues connected with vital church planting movements, those which are taking place today, and those that need to be spawned about the urban poor today. It carefully lays the foundation and provides all the necessary principles that discussed and outlined so thoroughly in David Garrison's important study on Church Planting Movements. It seeks to critically evaluate the meaning of Garrison's definitions in light of the urban poor, and discusses how the Nicene definition of church can intersect with church planting movements. Church Matters
outlines the entire history of the church with an eye to define the Great Tradition of the Church, i.e., those beliefs and practices which shaped the ancient, undivided Church. It is this tradition and the early Church which provided us with our canon of Scripture, the ecumenical creeds, our theological statements, and the contour of a vital spiritual formation built on the Church year. This study will reveal the practical ways in which a rediscovery of the Great Tradition can both renew and transform the urban church, and make it more effective in its worship and mission today.
Finally, Marking Time
shows the biblical antecedents and the historical precedents for the Church Year. As a clear, viable, and easily applied structure which focuses on the person and work of Christ, the Church Year can renew our faith and mission. As a way of retracing the key events in the life of Jesus of Nazareth in real time, the Church year provides pastors, Christian workers, and congregations a dynamic, rich spiritual discipline whereby parishioners can share Christ together in devotion, which can shape the kinds of homilies and teacings of pastors and leaders, and enhance the celebration, worship, and service of the people of God as they walk the journey of Christ year by year. This course is a rich discussion of both historical theology and practical discipleship, giving a clear rationale and practical guideline to live the Christ life in community. A must for preachers and disciplers!
Church Planting Bibliography
As a convenience to you, we have compiled a selective, abridged bibliography on culture, urban mission, and church planting movements. Those interested in planting healthy churches in urban communities will find these works both valuable and illuminating.
Explore our searchable database and resource
For more resources (audio, video and pdf's) on Church Planting and Church Plant Movements, search our TUMI database. For tips on how to use this database, click here.