To Advance Pioneer Urban Missions

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As a research center of World Impact, TUMI is unashamedly committed to evangelism, discipleship, and church planting among the unreached urban communities of America and beyond. We produce materials and host events to challenge urban churches to pray, give, and deploy to the great cities of America, with an eye to cross barriers of race, class, and culture to make the Gospel known among the urban lost.

As a community firmly dedicated to the power of collaboration, TUMI seeks to form strategic partnerships and intertwine its efforts with other like-minded churches and organizations to maximize our shared burden for the urban unreached, especially among the poor. Through consultations, ministry projects, distance education initiatives, and website resources, we join forces with ministry partners to advance pioneer urban mission efforts around the country and world.

Furthermore, TUMI partners with urban churches and their leaders to form new alliances in explicit unity for the purpose of fulfilling the Great commission among the urban poor of the world. We seek to facilitate wherever we can pastors, churches, and movements to contribute, cooperate, and coordinate their gifts and resources to provide pioneer witness to Christ and his Kingdom, with a focus on urban poor communities here in urban America, and around the globe, as the Spirit leads.

World Impact's Mission

World Impact's Church Planting Vision: To Plant as Many Churches As Possible As Quickly As Possible among America’s Unreached Urban Poor
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.

World Impact's Commitment to Win the City, TUMI
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.

A graphic design of a volcano to explain World Impact’s social justice ministries with its evangelical mission’s outreach.

Why We Must Train Leaders among the Urban Poor
God chooses the broken to confound the whole, the foolish to shame the wise, the poor to astound the rich, the base and the despised to shame the honorable, and the weak to humble the strong. God chooses and exalts what men tend to reject and despise (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

 TUMI's Vision
We are committed to facilitate pioneer urban church planting movements, to equip leaders serving those churches, and to spawn aggressive new church planting initiatives among the poor in America and across the globe.

Prayer for Revival and Advance

LGA 12 year bug leftLet God Arise! Prayer Resources--Winning the Cities through Prayer
By all accounts, the inner cities of America represent one of the most difficult fields for Gospel ministry on earth. We designed these practical, handy resources to help you pray specifically for the transformation of your city. Join us and the thousands of others who are interceding for the cities of the world!

IMG_7164.jpgThis Season's Theme and Devotional     

At-A-Glance Prayer Guide
Based on Psalm 68, we have named our prayer movement the Let God Arise! Prayer movement for the cities of the world. Use this document as a guide as you make your disciplined intercession for the city!

Let God Arise! Prayer Booklet
This challenging prayer guide was inspired by a Gospel tract written by Jonathan Edwards decades ago calling for concerted prayer for revival! This short but meaty booklet issues a call to anyone seeking the city’s healing and transformation to intercede in a passionate and disciplined way on behalf of the unreached urban poor worldwide.

Facilitate prayer concerts or groups
We are recruiting dedicated prayer warriors who will be willing to interced on behalf of the church and the lost in the inner cities of America and the world! You can join the ever-growing number of intercessors who are facilitating prayer concerts in their congregations, Bible Studies, and family gatherings. Faith honors the Lord, and our Lord honors the faithful prayers of his people! Join us in praying for the city's revival and transformation!

Strategic Partnerships for Multiplication

The vastness of the urban mission field and the shortage of workers demands that we who love Christ and the city work together to leverage our efforts for maximum impact for good. In an attempt to advance the Kingdom through strategic partnerships with other like-minded organizations, TUMI strives to combine its efforts with others who are interested in providing their leaders with quality, affordable, and credible Christian leadership education.

Partnership with Churches and Urban Ministries to Equip Leaders
Today, TUMI partners with many churches, ministries, and urban missions organizations who are sponsoring TUMI satellites, with seven hosted in sites outside of the United States, including Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Hondura, Ghana, Kenya, and India. These satellites, now 44 strong, represent a vast range of theological and denominational diversity, training leaders in many different cultural, racial, and social backgrounds.

Partnership with Prison Ministry Organizations and Church Denominations
We have established relationships with numerous churches and denominations to begin TUMI satellite training around the country and across the globe. We wholeheartedly believe that God can use existing churches and organizations to equip their leaders in the Scripture. We recently formed a relationship with Prison Fellowship to begin seminary-level leadership training in some of the major prisons in the southwestern US, with the possibility of expanding these numbers after field-testing the effort in select pilot prison sites. Additionally, we are working with both the Evangelical Free Church of America and the Christian Missionary Alliance denomination who have determined to use TUMI curriculum as an instrument in their credentialing process for their candidates of ordination. mengdlscreen

Partnership with Schools for Urban Mission
We partner with several institutions of higher learning to equip their students in the theology, philosophy and practicum of urban mission.

Tabor College
Together with Tabor College, The Urban Ministry Institute sponsors an Inter-term course during the month of January hosted at our campus in Wichita, Kansas.

Barclay College
TUMI has partnered with Barclay College to host weekend workshops for a crash course in training and service to urban mission.

Houston Graduate School of Theology
Rev. Dr. Don L. Davis is an adjunct faculty member of Houston Graduate School of Theology, and teaches doctoral fellows in their Doctor of Ministry Degree Program.

Hope International University
The Urban Ministry Institute has formed a strategic partnership with Hope International University by which students can receive graduate credit for the four Urban Mission modules of the Capstone curriculum.

TUMI Recommended Resource Links
Check out our listing of recommended sites for additional and related Bible study resources, urban ministry and mission training, and conferencing opportunities.

The Great Tradition and Pioneer Missions

Going Forward by Looking Back: Toward an Evangelical Retrieval of the Great Tradition
The Great Tradition represents that evangelical, apostolic, and catholic core of Christian faith and practice which came largely to fruition from 100-500 AD. Its rich legacy and treasures represent the Church’s confession of what the Church has always believed, the worship that the ancient, undivided Church celebrated and embodied, and the mission that it embraced and undertook.

While the Great Tradition neither can substitute for the Apostolic Tradition (i.e., the authoritative source of all Christian faith, the Scriptures), nor should it overshadow the living presence of Christ in the Church through the Holy Spirit, it is still authoritative and revitalizing for the people of God. It has and still can provide God’s people through time with the substance of its confession and faith. The Great Tradition has been embraced and affirmed as authoritative by Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant theologians, those ancient and modern, as it has produced the seminal documents, doctrines, confessions, and practices of the Church (e.g., the canon of Scriptures, the doctrines of the Trinity, the deity of Christ, etc.).

Our 2014-2015 Theme: If I Perish, I Perish

Our guidebook this year is entitled If I Perish, I Perish: The Sacred Roots Annual 2014-15 available for purchase and online.  With so many discussions on the nature of being a follower of Christ, it is critical for all disciples of Jesus in his Church to understand the nature of biblical discipleship.  What is the meaning of biblical discipleship, and how ought twenty-first century Christ followers live as disciples today?  This year’s Sacred Roots Annual will seek to engage through the Gospel readings of the book of Mark the nature of biblical discipleship, taken from reflections, considerations, and interactions with the Lord Jesus and his disciples during the course of his earthly ministry.  We will find inspiration and direction from the example and sacrifice of Queen Esther (Esther 4.16), who, at the urging of Mordecai, put her very life at risk in going before the king unannounced, in order to rescue her people from certain death.  Her resignation, her lowliness and voluntary placing herself in harm’s way for her people, will be a year-long touchstone of what it means to follow Christ–to risk everything for the accomplishment of God’s will.  Her clear and haunting statement, “if I perish, I perish” will serve as the backdrop for all our study, discussion, and reflection on the nature of discipleship this year.  The Annaul itself is called by this name, If I Perish, I Perish, and as usual is also linked to the themes of our 2014-15 Church Year calendar, Ancient Symbols, Today’s Worship.


2014-2015 calendar front cover-4002014-2015 Church Year Calendar: Ancient Symbols, Today's Worship

Our 2014-15 Church Year calendar, Ancient Symbols, Today’s Worship, displays select symbols identified with early Christian faith and worship. These symbols provide us with a visual window into the imaginations and beliefs of ancient believers. We are convinced that they can also enrich our worship as we journey through the Church Year seasons together.
The graves of hundreds of thousands of believers in the Roman catacombs are traceable to the second and third centuries of the Common Era (CE). Simple symbols associated with these ancient tombs are inscribed alongside funerary listings. Although crudely drawn, these graphics give testimony of the vital commitment to Christ of these ancient Christ-followers, who also gave us our Scriptures, our liturgy, and our common identity.

This calendar follows the Christian Year, from Advent to the Feast of the Reign of Christ the King. Included are the weekly texts of Revised Common Lectionary Year A, along with major Christian feast days.

Join us, as we contemplate the wonder and depth of our God and his salvation through the simple pictures of the early Christ followers. Through their ancient symbols, we can enrich our contemporary worship of Jesus of Nazareth. Get your copy of Ancient Symbols, Today's Worship calendar today, and follow the Story of the Christ throughout the year!

The School for Urban Cross-Cultural Church Planting

The School for Urban Cross-Cultural Church Plantingis 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.

Cross-Cultural Contextualization

The Necessity of People Group Identity: The Importance of Cultural 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.


Cultural Studies and Urban Ministry
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. These 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
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.

The Difference That Difference Makes: Culture, Religion, and Diversity in Post-Modern 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.

Theological Resources

The Capstone Curriculum
The Capstone Curriculum is our premiere leadership development tool, a 16-module seminary-level training program specifically designed for the busy urban pastor and Christian worker. This comprehensive leadership training program provides affordable, sensitive, and effective biblical learning to all desiring to sharpen their urban outreach and ministry.

Currículo Piedra Angular
El Curriculo Piedra Angular es un programa de entrenamiento de 16 módulos, enseñados a nivel de seminario, el cual diseñamos especificamente para servir como el conocimiento más esencial y las habilidades necesarias de aprendizaje para un ministerio efectivo y liderazgo en la iglesia. Cada módulo (curso) viene con una Guía del Mentor, un Libro de Notas del Estudiante y dos DVD (cuatro horas de video). Cada módulo también requiere libros de texto complementarios. Este curriculum está diseñado para que se use en una variedad de formatos, marcos de tiempo y lugares. Como curriculum de entrenamiento completo, puede tener acceso por ello al Programa de Certificados de Satélite del Instituto Ministerial Urbano.

Discerning Valid Urban Church Planting Movements: Elements of Authentic Urban Christian Community
Graphic illustration explaining the relationship of core convictions to organizational structures in valid church planting movements.


Church Planting Movements, C1 Neighborhoods, and the 80% Window
As a ministry of World Impact, TUMI is unashamedly dedicated to generating and strategically facilitating dynamic, indigenous church planting movements among those furthest from the Gospel in America’s inner cities. This multi-page outline outlines that vision using Jesus' affirmation of Peter's messianic confession as the backdrop for understanding and applying TUMI's vision in today's pioneer missions context.

The 80% Window
A graphic illustration of all the cities in the US by largest population of the urban poor. This reflects America’s 105 most populous urban areas, cities which contain 80% of its urban poor.

Shared Spirituality: Living the Christ-Life in Community
Mind map graphic highlighting various elements in a vital spirituality shared in community that is worth reproducing in unreached neighborhoods.

The Heartbeat of a Church Planter: Discerning an Apostolic/Pastoral Identity
Paper outlining the definitions, distinctions, and misconceptions surrounding what an apostolic church planter must be and do. Provides a clear profile of the kind of characteristics visible in the life of an apostolic church planter.

Fit to Represent: Becoming a Multiplying Disciple of Jesus
Graphic illustration that summarizes the critical characteristics of vital Christian discipleship in the city.

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.

Practical Tools for Urban Mission

Enlist us as your consultants
We are passionate about becoming the kind of learning organization that is committed to aiding and encouraging those who have committed their lives to the transformation and healing of the city. Our burden, from the start, has been to strengthen and mobilize the urban Christian community for innovative and effective ministry.

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.

CRW_4673e.jpgWinning 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!

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!

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!

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.

Cultural Studies and Urban Ministry Bibliography
The following is a bibliography of some excellent texts that speak to culture and contextualization in urban ministry.

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.

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