Resourcing Leaders in Dallas - Ted Smith
The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) of Dallas offers classes in three different locations. Juan Pablo Herrera teaches classes at the World Impact Dallas classroom for Spanish-speaking students. Ted Smith, David Estrada, and a couple students in training offer courses at West Dallas Community Church and New Found Life Bible Church in South Dallas.
Our student body consists of pastors, lay leaders, elders, deacons, Sunday school teachers, evangelists, and those interested in urban ministry. Most of our students come to us through the testimony of our other students who spread the word about TUMI. We have also seen new students as a result of exposure events we are doing in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area; Pastor Resource Meetings Bible Conferences, and will hold our first ever Dallas-area Men's Retreat this October. At each of these events we showcase TUMI among other resources. We possess a real took kit of resources that can assist urban pastors train leaders.
We are blessed to have three partner TUMI satellites in our area: TUMI of Fort Worth (South Side City Church), TUMI of Arlington (Inspired to Live Ministries), and TUMI Old East Dallas (City Church International). Several other DFW area churches are in the application process to become sites.
Since 2010, we have seen fifty students graduate from our Spanish-speaking sites in Dallas and Guadalajara, MX. We look forward to graduating our first class of English-speaking students in January of 2016. Two soon-to-be-graduates have already begun mentoring TUMI classes under my direction. Both Mack Robison and Jimmy Hutson area a part of our Associates program and have facilitated classes this summer.
As an Associate of World Impact Dallas, Mack Robinson launched our first SIAFU chapter in Dallas and is working to establish more chapters in the area through partnerships with local churches. Mack helps facilitate courses at TUMI and has connected us with three pastors in Dallas who are interested in becoming TUMI satellite campuses. Associate Jimmy Hutson facilitated several short-term mission groups this summer and has been learning more about church planting. He also brought a pastor to the table who I believe will open a satellite in his area of Dallas and possibly become an Associate of World Impact.
I am so proud of Mack and Jimmy, and all of our TUMI students, as they grow in their leadership and apply that learning in their ministry contexts. It is a joy to now work beside them as colleagues seeking to advance the Kingdom in the city.
Ted Smith is the City Director for World Impact Dallas.
Unshakable Kingdom, Unwavering Warrior - Matt Penner
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the East Region Siafu Men's Retreat. World Impact puts on these retreats for men in each of our three regions every fall. Siafu is a national association of chapters anchored in local urban churches and ministries dedicated to the advancement of the Kingdom in the city. The theme of this retreat was Unshakeable Kingdom Unwavering Warrior. Dr. Don Davis gave dynamic messages on how we can be Warriors for the Lord and what God is doing to adopt a People to Himself.
While the teachings and worship were impactful and important, maybe one of the greatest purposes of the Men's Retreat was the connections created among the urban pastors, leaders and men in their ministries. The very name "Siafu" comes from an ant in Tanzania. A single ant is vulnerable and alone. But together, Siafu ants are an extremely powerful force – they travel in packs of millions and overcome anything in their way.
So it is in city. Many urban pastors and leaders can feel isolated and alone, but our hope is that through the network of Siafu chapters and these retreats we can create a deep sense of community and belonging. This impacts the city as a whole and, ultimately, the Kingdom of God.
One Pastor I got to know at the retreat was Desmond Wedderburn from Brooklyn. He recently joined World Impact as an Associate and has an already established powerful ministry, Calvary Crosses Church. Every Friday during the summer, his team does outreaches in the city focused on preaching and prayer for salvation and discipleship. He has a growing and dynamic church, but for the past ten years he has felt alone. This weekend retreat was his first exposure to other pastors and leaders – and many of the resources that World Impact and TUMI have to offer. Desmond said that this weekend allowed him to connect to a larger network of urban churches. It is incredibly beneficial to not feel alone.
Pastor Desmond is one of thousands of leaders and pastors that we want to train, empower, and equip as we seek a great harvest of urban churches in the years to come.
Matt Penner is World Impact's National Prayer Director.
Faces of World Impact Topeka - Mary Flin
This is such an exciting time to be in urban ministry. That isn't to say that it is an easy time, but it is a time when opportunities are endless. I am constantly challenged with the need to equip as many new leaders for the urban church as possible, as quickly as possible, and in the most affordable ways possible.
Faces come to mind when I think of emerging leaders: students in the six Fight the Good Fight of Faith classes we just completed in the Shawnee County Jail, neighbors who love the Lord and are learning His ways, SIAFU members who know that our groups will be there when they need to connect with Christian friends, TUMI-Topeka students who cross the finish line of each class with the major goal of winning their city for the Kingdom of Christ, and members of the Church Inside at our jail Annex where students rotate and serve by bringing the Word each week. I also think of the pastors, chaplains, authorities and community leaders who have the same goals and are on the front lines of service daily, especially among the urban poor. To come alongside these friends with leadership training, small group discipleship resources, church planting models and encouragement is worth whatever it takes to be faithful and available.
The Topeka Rescue Mission's new TUMI Satellite, which they call the Center for Biblical Leadership Development, launched their first class in May as part of their Servants in Training Program. In partnership with their Doxazo Missions Training Institute, another model will launch in January that will allow students to be certified in both Missions and Biblical Leadership.
It was great to have six leaders attend the TUMI Summit with me, and to connect with an Accredited Partner from our area who is interested in working together to develop models for leaders from among the urban poor who are called to bi-vocational ministry and who are seeking additional education.
We are looking forward to having Andrew and Adria Medlen and their boys with us part time for the next several months. As World Impact Topeka plans for classes and initiatives in area churches, the jail, community and neighborhoods, I am grateful for your prayers and support. The enemy is daunting, but is a conquered foe. We follow our Champion, Christ the Victor, and have cities to win for His Kingdom!
Mary Flin is the City Director of World Impact Topeka.