World Impact’s Topeka Ministry grew out of a TUMI (The Urban Ministry Institute) satellite that began in 2010. As leaders progressed through training they began to embrace callings to church planting and pastoral ministry or to mentoring additional Capstone classes in the area’s jail and prisons. Many are already key servant leaders in their churches. Some represent their contexts on boards or government commissions. All have something in common: they are well educated in the hardness of life in neighbors impacted by poverty and incarceration. Even those leaders who do not come from inner-city neighborhoods in Topeka or elsewhere have developed understanding through volunteer service and relationships. Leaders come to World Impact Topeka and our TUMI Satellite with a strong desire to move beyond what they already know and to be part of making a long-lasting and significant difference. They want to train for the win.
One leader was a teenager during riots in Harlem and sees, clearly, that the Kingdom advances when the Church responds. Some attended school together on Topeka’s east side decades ago and are now training and leading together on the other side of incarceration, health challenges and years of ministry in hard places with few resources. Several have attended Evangel Schools of Urban Church Planting in Topeka or Wichita and are breaking new ground for the Kingdom. They are serving in youth programs and ministry to people who are experiencing mental illness. Some are program developers in other ministries. Many are raising children or grandchildren and combating generational oppression through Kingdom principles. They become leaders of leaders in their churches, homes and workplaces.
For the most part, empowering urban leaders in Topeka means to believe in God’s call and to help train, shepherd, lead and encourage these incredible people as they represent Christ in their contexts. We offer classes, help leaders go to our nearby retreats, connect with partners, host events, manage administration, use and develop resources and maintain an open door of encouragement. We are seeing the birth of new Urban Church Associations that begin with friendships and have potential to reduce the loneliness of leadership. Alongside them, the goal in Topeka is to help the Church win the city. There has never been a more exciting time in history to be part of empowering amazing men and women who have been called for particular ministry in the particularly difficult urban environment.