Establishing New Believers

The Three Stages of Spiritual Formation: Evangelism, Discipleship and Commission

We are committed to resourcing the Great Commission, and believe that there are three stages of Spiritual Formation:

1-Evangelism: Evangelism is credible communication of the Good News leading to repentance and confession of Christ, and baptism, connected to a local assembly and its life together. It is key to have culturally-conducive, effective evangelism (sharing the Good News of God's love in Christ) that results in saving faith and baptism in connection to an authentic assembly of Christ followers under pastoral care. In this stage it is important to help the seeker know that there is a grand story, larger than, but including, their life. 

2-Discipleship: A central part of strengthening the body of Christ is to equip baptized believers to live the Christian life in Kingdom community. This represents the incorporation of a baptized believer into official, formal and genuine relationship with alocal congregation, under pastoral care and supervision, integrated in its life and witness. The on-going process of integrating a baptized believer into the life and witness of a local church, involves nurturing spiritual formation, meaningful worship, dynamic fellowhsip and spiritual witness to people within the disciple's oikos network of family, friends, and associates. 

3-Commission: This stage focuses on enabling a growing, maturing disciple/body member to discover their gifts and find opportunities to serve as a laborerin their own unique, Holy-Spirit led field of oikos and/or their specific call to ministry. The focus then, is to identify, equip, and release empowered urban Christian leaders to minister as Christ's ambassadors in their Spirit-led context (Sitz im leben), i.e., their circle of family, friends, and associates, and to their specific called group for witness (e.g., Paul's call to the Gentiles).

Evangelism: From Sincere Seeker to Baptized Believer

Evangelism is credible communication of the Good News leading to repentance and confession of Christ, and baptism, connected to a local assembly and its life together. It is key to have culturally-conducive, effective evangelism (sharing the Good News of God's love in Christ) that results in saving faith and baptism in connection to an authentic assembly of Christ followers under pastoral care. In this stage it is important to help the seeker know that there is a grand story, larger than, but including, their life. 

"In the Story of God, like fairy tales, the stakes are unbelievably high and the conflict is cosmic and universal. God will elect to redeem his creation, purely out of love and grace, and to rescue out of Adam’s line a people who will live  forever in a new heavens and new earth which he himself will recreate. Like in a fairy story, he will provide an intervention of grace and love so sufficient that it will take on the evil and chaos that have ruined creation, and with a single act of sacrifice, destroy death and corruption forever. And he will offer this free deliverance to any and all who believe in his Son, the true hero of the Story, whose people will serve him in a Kingdom where God is glorified forever. Have you heard it? Do you know the Story? How can we so encounter this true tale of God’s love and grace in such as way as to be transformed by it forever?"

What does the biblical Story of God's love in Christ have in common with comic book tales, hero journeys, or fairy tales?

In this Story, all who believe that Jesus is the Christ can be transformed from frogs to princes and princesses, through the power of the Spirit and faith in the Gospel. In a world that is dizzy through dozens of contradictory, competing stories, we who believe must now rediscover the Story of God in Christ as the final story of all things, the center of our lives, and the heart of our mission. ~Dr. Don Davis, The Most Amazing Story Ever Told

Some additional resources for this stage are:

 

Discipleship: From Baptized Believer to Maturing Disciple / Body Member

 

A central part of strengthening the body of Christ is to equip baptized believers to live the Christian life in Kingdom community. This represents the incorporation of a baptized believer into official, formal and genuine relationship with alocal congregation, under pastoral care and supervision, integrated in its life and witness. The on-going process of integrating a baptized believer into the life and witness of a local church, involves nurturing spiritual formation, meaningful worship, dynamic fellowhsip and spiritual witness to people within the disciple's oikos network of family, friends, and associates. 

Fight the Good Fight of Faith is especially designed to help new and growing Christians become effective disciples/warriors of Christ, and is built entirely on the Story of God as told in the Scriptures. Following the thematic outline of Ephesians, this lesson guide helps believers understand what the Bible says about the key dimensions of our participation in God’s grand Story in nine integrated lessons. These studies lay out the key elements in how we fulfill our role in God’s Story, allowing students to grow as disciples of Christ as they are grounded in the basics of the Christian faith and walk. This resource serves as our official precursor to TUMI’s Capstone Curriculum seminary training, providing a solid introduction to the Bible’s major themes as well as the foundational principles of Christian discipleship. 

In the same way that TUMI strongly believes that reconnecting with the Great Tradition can renew the urban church, we likewise believe it can enrich our spiritual formation individually and corporately in the Church. With many urban churches finding themselves exhausted by the various tricks, gimmicks, and idiosyncratic practices guiding sermons and practices today, TUMI believes that the disciplines of spiritual formation can be reinvigorated by the simple, uncluttered teaching and practices of the Great Tradition.

The key to character and discipline is focused attention, effort, and energy. Whatever subjects or directions upon which we concentrate our energies and efforts in a deliberate and disciplined manner, we grow and deepen. To use an analogy, honey is gathered by the bee, who draws out of a single blossom all the sweet nectars which it has to offer. The butterfly, however, which flits around from bush to bush and plant to plant, may cover ground but gathers nothing sweet. In all things spiritual, we ought to strive to be like the bee and not the butterfly! 

Some additional resources for this stage in which you can focus your attention on this are:

 

Commisioned* Representative: From Maturing Disciple / Body Member to Commissioned Minister (clergy and lay ministry)

This stage focuses on enabling a growing, maturing disciple/body member to discover their gifts and find opportunities to serve as a laborerin their own unique, Holy-Spirit led field of oikos and/or their specific call to ministry. The focus then, is to identify, equip, and release empowered urban Christian leaders to minister as Christ's ambassadors in their Spirit-led context (Sitz im leben), i.e., their circle of family, friends, and associates, and to their specific called group for witness (e.g., Paul's call to the Gentiles).

*What we mean by commissioned minister is anyone who is charged to do a specific ministry as an official representative of the church, whether that be as ordained clergy or lay minister. We believe unequivocally in the priesthood of all believers; every disciple of Jesus is endowed with special gifts, talents, resources, and opportunities that they can leverage for the sake of the Gospel. 

TUMI works with movements and congregations to establish their own credentialing process which allow them to certify official agents for ministry.

  • Clergy: formal class/category of official pastor authority certified by the congregation or the movement
  • Lay Minister: commissioning and releasing mature disciples to serve as ambassadors in their respective contexts, undergirded with prayer, authority, and resources from their assembly.

Here are some ways we work with our partners to equip their leaders for the work of ministry.

  • Equipping Leaders for the work of Ministry: We establish TUMI satellites in strategic partnership with churches, organizations, and church traditions in order to ensure that their leaders are equipped for effective urban ministry, and empowered to display and advance the Kingdom in unreached communities neighboring their own. As God raises up a new generation of qualified spiritual laborers, we will see the numbers of new believers and healthy churches, and new church movements multiply across America and the world! You can multiply disciples and develop leaders by starting a training center in your church, parachurch, prison, or denomination. As a TUMI satellite, you maintain your own identity and independence, while taking advantage of our curricula, administrative tools, and experience. 
  • The Evangel Network: is our call for fierce, hungry,and committed church planters to mobilize to strategically engage the unreached neighborhoods in the cities of America and the world. We intend totrain qualified spiritual laborers who will respond to our Lord and boldly go to the hardest, toughest, and most unyielding places to procliam the name of Jesus and establish a community of the Kingdom within them. We partner with those called to plant churches and foster movements in the city among those furthest from the Gospel. Our Dean training of the Evangel School of Urban Church Planting helps churches, organizations, and denominations to host their own contextualized church plant school in their own city or region, to advance Gospel where the live.

Some key resources for this stage are: