Editor’s Note: Together LA had the opportunity to attend the Los Angeles Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast last Saturday where Efrem Smith cast a vision through a powerful prayer for the city. After reading his recent blog post (below) about attending the World Impact’s annual TUMI (The Urban Ministry Institute) Leaders’ Summit earlier in the month, it seems likely that some of the inspiration for the prayer came from his time there.
When Christ walked the earth he had the ability to look at people and see something beyond the labels of society. Christ was able to see the under-resourced, unqualified, outcast, and marginalized as potential participants in the work of transformation. He was able to look at the corrupt, the incarcerated, the diseased, the poor, and left for dead and see something that even the religious leaders of the day had the lack of vision to grasp. Through the declarations and demonstrations of God’s love, truth, and new life those deemed unworthy find their identity as made in the image of God and from there, begin to see their potential to work alongside Christ and transform lives and communities.
This month I attended World Impact’s annual TUMI (The Urban Ministry Institute) Leaders’ Summit in Wichita, Kansas. I was so moved by the hundreds of ministry leaders that have a revolutionary vision for the poor and the incarcerated. I participated in worship, shared meals with, and listened to the stories of Brothers and Sisters from around the country and around the world who are aligned with God’s vision for “the least of these.” But they don’t merely have sympathy and mercy for the poor and incarcerated. They are involved in training and equipping them to serve as church planters, pastors, community leaders, and missionaries. These Summit attendees are chaplains, church pastors, denominational leaders, and volunteers who see that the harvest field is not only plentiful, but contains gifted and talented folks who, if empowered and resourced, can take responsibility for transformation right where they are.
This issue of seeing all people through the eyes of God, is not just a ministry model for me, it’s personal… READ FULL POST AT WORLD IMPACT, INC.
Photo at top: John Fredericks for Together LA