Introducing Efrem Smith, a Missio Alliance Leading Voice

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On A Mission for Kingdom Justice, Reconciliation, and Transformation

efrem-smith-verticalI serve as the President and CEO of World Impact, a Christian missions organization committed to facilitating urban church planting movements through evangelism, discipleship, and the empowerment of the unreached urban poor. Our work is primarily domestic, but also includes missional partnerships around the world dedicated to training up indigenous leaders for transformed lives and communities. Whether globally or domestically, the true ends of missions is the raising up of indigenous leaders who lead and serve in healthy, thriving, and reproducing churches. I am passionate about this work because in so many ways it’s my personal story.

I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am a product of an African-American Church and an evangelical, multi-ethnic, and Methodist Church. These two Churches in the community where I grew up, is where I came to know Christ, discovered my gifts and talents, was giving opportunities for leadership, and articulated a call to ministry. I became an indigenous urban ministry leader myself years before becoming the leader of a Christian missions organization committed to that end nationally and globally. I served as a youth pastor, Christian leadership foundation executive, and Church Planter in the city of my upbringing. These were some of the best years of my life. But they were also years of challenge and wrestling. I live in the tension of having a passion both for the African-American Church and for planting intentionally multi-ethnic and missional churches that point to the eternal Kingdom of God. There is actually a need for both.

Because of lingering racial injustice that shows itself in systems and structures there is a need for the African-American Church.

Because of lingering racial injustice, there is a need for the African-American Church. Click To Tweet

Because of the specific ways in which racism impacts African-Americans in under-resourced communities, there is still a need for the preaching, theology, and activism of the African-American Church. I also believe that the African-American Church is a gift to the whole body of Christ. With the number of recent fatal shootings of unarmed African-Americans by police officers caught on video tape and shown through cable news and social media, there is a need for a Church that brings the Kingdom of God to bear in this context. The African-American Church can speak to the whole Church if she has an ear to listen.

The African-American Church can speak to the whole Church if she has an ear to listen. Click To Tweet

I have carried a passion and worked for years in providing insights and capacity building resources to assist the African-American Church in the areas of youth ministry, engaging Hip Hop culture, and participating in fruitful models of community development.

There is also a need for multi-ethnic and missional church planting movements. The Church in the United States is very much held captive by the social matrix of race. One of the ways to liberate the Church for greater Kingdom advancement in an ever-increasing multicultural mission field is the development of churches that reflect Revelation 7:9. But these churches must not only bridge the racial divide in our nation, but the divide between the haves and have nots.

World Impact allows me to live into my call to Kingdom justice, reconciliation, and transformation. I’m able to tell my own story of empowerment and transformation. I’m also able to share stories of how our missionaries, associates, and support staff are working to empower the poor and marginalized across this nation and beyond. I believe that even in spite of all the unfortunate signs of brokenness in our nation, we could very well be on the verge of a new great awakening that brings glimpses of new life, peace, and beloved community. This is our missional opportunity if we choose to accept it!