Planter Portal Zoom Meeting

A group of ministry leaders meet with interviewees David and Ann Megill via a Zoom meeting. The Megill’s have begun the process of planting a church. The Zoom meeting lasted approximately three hours as participants visited with the Megill’s about their expectations and needs. The new plant will be called Focus Church.

ALBUQUERQUE (BNM) - In January 2020, the BCNM launched a Planter Portal for pastors looking to plant a new church, giving them the ability to plant their church through the help of the portal.

The Baptist Convention of New Mexico designed the Planter Portal for pastors looking to build new churches throughout the state of New Mexico. "We needed a tool that we could use to collaborate so that the state convention, the local associations, and the local church could work together in helping to decided who would make a good church planter." Missions Mobilization Team Leader Scott Wilson said. 

The portal "was built with churches in mind. In a lot of church planting processes, they sometimes leave the local church out. Our goal was to make sure the local church is really at the forefront and is the major player and contributor in the portal as we were working to help guys plant churches." Wilson said.

Previously, BCNM had other ways for the BCNM to keep and track the information that the Planter Portal now does. But before it was very time consuming and much work, Wilson told the Baptist New Mexican. 

The team started creating the website about a year ago to solve the information tracking problem. Wilson and other team members from the BCNM have been working with creators from Eternal Interactive, a website design company based in Texas, to build the website. 

Even with the struggles presented by COVID-19, the Planter Portal is still up and running. "We are still able to communicate and work with planter candidates that are interested in being a planter. We have five or six guys right now in the portal that we are processing and working with to gather their information and find out what would be a good fit in planting with them," Wilson said.

One of the helping pastors who helps the planter portal team to interview and work with a candidate(s) recently was Pastor Bryne Palmer, pastor of Rio Church, Albuquerque. Palmer also uses the portal and the tracking capabilities that it provides. "I am one that typically does not enjoy writing reports or do these at all, but the portal makes it a little easier to do, and a little less painful. As far as portals go and reports go, it's pretty good." Palmer said.

Palmer goes on to talk about his usage of the portal, which he has been using since it became a live website. "It's been pretty easy to use, pretty easy to find everything, and it has some pleasing graphics and graphs to see the data and why it is helpful. It is a very helpful tool that gives all the relevant information that you could need in one place, with easy to understand graphs linked to it so you can follow progress easily," Palmer said. 

Through the portal, candidate pastors can post their information, and the site’s tracking capabilities "will determine for a potential planter the likelihood of being able to plant a church well. With the information, one of the things we gather in the Planter Portal is a budget and a business plan for a church. We call it a ‘perspective,’ and it shows us the best way to get funding and make sure he has what he needs to plant the church well," Wilson said.

Wilson also continued to explain the function of the tracking feature tracks within the website. "After establishing a pastor as a planter, the portal has reporting capabilities so a planter can fill out a monthly report in the portal. He can give us information about how many people are working on discipling, working in a leadership development process and prayer requests. We then have reports and understand what's going on with the planter and how we can help with that," He said.

"It's such a great tool for making sure that the local association, churches and the state convention can work together," Wilson said.

Access the portal by visiting www.planterportal.com.

Ellie Aikman is a volunteer assignment writer with the Baptist New Mexican news journal and GoBNM.com, news and information outlets for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

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