ALBUQUERQUE (BNM) - The Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s Missions Mobilization Team recently launched the BCNM Planter Portal, an online tool to assess potential church planters and church plants. Anchor South, Albuquerque, and Focus Church, Rio Rancho, are the first two churches to utilize the Planter Portal.
Robert DeVargis of Eternal Interactive, Inc., a digital design firm, worked with MMT Team Leader Scott Wilson to build a customized version of an existing system, which is also used by the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. The Planter Portal allows the BCNM’s Missions Mobilization Team to track the process of individual prospective church planters, while providing evaluation and cooperation from local churches and regional associations. According to written instructions on the Planter Portal’s home page, the Planter Portal “allows the local church, association, and state convention to partner in planting churches.”
The Planter Portal includes entry points for four different types of individuals and organizations, including sending churches, potential church planters (Spanish and English), associational leaders, and coaches. Church planters use the Planter Portal to complete an initial church planting application, a reference list, background check, and a church planter assessment. Sending churches use the Portal to provide a Sending Church Assessment and evaluation of a potential church planter’s preaching ability. Coaches are assigned to provide mentorship and coaching to prospective church planters. Steven Ball, pastor of First Baptist Church, Albuquerque; and Kyle Bueermann, pastor of First Baptist Church, Alamogordo, currently serve as coaches.
Justin Pearson, pastor of Anchor South, a hybrid church plant and campus of Anchor Church, Albuquerque, utilized the Planter Portal before launching Anchor South. Pearson said that while some aspects of the Planter Portal are not “super clear” he anticipates the process becoming more clear over time, adding, “But’s been great to … have a place to see what I need to do or see where there are requests. And, I think as time goes by, this is going to be a really, really useful tool for the church planting process in the state.” Dave Megill, pastor of Focus Church, Rio Rancho, also utilized the tool to become affiliated with the BCNM. Focus Church was formed in 2017.
The Planter Portal provides a compressive process by which to evaluate prospective church planters and their families, prior to partnering with the BCNM. The Mission New Mexico State Missions Offering funds approved church plants. The Mission New Mexico Offering provided funds to purchase and customize the Planter Portal. It is a central hub for New Mexico’s church planting efforts.
According to MMT Ministry Assistant Cricket Pairett, individuals interested in church planting can register for an account at www.planterportal.com. From there, they can complete a church planting application. Next, a Missions Mobilization Team member contacts them to initiate next steps. Learn more about church planting in New Mexico by visiting impactnm.org.