Archive for the Mission Category
On Monday night, January 18, we hosted an Info Meeting for anyone interested in learning about DSC’s next church plant, Christ Church. Nathan Sherman, our present Youth and Family Minister, will be the lead planter for this effort. Here’s an FAQ that Nathan put together for us in follow up to the Info Meeting, in case you missed it or need a refresher:
1. I missed the Informational Meeting. Can I listen to the audio?
Yes, you can listen to the audio here.
2. Wait, I heard Clint Moore is going with Christ church too. Is that true?
Yes, that’s true. Clint Moore will also be joining Nathan as a second staff elder. This was a grueling and difficult decision for Clint and Joanna, as they wrestled through both their excitement for church-planting on the one hand, and their love for Desert Springs on the other. In the end, it was their love for DSC that actually energized their decision to be sent out by it—they desire for the theology and mission of DSC (“spreading God’s glory broader and deeper”) to find more outposts around the city and the world.
3. Where will it be located?
We are excited to be planting in the downtown area, where we will meet in the afternoons at The Cathedral of St. John Episcopal. While in the past, there has been a large-scale flight from the downtown area of people and churches, it seems that there is a downtown revitalization beginning. Businesses, restaurants, bars, and shops are returning, as well as a grocery store, condos, and apartments to support the number of people who are moving back (see here). Our desire is for more gospel-preaching churches to be in this area to minister to the growing life of the city there.
4. What will be similar to DSC about Christ Church?
- Commitment to Expositional Preaching through books of the Bible
- Children’s Ministry philosophy
- Plurality of Elders
- A high and serious view of membership
- Missions (ongoing support of SNAP as well as partnerships, at some level, with Native America and the Achi)
- Community Group ministry
- Mission and Vision (spreading God’s glory broader and deeper through worship, community, and mission)
- Regional network affiliation with The Gospel Coalition
5. What will be different than DSC about Christ Church?
- Time – Because we will be tenants of The Cathedral of St. John, our corporate gathering will meet at 5 pm on Sunday evenings
- Church service – a higher liturgy with a weekly call to worship, corporate confession of sin and profession of faith, Scripture reading, preaching, communion, and benediction
- No Men’s/Women’s/Youth ministries – though we will not have structured ministries in these areas, we will still do ministry to men, women, and youth, primarily through the context of our community groups and personal discipleship
- Denominational affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention
6. What are good reasons to want to go?
- The Great Commission – if you are convinced that the primary means of Kingdom expansion is church planting, then you should be excited about Christ Church. Most will stay and some will go, but The Great Commission (evangelism and discipleship) should be the primary motive for wanting to be part of this plant—everything else is secondary.
- Love for the Local Church – your love for Desert Springs should fuel a desire for more outposts like it around the city
- Ownership of something new and growing – perhaps you have an entrepreneurial spirit and love to see new things begun for the glory of God. One word of caution is needed, though: at some point Christ Church will no longer be new—it will become an established and aging church.
- Geography – perhaps you live, or work, or play in the downtown area and have been longing for a gospel community presence there
7. What are not so good reasons to want to go?
- Just to be part of a small church (Lord willing, we will not remain small)
- Running from conflict at DSC
- Problems with leadership at DSC
- Desire for more church leadership or a power grab
- A feeling of under-appreciation at DSC
- Looking for a fresh start or a jump start in your Christian walk
- You just really like Nathan or Clint
- Preferential issues (cookies, music volume, the style or fashions at DSC, etc.)
8. What will it cost us to leave?
- While we aren’t leaving the country, relational dynamics with long-term friends, family, community groups, children’s friends, pastors at DSC will all change
- The commute to downtown could get old
- For four months of the year, we will be worshipping during afternoon and evening football games (including the Super Bowl)
- As a church plant, Christ Church will not be the polished, well-oiled machine that DSC is
- All hands must be on deck, and not just for setup and teardown for a couple of hours on Sundays (which will be minimal). But in Sunday worship and community group attendance; in service to the church (children’s ministry), in evangelism and discipleship, and in giving. In a larger church, it is easier to think that others will pick up the slack—this can’t be with a church plant.
9. What should I do if I’m considering wanting be a part of the Core Team?
Email Nathan (email@example.com) or Clint (firstname.lastname@example.org) to express interest; or pick up a handout at the Christ Church kiosk on Sundays and drop the tear-off in one of the offering boxes. Interest must be communicated by this Sunday, January 31, so that Nathan and Clint can begin scheduling individual meetings throughout February and March with those considering planting.
10. What is the timeline for launch?
After all interviews with those interested are completed, the DSC elders will review the list and form a Core Team that will be most strategic for both Christ Church and DSC. The Core Team will be notified by mid-April and asked to give a firm commitment by May 1. Beginning in early-August, the Core Team will begin meeting together on Sundays for closed services to solidify the DNA and vision of Christ Church, followed by a full-public launch in mid-November.
The Christmas Store is DSC’s annual way of building a bridge for meaningful gospel ministry into our community. Together as a church, we buy gifts, volunteer at several Christmas Stores, and serve as mentors to the contacts we make through a follow-up program called, Money and Me. In fact, when you come to church tomorrow, be sure to scan the Christmas trees for tags. These tags represent gifts that you can buy for our stores. Take a few or a handful, then return them the following week.
Watch this video and click here to learn more about how to be involved.
[RSS and email readers, click here to view this video]
Russell Moore over at Desiring God has written about the culture of outrage that has seized cable news, social media, and even our churches. As he writes, Christians should be starkly different than our unbelieving neighbors in the ways we act and react, for we are not without hope:
We must learn to lament, because once we no longer lament we turn instead to anger, outrage, blame, and quarrelsomeness. The louder and more frantic the anger, the more we feel as though we’re really showing conviction and grit.
This is made all the more problematic when it’s easy to make a living out of perpetual rage, even if the only media outlet one has is a Twitter or Facebook feed. After all, nothing signals conviction and passion in this age more than the art of being theatrically offended.
But the gospel teaches otherwise.
The problem with carnal anger and outrage is that it is one of the easiest sins to commit, all the while convincing oneself that it’s faithfulness. After all, how many angry, divisive, perpetually outraged Christians are convinced that they are Old Testament prophets, calling down fire from heaven?
The prophets teach us that there is, in fact, a time to call down fire from heaven. But you had better make sure that God has called you to direct that fire to fall. If not, then you’re acting like a prophet all right — a prophet of Baal, screaming and raving for fire that never falls (1 Kings 18:29). No doubt, James and John believed themselves to be well within the spirit of Elijah when they wanted to call down fire from heaven on the Christ-rejecting villages of Samaria. Jesus wanted nothing to do with that spirit.
Rage itself is no sign of authority, prophetic or otherwise.
Read the rest here.
To highlight God’s work among the Rabinal Achi, Karen Gregory recently published an article for TGC’s International Outreach, “Christ for Guatemala’s Mayan People.” It’s a wonderful article that will make your heart rejoice. Here’s how it begins:
Our group from Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, had taken a second mission trip to the town of Rabinal, in the Baja Verapaz region of Guatemala. We wanted to spread the Gospel to the Achi people, descendants of the once-mighty Mayan nation.
On that memorable day in 2004, we traversed a mountainside for two hours. We hiked alongside Pastor David Ixcopal, his wife Maria, and several of their 11 children, with the goal to share the Jesus film—the pastor’s only Western gospel resource at the time. A donkey carried the film, along with a generator and sheets that would serve as a movie screen. By evening the entire village of Patchalum viewed the movie; for many, it was their first exposure to the glorious Gospel of Christ.
For several days we accompanied Pastor David up and down steep mountains, taking paths between corn rows to reach the low, dark dwellings of Achi families.
I was overwhelmed by the Guatemalan pastor’s daily response to the call of Jesus, and the willingness of his family to ignore the seemingly impossible task to spread the Gospel. Their crushing poverty, amazing energy and boundless joy, in contrast to my many resources, paltry excuses and constant grumbling, made me weep. I returned home a broken woman.
Last week the TGC Blog published a nice piece about DSC’s missions strategy, focusing on what DSC’s purpose to do less better has meant for our work among the Achi in Guatemala. Here’s a section from the beginning of the article, “Why Less is More in Missions“:
“Reactive and sporadic.” That’s how many members of Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, would describe their mission efforts prior to 2004. Plenty of good intention, but little deliberate strategy.
Perhaps you can relate.
Around 2004, however, a group of lay and staff leaders at Desert Springs sought “church missions coaching” with Sixteen: Fifteen, an organization that encourages, equips, and mobilizes congregations in their call to reach the nations. The church ultimately decided to adopt a “least reached” people group: the Rabinal Achi. These peaceful agricultural people dwell in the mountains of Guatemala, where they’ve managed to maintain their Mayan identity for centuries.
For almost three decades, encompassing much of the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996), Rodrigo and Carol Barrera, a couple serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators, had been laboring to translate the New Testament into the Achi’s native tongue. But as of 2004, the project was still incomplete.
Click here to read the story of how DSC partnered with the Barreras to complete this translation of the New Testament for the Achi of Guatemala, and how DSC’s focused strategy helped make this possible. Learn more about DSC’s Rabinal Achi Partnership here, and about the ongoing work of local and global missions at DSC through the DSC Missions Blog.
On Sunday we announced details for this year’s Christmas Store, DSC’s largest annual local outreach. By helping children and parents provide gifts for one another on Christmas, we are praying for conversations about Christ in order to share about the free gift of God’s grace in the gospel.
Watch this video for a brief introduction to the heart of this ministry, and click here to learn more.
Here are details from the Christmas Store page about how each of us can be involved:
We have approximately 3,500 items to purchase as a church body. Christmas trees are up with tags listing needed items. Please consider taking 8-10 tags per family unit. Most of the items can be purchased at the dollar store, or for under $10.00. Bring the item back, unwrapped and with the tag on it, so we will know which ministry/church it is to go to. Deposit the item in the box that matches the tag by Sunday, December 9. If you would like to serve at a Christmas store, you can sign up at one of the kiosks in the foyer. For more information, please contact Carolyn Rush at 505.797.8700.
Examples of Christmas tree tags include sports balls, baby dolls, legos, children’s books, school supplies, winter clothing items, tools, wallets, diapers, baby toys, and jewelry.
Christmas provides us with unique opportunities for inviting friends and family to church and for sharing the gospel. Let’s pray, each of us, with the Apostle Paul, “that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.”
If you were with us on Sunday, you learned about the launch of the exciting new DSC Missions Blog. The purpose of this new blog is to inform and encourage our prayer, participation, giving, and going with respect to the spread of God’s glory through the gospel in our area and among the nations.
For years, Clint, DSC’s Missions Director, has sent email updates to a subscriber list with summaries, photos, and news related to DSC and missions. These updates are of great encouragement, including letters from DSC members from the field and ministry partners abroad.
Over the last few weeks, Clint has posted dozens of these updates to the blog, going all the way back to 2004. Here are a few examples:
- “Guatemala Survey Trip 2004 – A Partnership is Born,” October 1, 2004
- “Rabinal Achi New Testament Dedication – 2010,” February 1, 2010
- “A Letter from Pastor David in Achi Land,” April 28, 2012
Now, updates like these will be posted to the DSC Missions Blog, and they will be emailed to those who subscribe to receive these blog posts by email. In his most recent post, “Language School in Antigua – Preparing for the Mission,” Clint included a letter from the field written by Marvin Gibson about his work in Guatemala. Posts are also searchable by category, including, Church Planting, Field Updates, Global Missions, Local Missions, Rabinal Achi, Redemption Church, and Trips.
To read the Missions Blog, click here. Subscribe to email updates with posts from the Mission Blog by indicating your interest on the Comment Card attached to your Sunday bulletin, or on the right column of the Missions Blog.