Archive for the Church Planting Category

Jul 1

Announcing, the Christ Church Core Team

2016 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Church Planting

There are a number of milestones in the course of planting a church. Announcing plans to plant is one. The public launch is another. Between those two milestones is another big one: the establishment of the core team.

The following core team members initially expressed interest around January, following the Christ Church info meeting. From there, through a series of meetings, prayer, and discussion among DSC’s elders, the following core team was established.

Each of these people have known for a while, but we are thrilled now to share with everyone else the names of those who are going out. Here they are:

Hayden Armstrong
Karin Avery
Ben and Jenna Balman
Mason Banning
Nando and Isabel Betancur
Michael and Stephanie Bestwaros
Mark and Stephanie Bieniarz
Jason and Dani Brown
Jeremy and Naomi Brown
JR and Feven Bucklew
Jacob Covell
Adam and Charis Church
Walter and Jody Dehority
Leonard and Astraea Duran
Ruben Duran
Sophia Edwards
Tim and Angela Englemann
Lauren Ferguson
Tonya Garrison
David and Rita Gatt
Emily Gidlow
Ryan and Lesley Gilmore
Mike and Sydney Graczyk
JJ and Danielle Johnson
Matt Jones
Kyle and Jessika Junick
Z and Mary Hall
Taylor Kidwell
Eric and Shannon Layer
Ana McElroy
Randy and Eva McElroy
Clint and Joanna Moore
Tim and Cara Ray
Raybeau and Annie Richardson
Matt and Anne Ryals
Haley Templeton
Chris and Britt Sanchez
Nathan and Marcie Sherman
Tara Sigur
Marc and Cara Sowers
Caity Spencer
Kyle and Michelle Stevens
Crystal Valdez
Haley Waggerman
Andrew Ward
Caleb Ward
Quinn and Morgan Wingerd
Caleb Wiseman
Jeff Voris

While the public launch of Christ Church is not until November, the core team phase begins in August. This means that these brothers and sisters will begin meeting as a church, and not with Desert Springs Church, starting one month from now.

With that in mind, be sure to offer those you know a hug and a meal as a way of sending them off. No one is moving out of town, of course. But we will miss one another in real ways, and your kind words and hospitality will be a way of sending them in a manner worthy of God.

Apr 18

Business as Mission: Creative Parnerships for the Gospel Here and Abroad

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Church Planting

As part of our Spring for SNAP initiative, we’re hosting a Business as Mission Workshop this Saturday at DSC from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM. As you consider joining us, here are answers to a few questions you might be asking.

What is the “Business as Mission” (BAM) Workshop?

This workshop is designed for two purposes. The first purpose is to help all of us better grasp the opportunity for the gospel that is before us in all of our jobs and vocations.

The second purpose is to help us begin to partner as a church in creatively supporting the work of SNAP through our respective vocations.

What do we mean by that? We’re not talking fund raising. We’re talking about skill and business resource sharing. Let me explain.

Are you a lawyer? Our SNAP team will be entering what is called a creative access country requiring a legitimate job identity in order to carry out their primary agenda of gospel ministry. They will need help setting up an LLC in the US to further legitimize their work. You can help with that.

Or, here’s another example. Let’s say you make candlesticks. Maybe candlesticks are in need in our target country. You could be a supplier and our missionaries can sell your candlesticks. Or maybe you can help our missionaries establish a candlestick business of their own. Or maybe our missionaries will be making widgets, and you can help as a consultant in manufacturing processes.

What outcome should we pray for?  

Creative access countries need sending churches to be creative. We’re praying for God to grow our church in seeing our vocations, skills, and business resources as assets that can be creatively employed for the sake of the church’s mission. Then, out of this we are praying for creative solutions, skills, and business resources to emerge from within our body in support of our SNAP initiative.

What’s the Schedule?

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Business as Mission Foundations: 3 sessions covering the Biblical and historical “why?” and “what?” of BAM

12:00 PM-1:30 PM – Lunch break

1:30 – 3:30 PM – Business as Mission Practice: 2 sessions covering the “how?” for specific SNAP initiative, including next steps for our church

If you want to come, just show up on Saturday morning. No registration required. Email with questions.

Who is leading the workshop? 

We will be joined by three workshop leaders:

Larry W. Sharp is the Founder and current Director of Strategic Partnerships of a Business for Transformation consulting firm, International Business and Education Consultants ( He has served 21 years in Brazil and 19 years as Crossworld VP of Operations and currently as Vice President of Business Partnerships. Since 2007 he has devoted energies toward Business as Mission themes. He holds degrees in Bible, business (B.A. Seattle Pacific University), and education (M.A. Azusa Pacific University) and a Ph.D. (University of Calgary, Canada) in comparative sociology of education and administration. He has spent most of his career in education and supervisory roles. While in Brazil he served as teacher and headmaster of the Amazon Valley Academy (15 years) and President of the Missão Cristã Evangélica do Brasil for six years.

Ben Briggs moved to China at age 25 to start a leather factory. Knowing practically nothing about manufacturing, business management, leather, or Chinese, Ben and his Dallas-based bosses at Barrington engaged business for mission. Over the ensuing eight years, the factory grew to 100 people producing high-end goods for Ritz-Carlton, Neiman Marcus, Tommy Bahama, the PGA, and more. But most importantly, Ben’s team hired and mentored several deaf, handicapped, and Down syndrome employees, using their business as a platform to bless employees, glorify God, and benefit the community.

Dean Callison serves as a Sixteen:Fifteen Business As Mission Coach. Dean is a Certified Financial Planner and has spent the last 25 years doing financial and philanthropic consulting. Dean has assisted many stewards in the transfer of financial resources to missional projects around the world but he is especially interested in assisting stewards with gifts of time and talent to help the growing Business As Mission movement. Dean is pleased to assist Sixteen:Fifteen, influence churches and individual stewards towards real business and real missional efforts in the least reached areas of the world. Dean has a degree in Business and Economics from Taylor University. Sixteen:Fifteen exists to help local churches discover and use their unique gifts in partnership with others to make Christ known among all nations. Sixteen:Fifteen’s vision is to coach 1,000 churches toward a strategic missions focus, resulting in an incremental $1 billion invested to reach 1,000 unreached people groups around the world within the next 10 years.

Mar 1

Counting Down and Digging In to Plant Churches

2013 | by Clint | Category: Church Planting

This past Sunday morning Pastor Ron Giese gave an extended update on our Sunrise North Africa Partnership, also known as SNAP. With the launch of our first global church planting couple in January 2014 fast approaching, we are calling the new monthly update our “Countdown to Sunrise.” This is a time to focus our prayer, effort, and giving in a unique way toward the end of planting churches among the unreached of North Africa.

A Bit of History

Sunrise North Africa Partnership (SNAP) is DSC’s top global missions priority. It began back in 2006 when the Elders decided to expand the global missions focus by adopting an unreached people group (less than 2% evangelical Christian). Seven years later we are on the brink of sending out our first home grown family to North Africa. They are slated to leave January 1, 2014. (For a running countdown till their departure, visit the SNAP home page). We are also seeking to partner with Redemption Church (our first local church plant) to send out our second church planting family to North Africa in 2015.

Ever wonder why we call it Sunrise? Look here, or here: Isaiah 9:2; 42:6; 49:6; 58:8; John 1:5; 2 Corinthians 4:6, 1 John 2:8, Revelation 21:23.

Financing the Mission

God has already moved in amazing ways among us to support these efforts financially. The overall church budget has basically been frozen (no growth) over the past few years, leaving all the financial growth of the body to shore up this commitment to church planting. Since late in 2010, DSC folks have given over $150,000.00. Across two fiscal years, this represents a 50% increase in the missions budget, and about a 5% increase in the overall church budget (all of which is going to planting new churches). What a wonderful gift from God to grow our church in this commitment to His mission of making disciples and planting churches locally and globally.

Much of these funds have been used to get Redemption Church on their feet. From the very beginning of Redemption Church, the goal has been to help them a lot up front, then wean them off of DSC financial support. However, because church planting giving is a bit behind this fiscal year (see the bulletin), we are already cutting back from Redemption faster than originally planned. This is not ideal as Redemption Church is eager to stand on their own two feet, yet still in need of our support some this and next year. Any extra giving to church planting this fiscal year will help us slow this drop off.

Supporting the personal income, travel, training, and ministry budget of one family on the ground in North Africa can average $1,500 weekly. For two families, we will need to double that to $3,000. As a church we are currently at just over $1,500 given per week to church planting. Our goal is to continue increasing that as God provides so that in 2014 we will be able to store up funds for the second family coming from Redemption, and continue to support our first family.

Do you know if your church planting giving is being counted?

Some folks at DSC seem to have increased their giving each month, even by the expected $1 per day or $2 per day since 2012. However, if it is not clearly designated to “church planting,” any giving to DSC is counted toward the general church budget.

When it comes to giving toward church planting, you can use United Way, online giving at DSC, or you can write a check on Sunday mornings and place it in an offering box. Just be sure to designate it using the online fields or your check memo line to make sure it gets counted correctly.

Stay tuned for the next Countdown to Sunrise in March, and stop by this blog and the missions blog for upcoming efforts this spring to help the DSC body think outside the box when it comes to serving and supporting SNAP.

For more details on the finances, check the SNAP home page.

To keep up with the latest on SNAP, be sure to subscribe to the Missions Blog.

May 21

New Life at French’s Mortuary, Redemption Church Update

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Church Planting

Redemption Church, DSC’s first church plant, is now almost three months old. This month’s Church Planting ENewsletter included an article by Carlos Griego reflecting on this new work that God is doing. The whole update is worth reading, and you can do so here.

Carlos’ update included this short reflection by one of Redemption’s members, Stacey Abdalla:

The first thing that I think of when asked what I see God doing at Redemption over these past nine weeks is how He has been knitting many of our hearts together. There are new friendships and ultimately new partnerships for the Gospel that have been developing in the firmest of foundations – His Word and His precepts! I have been so very blessed and amazed at the camaraderie and devotion to God and His children that I have both seen and experienced with my fellow Redemption peeps! I do miss “home” - DSC – I am so thankful for the time God had our family there, and I am so blessed to be where God has us now – as a part of this new opportunity with Redemption to spread God’s glory broader and deeper! Of course, there are many new additions in the children department as well, with both the recent births and adoptions. What an amazing heart for adoption I see in this church! We’ve also had quite a few visitors and repeat attendees to the church, such as the Herrera family, the Tolliver family, the Scarbro family – just to name a few!

. . .And although it seemed that meeting for Sunday morning services in a funeral home would be a little uncomfortable, in reality it has turned into such a symbolic opportunity to celebrate Jesus’ finished conquering of death, as Los puts it, in a place where death usually has the last word! What a great reinforcement of the reality of what Jesus has conquered! God has shown such gracious provision in orchestrating the availability of French’s Mortuary – it is a beautiful, comfortable, warm and inviting facility, and we absolutely could not have asked for more in a place to meet before our building is ready! I am so excited and thankful to be a part of God’s new work with Redemption as He continues to change hearts and make all things new, both for His glory and our good! What a gracious, amazing God we serve! Thank You, Yahweh!

As Stacey mentioned, Redemption Church has been meeting at French’s Mortuary while waiting for their new space in Rio Rancho to become available. With now only a few weeks away until they will likely move into their new space, Carlos published a blog, “Church In a Mortuary,” reflecting on the irony in the circumstances of their launch. Here are a few excerpts:

Preparing to plant a church requires research. Church planters read lots of books. I have read books about culture, leadership, theology, and church planting. Many books give good suggestions on how to grow as a church, and how to make “your mark.” I am going to be honest, not one of those books mentioned launching a church in a mortuary, without any advertisement. That’s exactly what we have done at Redemption Church.

What has all this shown me? It has shown me that God brings growth, not methods. We are called to trust God, not methods. Methods are not bad, and we should use all of the resources we have to reach those far from God. We are excited to move out of the mortuary, and will advertise once we move into our new spot in Rio Rancho. What God has taught me in all of this, though, is to trust Him. He doesn’t need nice buildings or flyers sent out to bring people to Him. He calls us to plant gospel seeds, water with the Word, and watch what He does. I am excited for the times ahead, and what God will do in our new place. I am, however, brought to a place of worship and overwhelming thankfulness for our time in the mortuary as a somewhat under the radar church.

Visit the Church Planting page for more information about DSC’s church planting strategy, and to learn how you can contribute. To keep track of God’s work through Redemption Church, visit their website for sermons, blog posts, events, etc. To sign up for the Church Planting ENewsletter, email Clint at

Feb 13

“A Lasting Partnership” – Redemption Church Send-Off Sunday

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Church Planting,Sermon Follow-Up,Vision

Yesterday marked an important day in the history of Desert Springs Church and in the history of Redemption Church, DSC’s first church plant.

DSC’s elders began praying about and discussing plans for a local church plant several years ago In August of 2010, Ryan announced plans for a church plant in Rio Rancho and for Carlos to lead out as the preaching pastor and planter for this new church. In this sermon,”Spreading God’s Glory Broader and Deeper. . .via Church Planting,” Ryan also outlined ten reasons to plant churches now, also available online in pdf form.

This Sunday, Carlos Griego preached a sermon, “A Lasting Partnership,” from 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 and reflected on the significance of our partnership together for the gospel. It was a timely encouragement for two churches in transition.

At the conclusion of Carlos’ sermon, Ryan called on the DSC elders to lay hands on and pray over Carlos and two other men in route to eldership at Redemption Church, Bryan Lopez and Aaron Campbell.

Here are some photos from the morning:

Redemption Church is in the process of finalizing plans for a permanent meeting space in Rio Rancho. Their first service will be held this Sunday, February 19, at 10:00 AM at French’s Chapel (300 Golf Course Road, Albuquerque, NM 87114).

Visit the Church Planting page for more information about DSC’s church planting strategy, and to learn how you can contribute. To keep track of God’s work through Redemption Church, visit their website for sermons, blog posts, events, etc.