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Planting ABQ

A funding proposal for a new church in Albuquerque, New Mexico


Each generation bears the responsibility of contextualizing the gospel for an ever-changing world. The landscape of Christianity in America is in decline, and Albuquerque is certainly no exception. In fact, it is a prime example. While a growing metro area and the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque is increasingly non-Christian and unchurched. The most appropriate response to these realities is to plant new communities of people who will proclaim the good news about the saving power of God through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus in both word and deed. Our calling and vision is to do just that, but it will require significant funding from those who share our passion for kingdom work. This proposal outlines the basics of who we are, what we plan to do, and what we need to do it. We hope you’ll be encouraged by God’s grace in our lives, and inspired to partner with us for the glory of God and the good of Albuquerque.



Nathan Sherman has lived in Albuquerque since 2012 where he is presently the Pastor of Youth and Families at Desert Springs Church. After completing his Master’s of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY), he served as a church planting resident at Providence Church (Austin, TX). During those two years, God gave Nathan a desire to plant and pastor a local church. After commissioning Nathan as an elder of the church, Desert Springs is excited to send him to pastor a new and autonomous church.

Clint Moore has lived in Albuquerque since 2005 when he moved from Las Cruces (NMSU) and before that Clovis. After completing his Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering at UNM and working for three years as a Hydraulic Engineer, Clint was called by the elders of Desert Springs Church to become the Missions Director. Clint studied theology and ministry under the elders at Desert Springs and eventually was commissioned as an Elder and Pastor over Missions and Community Groups in 2013. Clint has always had a desire to multiply Christ’s church both locally and globally and is excited to pastor and shepherd this new congregation. 


Albuquerque needs more churches: Fewer than 10% of the Albuquerque population attends an evangelical, Christian church. At nearly 700,000 people, Albuquerque is in need of more churches rather than merely growing existing churches.

Albuquerque is a center for cultural influence: Albuquerque is one of the most highly educated large cities in America, regularly landing the Top Ten for Ph.D.’s per capita. With over 29,000 students, the University of New Mexico is a Class 1 research institution.[4] Albuquerque is increasingly becoming a center and destination for filmmaking, television, and art.


Our vision is not just to plant a church, but a gospel-centered church; and not just one church, but a movement of church- planting churches. Accordingly, we have two primary objectives:


Our conception of gospel centrality involves three aspects. Gospel Content: A gospel-centered church consists of people who demonstrate the gospel personally, in word and deed, as well as those who proclaim the gospel publicly, with compelling clarity (1 Cor. 9:16-23). Gospel Community: A gospel-centered church is not a place, but a people – a community that is continually being transformed and united by the power of the gospel (Col. 1:6). Gospel Cause: A gospel-centered church is active in the work of mercy, justice, and cultural renewal, praying and working for the reconciling work of the gospel, so that God might be glorified “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).


Tim Keller writes, “The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else--not crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, growing mega-churches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes--will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting. This is an eyebrow raising statement. But to those who have done any study at all, it is not even controversial.”



Missional Life: Fewer than 10% of people in Albuquerque attend an evangelical church. Therefore, our main focus will be a side-door strategy, growing primarily through relational networks. To do this, we will commit ourselves to the deliberate practice of two simple rhythms: Living out the gospel in the culture around us, and inviting others into community so they can experience the gospel among us. We will also intentionally pursue ministry among students at the University of New Mexico, artists and musicians, and the marginalized. This is a “starter list” that will grow as God gives opportunity.

Gospel Communities: Gospel Communities are formed around geography, affinity, and missional focus. Every Gospel Community is a grass roots movement that can create opportunities to “live out” and “invite it” – middle space, partnership with local agencies, discipleship groups, community events, etc.

Covenant Renewal Worship: Just as God sends us out on mission, He also calls us together for corporate worship, to renew our covenant with Him and each other. In seeking to engage culture, we will emphasize the oldness of the church, not its newness. Our teaching will be rooted in historic Protestant theology. Our worship will gladly incorporate creeds, confessions, hymns, and liturgies.


Staff Team: The size and quality of our staff team is designed to ensure adequate capacity for our vision. In addition to Nathan, this church plant seeks to employ one other staff pastor as well as, at least, one other biblically-qualified lay elder.

Train Young Leaders: Within the first 2-3 years, we hope to invite Church Planting Residents to raise financial support and join our staff to focus on missional movement, leadership development, and preparation for the next stage of ministry.



We are excited to be part of the Southern Baptist Convention and are eager to cooperate with other Great Commission-minded churches around the world. Nathan and Clint have a close relationship with the local leadership of the Baptist Student Union on the UNM campus who are eager for more Baptist churches in our large city to recommend to their students. 


Desert Springs Church hosts a local chapter of TGC where many pastors from around New Mexico regularly gather for friendship, encouragement, and accountability.

Funding Needs

Strategic Focus


Budget & Funding Need



(2016-2017) Preparation & Launch

• Recruiting and Fundraising

• Administrative and legal matters

• Create missional momentum and form Gospel Communities

• Weekly Core Team gatherings: worship, teaching and training

•  Worship gatherings open to the public

• Build denominational and network partnerships  

• Stress mission, vision and values



• Projected Budget: $314,231

• Current External Support: 160,689

• Projected Internal Giving: $147,000

Funding Need: $6,542



(2017-2018) Launch & Growth

• Worship gatherings open to the public

• Focus heavily on leadership development at all levels

• Continue to stress mission, vision and values

• Adapt structures and programs to changing size dynamics

• Develop strategies to build health and pursue new missional opportunities


• Projected Budget: $314,231

• Current External Support: $112,004

• Projected Internal Giving:$176,400

Funding Need: $25,827


(2018-2019) Transition to Financial Viability

• Budget for size and mission of church

• Transition staff from external funding

• Begin a church-planting residency

•  Grow through missional relationships

• Projected Budget: $314,231

• Current External Support: $62,004

• Projected Internal Giving:$211,680

Funding Need: $40,547


(2019) Financial Viability

• Become financially viable internally-sustainable

• Continue in missional growth

• Projected Budget: $314,231

• Current External Support: $62,004

• Projected Internal Giving:$306,936

• Funding Need: $7,295