Globally, 54% of the population lives in urban areas today. By 2045, the number of people living in cities will increase by 1.5 times to 6 billion, adding 2 billion more urban residents. With more than 80% of global GDP generated in cities, urbanization can contribute to sustainable growth if managed well by increasing productivity, allowing innovation and new ideas to emerge.
The State of New Mexico has a total of four metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) that are fully or partially located in the state. 7 of the state’s 33 counties are classified by the United States Census Bureau as metropolitan. As of the 2000 census, these counties had a combined population 1,147,424 (63.1% of the state’s total population). Based on a July 1, 2009 population estimate, that figure rose to 1,335,985 (66.5% of the state’s total population).
New Mexico urban areas are largely post-Christian. These areas are widely open to conversation and open to diverse thought. What God needs are individuals that are willing to take the time to build relationships with people that have no interest in knowing God and through time, consistency, and prayer trust God to raise up His Church.
Nationally urban populations have increased while rural populations have declined. The US Census Bureau estimated that the 1910 rural populations were at 54.4 percent of the total US population while in 2010 they had declined to 19.3 percent. In New Mexico the 1910 Decennial Census rural population was estimated at 85.8 percent and for 2010 the rural population had declined to 22.6 percent. New Mexico has followed the national trend but continues to have a higher percent of rural areas compared to the national.
Rural Church Planting is a vital part of expressing the gospel across New Mexico. In years past we have seen an uptick in the amount of churches being planted in rural New Mexico. These churches have helped gain church planting momentum throughout the state.
New Mexico has a rich heritage of ministry among the 219,000 plus indigenous Native American peoples of the state. Hiram W. Read began Native American Baptist Ministry while ministering to Santa Fe Residents in 1849. In 1852, Samuel Gorman moved from Ohio to work as Baptist Missionaries, and they ministered among Navajo communities and the Laguna Pueblo area. Jose Senon was the first to accept Christ as Savior through the Gorman’s ministry, and he later was ordained to the ministry. The first Native American Baptist Church was the Alamo Navajo Baptist Church in Alamo. Today, there are 30 Native American Baptist Disciple-making Congregations, and a number of church plants are underway. It is a goal to see 20 more disciple-making church plants added by the year 2025, and for each congregation to be led by indigenous leadership.
The tribes that make up New Mexico are: the Eastern Half of the Navajo Nation; 19 Pueblos who speak Kersan, Tiwa, Tewa, or Towa; the Jicarilla Apache Tribe to the North; and the Mescalero Apache Tribe to the south. Urban areas such as Albuquerque and Santa Fe are home to peoples from tribes all over North America. It is estimated that there is a 98% lostness among Native American peoples in New Mexico, when it comes to those who do not have a born again relationship with Jesus Christ.
New Mexico Native Baptists are actively part of Advancing Christ’s Kingdom to engage lostness by:
- Helping establish a Disciple-making Church for every person in New Mexico and every Native American community & Saturating in Prayer each Community
- Becoming Multiplying Churches that are “Mission Response Teams” for Christ, locally & globally
- Each Native Baptist to lead 3 people to Christ
- 6 New Points of light each year
- 2 New Church Plants a year for 10 years
- Developing 4 Regional Multiplying & Revitalizing Church Equipping Teams (Farmington area, Gallup area, Rio Grande Corridor area, and Mescalero), which will help raise up pastors, church planters, and lay leaders to fulfill an indigenous person in each church in the roles of pastor, youth leader, and prayer coordinator
Refugees and internationals come to North America seeking security, opportunity and prosperity. Most often, they enter the country unable to speak, read or understand the language. They come with tremendous dreams and practical needs, yet the inability to acclimate makes them vulnerable to manipulation and abuse. In order to protect them and help them adapt, the Church can extend a hand and provide selfless relationships. Genuine friendships offered by the Church can help refugees and internationals get familiar with their surroundings and stay safe in their new home.
“There are so many ways people can help. I think the best and easiest way is to just treat refugees and internationals with kindness and care. Treat them like you’d want to be treated.” —Jessica Darnell, Director of community engagement and relations, Refuge Coffee in Clarkston, Georgia
Learn more about how to engage refugee and international communities by contacting us on the contact page.
Among U.S. states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics, including descendants of Spanish colonists who have lived in the area for over 400 years. There are 983,000 Hispanics of multiple generations in the state. We have 57 Hispanic churches, plants, and ministries. However, on a given Sunday no more than 3,000 Hispanic people attend our worship services. New Mexico is a mission field! We are seeking to plant churches in the Spanish, Bilingual, and English languages to reach the multiple generations of lost Hispanics in New Mexico.
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Hispanic Baptist Associations:
An estimated 5,000 people in New Mexico make up the Deaf Population. Ministry to the Deaf is carried out through a leadership team. Nine communities in New Mexico have deaf work – most are interpreted services and/or Bible studies. Albuquerque has the only Deaf Baptist Church that is led by a deaf pastor, Bobby J. Graff. The other communities with deaf ministries include Las Cruces, Anthony, Roswell, Hobbs, Clovis, Taos, Santa Fe and Belen.
We desire to help push back lostness. We realize that if we are going to do this effectively, we need to slow the death rate of our churches. On average, 17 Southern Baptist churches shut their doors for good every Sunday, leaving underserved and unreached neighborhoods in cities across North America. They don’t find themselves in this situation overnight, so we believe we can slow the death rate if we do two things: discover men called by God to replant churches, and discover churches in need of being replanted.
More than 70 percent of the Southern Baptist churches in North America have plateaued or are declining in number. Ten to 15 percent of churches are at risk of or near closing. The Replant strategy is designed to reverse this trend by decreasing the death rate of existing churches (revitalization) while increasing the birth rate of new churches.
To learn more about what it means to become a replanting pastor, or explore resources for replanting use the contact page to get in touch with one of our team members. We are praying for you as you take this step of faith.