Our Vision & Mission
A Clear Vision
North Boulevard’s vision is to be part of a worldwide great awakening where every person on earth has the opportunity to say “Yes!” to King Jesus. Disciple-making is the heart of the Christian mission. We take Jesus’ command to “Go make disciples!” seriously, considering His final command to be our first priority. As a church, we are committed to planting churches here, near, and far as a primary strategy for making disciples.
As a church, we hold three key values that guide ministry planning and general fellowship with other churches. To read our statement of faith, visit the What We Believe page.
We love Christ. It is our belief that Jesus Christ is worthy of our worship because He is the Son of God and our Savior. For this reason we gather regularly to worship Christ.
We love Scripture. A commitment to the Bible as the inspired Word of God is the foundation of spiritual growth and of unity among believers. Groups and classes are provided to help learn and apply scripture to everyday life.
We love people. To follow Jesus is to demonstrate love for other people. We seek opportunities to help others with physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. The greatest expression of love is to help others know Christ.
Frequently Asked Questions
When the 2020 Vision was launched in 2013, a total of 127 churches had been started through domestic and foreign church planting throughout North Boulevard’s history. Over the next seven years, an additional 410 new church plants were added to that number, many being the result of disciple making movement strategies that were added to our global missions. Even during the first 15 months after the New Day Vision giving campaign was postponed due to the global pandemic, 228 new churches were started. We are blessed that the number of new churches continues to increase steadily and we pray that God will use us to see more.
A Disciple-Making Movement is a viral movement (not a denomination) of people who are using the Bible to make disciples of their friends and, as a result, plant churches in their villages, towns, and cities. DMMs typically are led by ordinary and local people who have an extraordinary desire to bring the world to Jesus. They may be facilitated by Americans, but they generally are not led by Americans. Rather, DMMs occur when local people baptize their friends, teaching them to baptize even more--and the movement grows exponentially.
DMMs generally start with intense and powerful prayer, followed by some sort of access ministry that opens doors for the Gospel, an extensive use of the Bible to bring people to Jesus, and a commission for new converts to go out and repeat the process.
By 2020, there were more 1,000 known DMMs world-wide. Each of these movements has started a minimum of 100 churches, many of which have planted others to at least four generations of new churches. As a result, there are now millions of believers who have come to Jesus through DMMs in the 21st Century. Most of these movements are located in what is sometimes called “The Global South,” a generic term used by the World Bank referring to low and middle income countries located in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean (in contrast to higher income nations).
Since 2013, North Boulevard has been praying that we could be part of a world-wide spiritual awakening. Now, God has connected us to several amazing DMMs that are answers to that prayer.
God is moving in powerful ways through DMMs. Through the work of just a handful of training organizations such as Final Command and New Generations, more than 65,000 churches have been planted in the last two decades through DMMs. North Boulevard wants to supply resources, training, support, and personnel to see the Gospel reach every single corner of the world. We want to be part of the great, world-wide spiritual awakening that God is already doing.
For more information on DMMs, read Jerry Trousdale and Glenn Sunshine’s excellent book, The Kingdom Unleashed, which describes how DMMs work, why they matter, and even some of the DMMs North Boulevard wants to support.
In the early to mid-1800’s in the U.S., the American churches of Christ were a Disciple Making Movement. Ordinary people were going everywhere making disciples of their friends just using the Bible and the love of God. This movement was commonly referred to as the “Restoration Movement” because through it hundreds of thousands of people were trying to restore the Christianity of the Bible in North America. A DMM is a Restoration Movement among non-believers, seeking to use the Bible to bring the world to Jesus.
In the Global South, DMMs are relatively new, having developed within the last generation. But they are changing the world. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims have come to Jesus through DMMs. Tens of thousands of churches have been planted. And entire nations are changing through DMMs today. It is not too much to say that there has never been a larger movement in the Christian faith than in the last 20 years in DMMs around the world. So far, the track record is stunning, thrilling, and a reminder of how American churches of Christ once operated--ordinary people changing the world by calling others to Jesus.
The several visits we have already made to witness DMMs have amazed those who have gone. After visiting, many have reported that “The DMMs we have seen are like watching the book of Acts happen before your very eyes!”
The answer is yes, but it is a qualified yes. Any DMM that North Boulevard partners with will emphasize our theology, but you must remember that DMMs are like wild-fires. In the first generation, there will be lots of variations as people come to Jesus for the first time ever. It is unreasonable to expect that brand new Christians on the persecuted frontier will have every theological problem already worked out.
This is similar to how it was in the early days of the American churches of Christ, where our theology was still being crafted. Remember that most members of DMMs have been believers less than two years, and most church planters in DMMs have no formal training. They just read the Bible, then try to obey it. We must trust that the Holy Spirit and the DMM’s commitment to the Bible will eventually help them sort out the many theological questions that will come their way. These will be biblical churches, but they will be very new and, hence, still working out the implications of biblical faith. North Boulevard is willing to trust the Spirit in this matter in order to see the whole world get an opportunity to come to Jesus. And North Boulevard will help offer mature theological and biblical training as we move forward in our work with these DMMs.
Using Disciple-Making Movement strategies in areas showing receptivity gives an expectation of rapid church planting. We pray that God will bless the new works with results similar to those in nearby areas in recent years. If he does, we are praying to see North Boulevard start approximately 1,500 new churches started within a three year period, which will represent more than 10,000 new followers of Jesus Christ.
Investment in DMM strategies through missions contributions and advance gifts toward the New Day giving campaign in 2019-2021 have confirmed that God can provide these results. During this period the number of churches planted through North Boulevard ministries has grown from an average of two churches per year to now planting more than one new church per day.
When supporting a Disciple-Making Movement, North Boulevard is spending money on the following:
● Travel money for unpaid disciples to go into new people groups or new countries in order to
initiate new Bible study groups and new churches.
● Spiritual coaches and trainers who will encourage local Christians to be more evangelistic.
● Salaries of disciples who are willing to leave their homes and go into new areas to serve as
missionaries to start new works.
North Boulevard does not plan to send money for the following:
● We will not fund the construction of buildings in mission areas. If buildings are needed, we
trust the local believers to construct something that is suitable for their own needs.
● We will not provide preacher salaries for local churches. If churches need a local minister as
their numbers grow, we trust they will be able to pay a person for this role.
● We will not provide social aid ministries in mission areas. We recognize that benevolent or
aid ministries may be needed as an access ministry in order to begin evangelistic work in a new area. If such is needed, we trust that God will provide financial and human resources for this need through individuals, other churches who are willing to help, or through other social aid organizations and ministries.
Money for DMMs is sent through ministry organizations that train and supervise the workers. North Boulevard will not send the money directly to individual workers, and would not have the capacity to oversee such a large-scale work.
Overseeing organizations, such as New Generations, do require some administrative funding. However, organizational overhead is raised separately by the organizations, so 100% of money donated to the giving campaign will go directly toward church planting.
We plan to launch new churches using the Disciple Making Movement strategy in several areas of the northern half of Africa. Specific areas are listed by “people groups” rather than cities, towns or villages. This is because one people group that shares a single language and culture may spread across a large region encompassing many towns.
Advance gifts toward the giving campaign have already been used to begin supporting works in nine people groups of seven countries. Finalizing the giving campaign will give continuity to these works.
• Cameroon (Baya and Dii/Mboum people groups)
• Chad (Dadjo people group)
• Niger (Gourmanche and Hausa people groups)
• Guinea (Gola people groups)
• Sierra Leone (Gola people groups)
• Senegal (Fulani people group)
• North Africa (An unnamed people group for security)
New work is planned for ten people groups in six countries when the giving campaign is completed.
• Burkina Faso (Bobo Madare and Jula people groups)
• Central African Republic (Mandja people group)
• Gambia (Malinke, Balanta, and Mandinka people groups)
• Guinea (Susu people group)
• Niger (Tuareg people group)
• South Asia (Two new people groups to be determined)
North Boulevard will give greater emphasis to different African countries as we invest in Disciple- Making Movement methods for several reasons:
● The population growth pattern of Africa makes it one of the most pivotal areas for the advancement of worldwide Christianity for future generations.
● Northern Africa is a focal point for reaching into the Muslim world with the Gospel message. A concentrated focus on church planting in Africa will provide greater safety and security for younger generations of all nations.
● North Boulevard’s most fruitful global missions experience in the previous generation has been in Africa. Now we are returning to focus on that region where we pray that God will allow us to make the greatest impact.
● In recent years, God has blessed us with many people and missions organizations to serve as resources that can assist us in reaching North African countries more easily than other parts of the world.
In 2013 a commitment was made to pray for God to use North Boulevard to start 60,000 churches within 60 years. Utilizing the Disciple Making Movement methods, it is possible to see this goal become a reality. If blessed with continuation of initial results through DMM strategies, estimates indicate that we could see at least 60,000 churches started in far less time than originally anticipated.
In terms of North Boulevard missions, a church is considered to be a local group of at least seven
baptized believers who gather regularly for worship, communion, spiritual growth, and fellowship;
and who depart the gathering to obey all the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When assessing missions around the globe, it is a challenge is to define “church” in a way that
represents both intensely persecuted areas where worship is a risk, as well as areas where
Christianity is widely accepted. It is not easy to force a single definition to match every cultural
situation and people group around the world, and there is not a universally accepted definition of the
term. In Matthew 18:20, Jesus referred to two or three disciples gathered together in his name, but he did not define this specifically as a church. North Boulevard’s definition allows for a few more to improve the probability that the group will grow and multiply in the future.
Size of the worship gathering is often a factor in any person’s preconception of what is a church. In the United States as of 2010, the median size of all churches was 75 members and half that for
Churches of Christ. However, mission churches are often small because they are new. Remember
that in most areas of the world, it is easier for smaller churches to reproduce, which sparks more rapid growth of Christianity in the region.
We have several strategies for monitoring the work of the DMMs we support.
First, we will partner with organizations such as New Generations and Final Command Ministries. These organizations will facilitate most of our work and will help assure that the Bible remains at the center of the ministry. Jerry Trousdale, a senior leader at New Generations and a board member of Final Command Ministries is a member of North Boulevard, and understands us well. John King is a senior leader of Final Command Ministries and an elder at Stones River Church of Christ. He, too, understands us well, and his brother, Paul King, works for North Boulevard. Shodankeh Johnson, a senior leader of New Harvest ministries and who has spoken several times at North Boulevard and is in close contact with David Young, Glenn Robb and others, agrees 100% with North Boulevard’s faith statement.
Second, we will visit our DMMs where we are able. Some of the DMMs we support will be in hostile areas (such as strong Muslim areas), and we may not be able to visit those places without putting Christians at risk. For these areas, we will trust God to do the right thing. Other DMMs will be in areas where we have access. We plan to send teams regularly to support, visit, encourage, and oversee the DMMs. In fact, we pray for opportunities to send such teams as medical teams, teaching teams, and support teams to many areas to see with our own eyes the amazing things happening in our DMMs. We will invite YOU to go and see Acts chapter 2 happening before your very eyes!
And third, but not least, we will pray, pray and pray that God continues to do the amazing things through DMMs that He has been doing for the last two decades.
We expect to support disciple making and church planting domestically in three ways:
(1) Exceptional opportunities have been given to North Boulevard to inspire and refocus churches across the United States on the importance of disciple making. The New Day Conferences and New Day Resources have begun to transform many churches. These efforts will be expanded as we strategically and intentionally equip other churches to fulfill the Great Commission.
(2) North Boulevard plans to continue coaching other churches through the process of planting new churches, which are desperately needed in areas of population growth and population shifts within the United States.
(3) North Boulevard will partially fund the planting of two new churches within the United States.
Announcements were made in 2013 that North Boulevard did not plan to build buildings for other American church plants. Nothing has changed since then except for this: West Campus is not an independent church; it is, instead, only an extension of North Boulevard. It is a campus. It is North Boulevard West, just like we have NB Chinese Campus, Latino Campus, and MT316 Campus. Back in 2013, we weren’t sure how many campuses we would start vs. how many independent churches we would start. We are planting both now--independent churches (as with the Reclaim church in Orlando) and campuses of North Boulevard (as with West). We will not build a building for Reclaim church in Orlando since it is an independent church. But West is just a part of North Boulevard, and we are all just one big church. We take care of all of our members, not just those at East.
Remember that North Boulevard is ONE CHURCH, with MANY CAMPUSES. We share staff, we share resources, we share victories, and we share sorrows. We are one church. In fact, every dollar West gives goes into the same account as does every dollar given by all the other campuses. And West gives so generously that their expenses are several thousand dollars less each week than their giving. This means that West has been helping to pay for expenses at the other campuses (including East!). It is only fair that all of us join together to take care of all the rest of us. West has been giving to East, MT316, the Latino campus, and the Chinese campus. All of us now get the privilege of supporting West’s new building.
Yes. If you haven’t been there, you may not know how full they are, how much work it takes just to set up and tear down every Sunday, and how many things West cannot do because it doesn’t have a location during the week. Right now, West attendance is averaging above 300 every Sunday, and they are maxed out on space. When we build a new building for West, we expect to see it explode with growth. The building will be in an excellent location (4950 Burnt Knob Road, Murfreesboro), which is zoned in the county but borders Murfreesboro’s city limits. Therefore, it could easily be annexed if there are advantages in the future. The work at West has the hand of God’s blessing upon it. Visit West sometime and see what God is doing there!
Construction designs allow for a building that will seat 500 people at the West Campus. When two services are held, this gives a maximum capacity of 1,000, allowing for significant growth. In addition, the design will allow for very easy expansion in the future. A second phase of construction is expected to double the auditorium capacity.
We have learned a lot--more than can be answered in a short statement. Here are a few important things we’ve learned.
We’ve learned that it is very hard work to open a campus. It takes enormous patience, talent, hard work, and commitment. It is not automatic, and merely opening a space does not guarantee success. Many people have made large sacrifices to make the campuses work. But the sacrifices are worth it. We have had more than 700 baptisms in Murfreesboro through North Boulevard in the last decade.
Campuses open up space for new leaders. We had not fully realized how many people had no particular job at North Boulevard when we only met at one building. Now that we have launched campuses, we realize that it allows for ordinary people to rise to the top and become extraordinary leaders. We now have hundreds of leaders and servants who did not have a place to serve when we only had the original East Campus.
Campuses create evangelistic opportunities. New campuses motivate people to invite new people. In fact, many of the baptisms we’ve experienced since going multi-site are adult baptisms (these are baptisms of people out of the world as opposed to baptizing our own children). There will be hundreds of souls raised to life in Jesus because you helped plant campuses.
Campuses breathe new life into a church. Suffice it to say that since planting campuses at North Boulevard, there has been a flurry of new methods, ideas, and life in the congregation. People who never discipled before in their lives are now making disciples. Ordinary people have decided that they can go and do missions for King Jesus. Where there is growth, there is life!
As a multi-campus church, we have greater community awareness of the ministries and events that are held at any particular campus.
Resources are shared between campuses, which gives greater strength to every campus.
Maintaining multiple locations forces vision alignment between all locations that gives strength to all ministries.
Our outreach through local campuses has blessed North Boulevard with more members, more baptisms and more people involved in ministry leadership. We believe using the multi-campus model has been a great blessing, and recognize that each specific campus demonstrates unique characteristics.
LATINO CAMPUS – Spanish speakers in Murfreesboro have been blessed with our Latino campus, meeting at the East Campus building since 1991. It continues strong, despite the transient nature of some members who have moved to other cities or other countries.
CHINESE CAMPUS – Our Chinese campus continues to meet, but has struggled during the pandemic, which significantly reduced the Chinese-speaking population in our area.
MT316 UNIVERSITY CAMPUS – Outreach through a new campus focused on university students began in 2017. In order to enhance future outreach potential, the campus shifted from a large worship gathering format to utilize a Disciple Making Movement approach. We pray that this strategy will be more easily reproduced by students while they live in our area and when they scatter into the world.
WEST MURFREESBORO CAMPUS – The West Campus continues to grow and reinforces the need for new churches, especially in areas of high population growth.
SMYRNA-LAVERGNE -- North Boulevard’s Smyrna-LaVergne Campus existed from 2016-2020, during which time it blessed a large number of people in that region. The campus had a higher ratio of baptisms than any of our other campuses. However, several factors led to our inability to sustain a momentum of growth at that location. Mobility of several members and the impact of the pandemic were especially challenging for that campus, leading to a decision not to continue there. All of the members have settled into other North Boulevard campuses, or other churches near where they live. Closing that campus helps refine our strategies for future church plants, but does not indicate that we should stop pressing forward to start new churches in the United States.
No. The leadership of all campuses believes that the campus model is healthy for all of us. We love each other, we get along, and we are all richer by sharing resources. Our intent is to stay together, unless God were to make it clear that we should separate for the good of the Kingdom--in which case, we will cheerfully follow God’s lead. We are one church with many locations. We are not planning to separate.
First, there is no plan in place to create two separate churches from the East and West Murfreesboro locations. Second, such a decision would only be made by North Boulevard as a whole based on what is best for God’s kingdom to grow in our county. If such a decision were made, we have a separation agreement applying to the West Campus that prorates out the cost of the land and the new building. If we were to separate the two campuses before the building on Burnt Knob Road is ten years old, then the new congregation at that location will pay back the cost of the property and building on a sliding cost scale. After ten years, the agreement expires.
Because pledges for the New Day Vision exceeded the original goal, any debt for the new building will be minimized. Debt management will be determined by the pace of construction expenses as compared to the pace of donations received.
As originally planned, all donations above the goal will be applied to one or more of the three areas targeted by the giving campaign based on need and opportunity. Allocating funds with the same approximate percentages as the original goal are expected as a default target, but the North Boulevard elders will review this at the end of the first year before finalizing the detailed plan for spending donations above the goal.
Based on the goal for the New Day Vision, disciple making investments were planned as follows:
Launching Disciple Making Movements in Global South.................... 1,300,000
(Includes working with DMM partners around the world. This amount does not include missions money that is already part of the church’s annual operating budget.)
Church renewal and church planting .................... 300,000
(Includes training for other congregations and seed money for two domestic church plants.)
Payment for the West Campus property on Burnt Knob Road .................... 1,600,000
Down payment and upfront monies for West Campus building .................... 1,800,000
Total .................... $5,000,000
North Boulevard’s last giving campaign was held in 2013. It was called the “2020 Vision” and focused on six specific initiatives.
(1) Appoint our widows as prayer leaders.
This ministry branched beyond widows only and has created a culture of deeper dependence
on prayer in all ministries of North Boulevard.
(2) Broadcast television programs to spark other churches.
Tens of thousands of listeners in dozens of countries around the world have been inspired to emphasize discipleship and evangelism. The East Murfreesboro Campus benefits still from the extensive lighting, sound, and media upgrades that were done to make these programs available. In addition, this investment made it possible to utilize video sermons at local satellite campuses. The broadcast ministry laid a foundation that has now led to the creation of an Online Campus, making worship assemblies and resources available worldwide.
(3) Launch 60,000 churches.
The first plant was the West Murfreesboro Campus in 2014. Since that time, North Boulevard has helped planted nine other churches in the United States. In addition, we have given training and coaching for seven additional domestic church plants.
(4) Align all ministries around the simple task of making disciples.
Extensive staff training and local teaching has made discipleship a priority at all levels of North Boulevard’s ministries. A greater sense of unity exists among all ministries as the church simply seeks to “make disciples and plant churches.”
(5) Open a School of Christian Thought to teach people to think like Christ.
Church members and the local community have been challenged through North Boulevard’s School of Christian Thought lecture series. Dozens of speakers have addressed some of humanity’s most challenging topics in order to solidify the faith of those seeking to follow Christ. The influence of the School of Christian Thought has also led to greater discipleship training in other venues and a local homeschool tutorial that is focused on discipleship.
(6) Develop a multi-ethnic church.
A drive toward becoming a true multi-ethnic church has been funded by providing consultants and special events designed to help us reflect the true diversity we expect to see when we are in heaven with people of every tribe and tongue.
God blessed the church with pledges and gifts that were far above the goal amount for the 2013 giving campaign. As planned, money received beyond the initial goal was applied to liquidating the debt for the previous building expansion. When that was completely paid, additional donations were used to extend the 2020 Vision initiatives beyond the expected three-years that was planned. All donations from the previous giving campaign have been spent and some of the initiatives became a regular part of North Boulevard’s ministries, now funded from the regular offerings.
God blessed North Boulevard with several families made donations earlier anticipating the giving campaign to be held in 2020. Others have made donations toward pledges made at that time. Those donations have been used in the following ways:
• Completely pay off North Boulevard’s property on Burnt Knob Road in Murfreesboro
• Develop final construction plans and secure planning commission approval for our West Campus.
• Reach people in the United States through an Online Campus and promote church renewal through the New Day Network.
• Begin new disciple making movement mission works among six people groups in the following nations: Guinea, Senegal, Niger, Sierra Leone, and one unnamed nation for security reasons. Dozens of new churches have already been started in these areas.
HERE – Growth on the west side of Murfreesboro is not slowing down and attendance at our West Murfreesboro Campus is stronger than pre-pandemic levels. We must provide an adequate space for members there to bless the community and make disciples here.
NEAR – Churches around the nation need revitalized to present Christ and to start new churches in key areas to reach future generations. We are committed to investing in our nation as we plant churches nearby.
FAR – Inspiring church planting results in new missions makes us eager to finalize the giving campaign to initiate new works among other people groups in additional nations as planned. The long-range goal is still to plant 60,000 churches and many of these will be through disciple making movements in other countries far from Tennessee.
One powerful reminder from the pandemic is how God often uses periods of crisis to expand his kingdom. We expected that our global church planting would slow down, but many areas saw greater increase in the pace of churches planted. This has reinforced our commitment to pursue the Disciple Making Movement strategy and clarified the urgency with which we want to invest in more growth.
It has also become clear that our digital outreach is far greater than we had dreamed possible. Due to our previous broadcast ministry, we already had a foundation for reaching out beyond the walls of our building. However, the pandemic motivated us to improve the quality of our online worship in both English and Spanish to have a greater impact. A separate online campus now exists as a result of our efforts to engage with participants from any location.
Social disruption within our nation has clarified the need for hope and direction that only Christ can give. While challenges exist, it has become clear that new churches are need to reach younger generations who are struggling to find meaning and purpose in life. The mission is more urgent than ever and we intend to work toward the advancement of God’s kingdom here, near and far, just as previously planned.
All transactions using bank cards online are charged a small fee by the appropriate banking systems. If you wish to avoid this, please consider using a bank draft, bank transfer, or a check. For more details, contact the finance team at the church office (615-893-1520).
WATCH THE SERMON SERIES
One Church. Many Campuses.
Construction has been completed, and we have officially opened the new permanent building for our West Murfreesboro Campus, making room for more discipleship opportunities in the fastest-growing area of our city!
Expanding the Kingdom
We’re going to plant at least 2 churches somewhere in the United States, and we’re trusting God to open doors for us to make it happen! We are committed to continue investing in our online campus and encouraging other churches.
World Wide Restoration
Through our work with Disciple Making Movements, we are already planting a church every day in the Global South. Money from the Vision will continue to accelerate this process and bring hundreds of thousands more to Christ!