Great things have been done
Throughout history, God has used individuals and small groups of people to awaken the world. Consider Moses, Nehemiah or Jesus and the Apostles. Even the churches of Christ in Rutherford County were born from a great spiritual awakening: the Restoration Movement.
At the height of World War II, a handful of forward-looking Christians developed a vision for planting a church near the MTSU campus. Though there were many churches in Murfreesboro, these Christians wanted the students at the college to join a vibrant church that was joyful in its approach to Scriptures.
So on June 15, 1947, a small group of people left the East Main Street Church of Christ, with the blessings of their congregation, to start the North Boulevard Church of Christ. For 65 years North Boulevard has striven to remain faithful to our vision: loving Christ, joyfully following Scriptures and serving people.
Many days have passed since that first small group of believers stepped into the light of a new vision, and God’s goodness has ruled them all. Our membership has grown from 150 to over 2,300, and thousands more have been blessed by North Boulevard. The poor have been served by our ministries, children have been raised in our care and hundreds have been baptized upon hearing our preaching. Missionaries have gone out from North Boulevard to places around the globe. Our members have founded nonprofit organizations serving our community. From local government to private businesses, Rutherford County has been influenced by the Christ-like values of our members.
In short, the vision that our founders had in the 1940s has since blessed two generations in ways they could never have imagined.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded. And from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more is asked.
Now, at the dawn of the new millennium, it is time for our generation to wake up to a new day and cast a fresh, new vision for proclaiming a love for Christ, a joyful obedience to Scripture and service to humanity.
Greater things need to be done
Following the lead of our spiritual ancestors, we have cast a bold vision for our future. We believe that God has uniquely equipped us to spark a great spiritual awakening, bringing millions of souls to Jesus Christ. He will use us if we will embrace the vision of an awakening, ask Him to use our talents and personally sacrifice toward that end. Seeing the challenges around us, we envision an awakening in these terms:
We have many members who are disconnected from the body, not growing in Christ, and may not even know the path to spiritual maturity.
Churches filled with individuals who are on a clear path to mature discipleship.
Decline of Christian faith
There is a serious decline of Christian faith in America. Americans are leaving Christian values behind and suffering as a result.
God's righteousness restored as the pattern of behavior for His people. A church and a nation in spiritual recovery.
Compromising the Word
We are surroundd by churches, preachers, teachers and authors who are willing to compromise the Word of God in order to accommodate America's increasingly unchristian values.
North Boulevard has become a light to our nation and the world as a church that knows and loves following scripture.
Church membership is declining, including in the churces of Christ.
Growing churces with a restored sense of the grand mission of Christ.
Making the vision a reality
After considerable prayer, Bible study and self-analysis, we believe the following plan gives us an opportunity to make a significant difference for the Kingdom of God and spark a great awakening.
The vision includes six specific actions:
Because we have a deep desire to know what it means to truly follow Jesus, we want to conduct a thorough review of all our discipling processes at North Boulevard in order to nurture the development of mature followers of Jesus. We will use whatever resources are available to evaluate our current discipling efforts and become a disciple-making church. We cannot pass on an awakened faith which we have not developed ourselves.
Because we understand the potential impact of God in our community, we want to open a School of Christian Thought in order to equip ourselves and believers in our community to think like disciples in every facet of life. This school will host high-caliber teachers every quarter to teach courses on a variety of subjects, including how to respond to atheism, developing a deeper spirituality, dealing with America’s moral decline, Christianity and Islam, and much, much more. This school will be designed primarily for teens and adults, open to the community, and free of charge. If we are to interact in bold ways with unbelievers, we need in-depth training on how to talk to people with non-Christian beliefs.
Because we are open to new ways to speak old truths, we want to begin broadcasting our services on a local television station. We believe there are people who would join us if they could see the Spirit at North Boulevard. Some of these people might be in churches that are dying, or in churches that are leaving Scriptures behind, or just people who have stopped going to church. We want the chance to show them that there is a church in Murfreesboro that loves Christ, loves Scripture and loves them. And we want to invite them to join us. We believe this will spark an awakening in our area and excite our own members to win people to Christ.
Because we long to witness believers worshiping a God who is new every morning, we want to plant churches that are alive with the Spirit all over our area and eventually all over the world. We will begin by establishing satellite campuses nearby. After they have matured, these satellite campuses will be free to become independent churches which then plant other churches. We believe we will see hundreds of living, active, Spirit-filled, biblical churches spring up all over the U.S. in a few short decades. The early church won the world by planting vibrant churches, and we intend to do the same.
Because we desire a meaningful connection to all of God’s family, we want to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our membership and our leadership. We are delighted to see a diversity of people already coming together at North Boulevard. As the community continues to diversify, we intend to, also. There are millions of people of different races and ethnicities waiting for a church to bring them the message of Jesus; we are committed to doing just that.
We want to begin a full-fledged widows’ ministry at North Boulevard. We are asking our widows to devote themselves in praying for an awakening. As they pray, serve, and train younger women, we pledge to care for them, joining ourselves to them in a type of marriage relationship. We believe we have a privileged responsibility to honor them, and they have a unique opportunity to serve the congregation in training for righteousness. There can be no great awakening without committed, intense prayer. Our widows will lead the way.
This vision is intended to spread the simple message of Christ to a new generation, growing out of intense prayer, speaking old truths in new ways, becoming disciple-makers, and boldly planting churches around the world.
We pray that by the year 2020, God will use North Boulevard as the spark for a great spiritual awakening for our community, our state, and our nation but also to the world. We do not know when God will move to accomplish this spiritual awakening, but we have confidence that North Boulevard will be ready for Him and His plans; we will be a resource for this mission. That means we need your prayers, gifts, talents and involvement to accomplish this vision.
Copyright © 2017 North Boulevard Church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.