Our mission is to grow a multiplying movement of Christians who are committed to being the church in their neighborhoods.

Our Mission

We believe the church should be relentless about keeping its mission in focus. Jesus left his people (and his church) with clear instructions for mission when he gave us the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). The following is our church mission statement that encompasses our approach to this commission in the place where God has called us. Our mission is to grow a multiplying movement of Christians who are committed to being the church in their neighborhoods.

Our Vision

Our vision is to see New Jersey as the birthplace for spiritual awakening in this country. We believe God is calling our church leaders to reimagine what it means to be the church in our context; that starts with being relentless about the biblical mandate of the Great Commission and being diligent with the cultivation of true Christian community. With that foundation we will see a movement of churches spending more time outside their walls than in their pews; we will see faithful churches revitalized and energized; we will see baptisms taking place weekly, not yearly; and we will see hundreds of new churches bringing new spiritual life and turning the spiritual tide in NJ. We believe God is calling us to plant 3 healthy, small to mid-sized, diverse, multigenerational, multiplying churches in the next six years and to help faithful churches around us do the same.

Our Values

There is no better way of understanding Branch Church than getting to know our values. Our values are like the DNA of our culture. They are what we hold close and what we talk about; they are what we measure and what we celebrate.

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    There is no greater calling than to love God. We want to be known as people who fiercely run after him. (Matt 22:37-38)

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    Jesus said people will know we are his followers by our love. We refuse to be on the sidelines for that. (Matt 22:39, John 13:35)

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    Jesus appointed the Twelve to “be with him.” Discipleship happens in intentional, authentic, day-to-day relationships. (Mark 3:14, Prov 27:17)

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    Our heartbeat is to partner across denominational, ethnic and geographic boundaries to see Jesus’ Kingdom built, not our own. (Rom 15:20)

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    Paul trained Timothy and told him to train others, who will be able to train still others. That’s exponential leadership. (2 Tim 2:2)

Our Beliefs

One of the most influential documents in modern Christian history is the Lausanne Covenant. In 1974, in Lausanne Switzerland, thousands of church leaders from across the globe convened to write and adopt this covenant calling the church to its mission. We are inspired by the missional unity displayed as believers convened across denominational, generational, demographic and geographic borders to covenant together for the Great Commission. Included in this covenant was a statement of faith written under the leadership of John Stott, Billy Graham, Francis Schaeffer and Carl Henry that is affirmed by thousands of congregations from over 150 nations.

For Branch Church, one of our deepest desires is to partner with other Christian churches in our region to passionately carry the mission that Jesus has given his Church. As such, we have adopted a modified version of this respected document as our community statement for faith.

We affirm our belief in the one-eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, the three in one Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ’s body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. Yet we rejoice that even when borne by earthen vessels the gospel is still a precious treasure. To the task of making that treasure known in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire to dedicate ourselves anew.
(Isa. 40:28; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 1:11; Acts 15:14; John 17:6, 18; Eph 4:12; 1 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 12:2; II Cor. 4:7)
We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God.
(II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; John 10:35; Isa. 55:11; 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16, Matt. 5:17,18; Jude 3; Eph. 1:17,18; 3:10,18)
We affirm that there is only one Saviour and only one gospel. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord.
(Gal. 1:6-9;Rom. 1:18-32; I Tim. 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; II Pet. 3:9; II Thess. 1:7-9;John 4:42; Matt. 11:28; Eph. 1:20,21; Phil. 2:9-11)
To church is commissioned to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include
obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world.(Matt, 28:16-20,I Cor. 15:3,4; Acts 2: 32-39; John 20:21; I Cor. 1:23; II Cor. 4:5; 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10:43-45)
We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. The Church is at the very center of God’s cosmic purpose and is his appointed means of spreading the gospel. But a church which preaches the cross must itself be marked by the cross. It becomes a stumbling block to evangelism when it betrays the gospel or lacks a living faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The church is the community of God’s people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology.
(John 17:18; 20:21; Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 20:27; Eph. 1:9,10; 3:9-11; Gal. 6:14,17; II Cor. 6:3,4; II Tim. 2:19-21; Phil. 1:27)
We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all people. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.
(Acts 17:26,31; Gen. 18:25; Isa. 1:17; Psa. 45:7; Gen. 1:26,27; Jas. 3:9; Lev. 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; Jas. 2:14-26; Joh. 3:3,5; Matt. 5:20; 6:33; II Cor. 3:18; Jas. 2:20)
We affirm that the Church’s visible unity in truth is God’s purpose. We are summoned to unity because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation. We who share the same biblical faith should be closely united in fellowship, work and witness. We confess that our testimony has sometimes been marred by a sinful individualism and needless duplication. We pledge ourselves to seek a deeper unity in truth, worship, holiness and mission.
(John 17:21,23; Eph. 4:3,4; John 13:35; Phil. 1:27; John 17:11-23)
We recognize baptism and the Lord’s supper as two ordinances of the church. Followers of Jesus Christ are called to publically confess their faith through the waters of baptism. In baptism we confess that we are crucified, buried and reborn into newness of life in Christ. Christians are also invited to regularly come to the Lord’s table in remembrance of his body broken for us and His blood shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. These ordinances are powerful symbols that mark our lives as Christians but have no saving value.
(Matt 28:16-20, I Corinthians 11:17-26, Luke 22:7-20, Matt 3:13-16)
We believe that we are engaged in spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil, who are seeking to overthrow the Church and frustrate its task. We know our need to equip ourselves with God’s armour and to fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of truth and prayer. We need both watchfulness and discernment to safeguard the biblical gospel. We acknowledge that we ourselves are not immune to worldliness of thoughts and action.
(Eph. 6:12; II Cor. 4:3,4; Eph. 6:11,13-18; II Cor. 10:3-5; I John 2:18-26; 4:1-3; Gal. 1:6-9; II Cor. 2:17; 4:2; John 17:15)
We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son; without his witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit; thus evangelism should arise from a Spirit-filled church. A church that is not a missionary church is contradicting itself and quenching the Spirit.
(I Cor. 2:4; John 15:26;27; 16:8-11; I Cor. 12:3; John 3:6-8; II Cor. 3:18; John 7:37-39; I Thess. 5:19; Acts 1:8; Psa. 85:4-7; 67:1-3; Gal. 5:22,23; I Cor. 12:4-31; Rom. 12:3-8)
We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment. We believe that the interim period between Christ’s ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God. Our Christian confidence is that God will perfect his kingdom, and we look forward with eager anticipation to that day, and to the new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell and God will reign forever. Meanwhile, we rededicate ourselves to the service of Christ and of people in joyful submission to his authority over the whole of our lives.
(Mark 14:62; Heb. 9:28; Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8-11; Matt. 28:20; Mark 13:21-23; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-3; Luke 12:32; Rev. 21:1-5; II Pet. 3:13; Matt. 28:18)

Dare to out

Our Staff

Darren LeBlanc – Pastor

A big picture guy to the core, Darren has been called a grand storyteller and dreamer. He is incredibly passionate about the vision that God is birthing in Branch and has a knack for helping people see their place in the big story. An engineer by trade and a pastor at heart, Darren brings proven strategic leadership to the team from his experience leading multi-million dollar tech programs. Darren has been president of a non-profit, an award-winning blogger, and has served on pastoral teams in 2 area churches. Darren has studied leadership at Harvard Business School’s Executive Education, Engineering at Messiah College, and currently holds a 4.0 in an Master of Arts of Biblical and Theological Studies at Western Seminary.

Darren has been married to his wife Kristin for six years. Together they live in Lincroft, NJ with their daughters Olivia, Sophia and Amaia.

Funny Fact: Darren used to play all-night games of Risk at Jared’s house when they were in High School.

Jared Murray – Pastor

Jared grew up in Monmouth County and has pastored here for the last 12 years in a church plant. His heart comes alive in connecting, mentoring and teaching and that’s what you will find him doing most days. He has a bad habit of waking up at 3am to read books on the mission of the church, but we don’t mind. He is committed to making disciples by developing leaders who are enthusiastic ambassadors for Christ and by forming communities that center on grace, outreach and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. Jared has a BA in Biblical & Theological Studies from Gordon College with a concentration in Biblical Languages and is just a few credits away from his M.Div from Biblical Theological Seminary. As Pastor of Branch, Jared will share the teaching responsibility with Darren, mentor Branch Community leaders, and oversee the Commissional Institute.

Jared has been married to his wife Kimberly for seven years. Together they live in Howell, NJ with their son Asher and twin daughters Ellie and Gabby.

Funny Fact: In 1999, Jared financed production of a record for Darren’s old rock band, Reign Storm.

You are invited!

We hope this page has given you a little taste of what we are about! The only real way to see who we are and what we are about is to come visit us this Sunday. So we invite you to join us this Sunday at 4pm. We will be saving you a seat!