ALPHARETTA, Ga. – At the end of this year, Dhati Lewis, president of the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) church planting arm, Send Network, will transition from his position to devote himself to launching BLVD (“Boulevard”), an initiative to empower disciple-makers serving majority-minority, multiethnic communities.
Driven by his personal vision to “be the last generation to have to leave the urban context for sound discipleship,” Lewis says he looks to the future with hopeful anticipation as he continues to move the mission forward by training leaders serving in these communities.
“The question for me has always been: where can I make the greatest Kingdom impact? I’m going to miss leading this incredible family, but it’s never been about a position or title — it’s about the mission, and it’s one we’re still on together as a Send Network family,” Lewis said.
BLVD is rooted in the work Lewis accelerated at Send Network to foster greater ethnic diversity among church planters and start more new churches in ethnic minority communities lacking a strong gospel presence.
Lewis will collaborate with NAMB and Send Network on this new effort, and his trajectory as a church planting leader, entrepreneur and visionary remains unchanged.
“For anyone who knows Dhati, this comes as no surprise. It’s right in line with his relentless pursuit of what God has laid on his heart. I’m excited NAMB and Send Network will continue to benefit from the many ways he will help plant churches everywhere for everyone,” said Kevin Ezell, president of NAMB.
The change comes at an opportune time — an inflection point as Send Network and the National African American Fellowship (NAAF) are celebrating the first fruits of a project they launched under Lewis’s leadership in 2019. The two organizations are working together to plant churches in under-served African American communities across North America.
The first class of NAAF-sourced church planting residents completed a Send Network assessment November 2-3 in New York. These new residents — following in Lewis’s footsteps — will walk down a church planting pathway with Send Network using contextualized resources and support Lewis helped cultivate.
“Dhati’s leadership in Send Network has been invaluable. I look forward to the many ways NAAF, Send Network and BLVD will work together in the future to equip and reach underserved communities across North America with the gospel,” said Greg Perkins, a NAAF board member and leader in the Send Network-NAAF partnership.
While Lewis will be missed by many in the day-to-day workings of Send Network, Ezell says he’s “glad for his continued leadership in the future.”
Ezell said word about Lewis’s successor will be coming soon.
“As Dhati and I have talked and prayed about these opportunities for some time, it has given us a chance to identify his successor, which we’ll announce in the coming weeks — and his aren’t easy shoes to fill!” said Ezell.
Published November 15, 2021