Vision : A community united with Christ in the renewal of all things.
As you read this, God is at work in our world renewing all that is broken and lost. But here’s the thing: God isn’t doing it alone. Instead, God has chosen to gather a people to join in that renewal by becoming disciples of Jesus. Stepping out on this journey not only means that our lives will be radically changed, but we will also witness and experience what we all long for: heaven coming to earth — right here, right now.
How We Get There:
In 2018 we identified four areas of focus that we would commit to for three years. These areas of focus help us live out our vision by giving us tangible, specific areas to center our time and energy on.
Grow: Personal renewal is central to our vision of the future. To that end, we will create clear rhythms and tools for personal growth, as well as consistent vehicles for rich community to be experienced by those who call the Branch home.
Embrace: We will take steps to welcome and include those in our city who are on the margins. We want our family to grow so that more people will find healing, belonging and renewal.
Shape: We will invest in and empower the next generation so that they have an equal voice in shaping our future. This will involve mentorship opportunities and new leadership roles for students and young adults.
Participate: We will develop ways for the Branch to be more generous and responsive to both local and global needs. We believe God calls us to participate in the renewal of the world. We want to go deeper in that pursuit.
Here are the key characteristics we have identified as central to our identity.
In a world of consumerism and tribalism, we choose participation. We will purposefully make space for everyone to contribute to our life together. Every person, regardless of age, race, gender or sexual identity, can fully participate in every aspect of our community. All people in our family are just that – important, valued, needed parts of a whole.
In a world of competition, we choose partnership. We will partner with each other — joining our lives together in community in order to offer joy, encouragement, support and strength to one another. We will also collaborate with other churches and local stakeholders, learning from them and working together for the sake of the Kingdom. This will mean a deepening of our relationship with Comunidad Cristiana de Grand Rapids, as well as a discernment with how we can best continue as a member of the Alger Heights Collaborative.
In a world that longs for black and white, we choose liberty. We will find unity in the essentials of the Christian faith, and in all things we will offer charity. But in matters of faith in which we have disagreement and hold differing views, we will give each other liberty. It is exactly this place of tension that holds immense opportunity for God to shape and mold us into Christ’s likeness.
In a world of isolation and disconnection, we choose incarnation. We will take ownership for the spaces in which we live, work, and go to school, seeing them as the places God is asking us to be on mission. Whether our place is downtown, in the suburbs, or in the country, we believe that our places matter to God and are worthy of our investment.
In a world of endless choices, we choose simplicity. We don’t believe God calls us to be overextended, distracted or burned-out; therefore, we will both individually and corporately focus on the specific things God has asking us to pay attention to in this season.