VISION: To see each person in our world become a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.
MISSION: To build a community of people transformed by the Good News of Jesus and committed to having a transforming impact on our world – being Good News wherever we find ourselves.
A mission is a critically important cause that absolutely must succeed because something valuable is at stake. It’s unthinkable the mission not be accomplished – or be only half-successful. Because it is a life and death thing, it demands the very best we can give. It demands concentration, devotion… and both inconvenience and sacrifice. But it is so big, so important, so worthwhile – it’s worth it all. Jesus said that His mission was to seek and save what was lost… and that would be people. It cost Him His life – and we are prepared to give our lives, too. That’s our mission. Our calling is not to be just another church, as our culture sees it – a place to hatch, match and dispatch. We are called to be a MISSION to the undecided… and that will call us to our very best!
We believe that as we take on this mission and are faithful to it, we will be transformed – just as the disciples were. Not only will we become more like Jesus, our hearts will be filled with joy and significance – and we will build lifelong friendships. To our core we believe that rolling up our sleeves and serving as Jesus served is a critical, irreplaceable component in us becoming who we were created to be.
If this mission God has given us to be accomplished is going to get done, some things will have to happen:
1. We will have to live out our name as people who extend the olive branch: People who extend the peace and reconciliation God offers through Jesus to those who have never heard that God longs for their friendship. And this will require us to be people who, in Jesus love, offer hope and a second chance to a community that has pretty much lost hope and given up on the church.
2. It will mean devoting the time, taking the risks, and making space in our lives to live in community and share life with others. We want to enjoy the same power, grace, joy and generosity that the very first Jesus community had! Of course, if this is going to happen, we’ll have to do what Jesus said: Love God so much that this love spills over into the lives of all the people around us – so that we treat them as God’s treasure.
3. We truly believe that God wants us to be a group of people who have fun together. We believe this is totally consistent with Who God is – that when what we do ceases to be enjoyable – when are hearts are not glad, sin starts to look good. There should always be celebration, adventure, laughter and surprise. Because this mission is daring and scary, we expect adrenaline rushes, to be filled with awe, to laugh and cry and sometimes even dance together!
4. For our mission to truly be Jesus’ mission, we will have to be people who are filled with compassion; people who are quick to come to the side of the poor, the disenfranchised and people who are shoved to the edges of life in our world by disease, poverty and adversity. If we will do this extravagantly, we believe that The Olive Branch could be one of our community’s greatest assets! We believe we have been called to serve others by offering food, resources, training, support and recovery, care, and help, in coming to a place of physical and spiritual health.
5. As a mission, we want to be without walls. We will plan for the safety and security of all of those entrusted to our care, but we will not allow any artificial walls or barriers between us and those God has called us to help.
6. As a mission, we will experiment and work together until we find a way to reach out to and assist ethnically and culturally diverse people groups.
7. As a mission, we vow to be a safe place for all people to belong, to believe in Jesus, and to become the persons God created them to be. Our plan is to help everyone we can to live out their calling in the power of the Holy Spirit, experience the Father’s love and healing, and become a significant part of Jesus’ movement to change the world.
8. Now, Jesus’ mission is huge. He said, “Don’t stop until every person has been reached. How many of you think a church can stay small, cozy and safe and remain faithful to Jesus’ vision? We don’t think that’s possible. We expect to grow exponentially. We will intentionally strive for intimacy and relational depth through helping people be a part of a Roots Small Group.
We believe that we exist because God has called us into existence – that our calling is to somehow begin/be a part of a movement toward God in the GTA – and part of the revolutionary movement of Jesus going on all over the world right this very minute. Bottom line: We are serious about advancing the Kingdom of God, whatever it costs us, in every possible way we can….
Because of that, we will not play church or play politics. We will not treat The Olive Branch like we are consumers in a shopping mall; like a weekend break from pursuing other stuff we consider more important. We will treat The Olive Branch, the advance of the Kingdom, the infiltration of God into human affairs, not as a hobby or an extra-curricular activity, but as the Hope of the world.
9. Because the truth we carry is so important, we will learn and speak well the heart language of those we are trying to reach. We will search for words and visuals and concepts that will keep Jesus’ message unmistakably clear. And we won’t be afraid to think out-of-the-box; to try and sometimes fail! We may look very different from what most people expect in a church.
10. With God’s powerful help, we will be characterized by:
* Patient, enduring, self-sacrificing love and acceptance.
* We will pray – so that what happens can only be explained by the intervention of God. We understand that without the power of God behind us, we don’t even have a remote chance of accomplishing this dream.
* We will practice humility – and weed out pride; see God for who He is and be careful to not over-estimate our gifting, or under-estimate the value of others.
* We believe that God is honoured and others are inspired by excellence. So we will value each individual and their unique contribution, while seeking to each give our very best for the glory of God.
* We believe people are God’s treasure, so we will value relationships over things, methods, structures, and opinion.
* We will believe the Bible is God’s Word and tells us the truth about ourselves, about God and about life. So we will respect and treasure what God has said and we will give our best to make this truth accessible to everyone. Because we believe God is absolutely right in what He has said, everything we say and do will be rooted in that Truth and we will invite the Spirit of God to use that truth to rearrange our hearts and change our world.
* We will pursue ongoing development and growth. We will use every means and every opportunity to help people and free people to belong, believe and become. Therefore, we encourage Olive Branch people:
1. To be immersed in the grace of God.
2. To be continually growing in their faith.
3. To be enfolded in the love and acceptance of a small group that they both invest in and receive from.
4. To fully discover their gifts and serve others.
5. To generously invest themselves and their resources into the Kingdom.
* We will be characterized by total transparency and honesty in all of our dealings and communication as a church. This includes financial records and Governing Board decisions and transactions.
* We will live, act and make decisions with faith and courage, fully believing that God is in control and that He is Lord of the impossible.
* We will be characterized by outrageous generosity. It will require sacrifice – giving that is uncomfortably affordable if we are going to accomplish this mission. But we believe that God honours generosity in unexpected ways – and that no one ever becomes great without learning to give.
* We believe that if we stay on track in our calling, we can become people who are great God’s way and make a SIGNIFICANT impact in our world. That’s our dream!
1. We will look to the Bible for our foundation and authority.
2. We will open our hearts to the leading of the Holy Spirit and have the courage to act in faith.
3. We will be good stewards of all our resources.
4. We will be culturally relevant.
5. We will treat everyone with respect, care and love.
6. We will serve others, and we will remember this church is not about us.
7. We will be transparent, honest and authentic.
8. We will do everything with joy.