Who We Are
We live in a very unique moment in history. Our culture is increasingly polarized and marked by individualism. In many ways, our problems seem to be getting worse and the path forward is less and less clear. And in the midst of all of this, where is the church?
At the Branch, we believe that two millennia ago, a man named Jesus came describing a God who loved humanity with a ferocious and unique love that turned the hierarchy of the world upside down. In fact, we believe this man was God Himself and ultimately gave his life for the world and came back from the dead. What does this mean for today? By believing in and following Jesus, a life is offered to us all that actually can heal the brokenness we see in our lives and in our world.
So please hear this very clearly: We welcome you exactly as you are, with whatever questions or hesitations you might have. We understand that in many ways, the church has fallen short of being the vehicle of God’s love in the world. The people who liked Jesus were nothing like Jesus. The church should be that. We want to do whatever it takes to change the reputation of the church and be a church that unchurched people love. And yet, here we are, gathering on the Northwest side of Chicago, united by a single common purpose: to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus. Would you consider checking us out?
The Branch functions as a non-denominational church with a rich history that weaves together many influences. We hope to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and to be a safe place for anyone to come and connect with others and experience the life-transforming power of God.
This is an important question, but a difficult one. As a church, we are committed to walking with people wherever they are. This means many people believe many different things. In our polarized culture, individuals and churches are often identified by how they are distinctive, how their beliefs are unique. At The Branch, we are committed to highlighting our most important beliefs that are unifying rather than dividing.
About the Scriptures
We believe that the Bible is inspired by God and is useful for teaching us what is true and correcting us where we are wrong (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Therefore, we hold the Bible as our final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe in one God who exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus Christ is the second member of the Trinity (the Son of God) who became flesh to reveal God to humanity and to become the Savior of the world (Matthew 3:16-17, John 1:1-18).
We believe that humanity was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) to have fellowship with God but became alienated in that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, humanity is incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through our own effort alone (Romans 3:23-24).
We believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22). Therefore, salvation comes through placing our faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as sufficient payment for their sin (Romans 10:9, Ephesians 1:7).
About the Christian Life
We believe that every Christian should live for Christ and not for themself (Romans 12:1). By obedience to the Word of God and daily yielding to the Spirit of God, every believer should mature and be conformed to the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).
About the Church
We believe that the church is the body of Christ, of which Jesus Christ is the head (1 Corinthians 12:27, Colossians 1:18). The members of the church are those who have trusted by faith the finished work of Christ (Matthew 18:20). The purpose of the church is to glorify God by loving Him and by making Him known to the lost world (1 Peter 2:9-10).
Our mission, vision, and strategy
We exist to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by creating environments where people are encouraged and equipped to pursue intimacy with God, community with each other, and influence with others
As a church family united under this mission and vision, we emphasize our values in:
Intimacy with God
God desires a close, personal relationship with each of us.
Community with Each Other
Accountability, belonging, care and spiritual growth happen best when we are relationally-connected.
Influence with Others
We seek the good of our city, our community, and our neighbors as we live our lives pointing to Jesus.
We love families! In fact, this is one of the most important things to us. First, in any environment for children, safety is our top value. We want you to know that if you entrust your kids to us, even for a little while, we have done a rigorous screening of volunteers and have a thorough security process to keep all our children safe. But here’s some info of what we actually do:
On Sundays we have age-appropriate environments that happen alongside our main services for kids 4 months old through 5th grade.
We also have things happening beyond when our services are happening. On Wednesday nights we have our BK Midweek program for kids in Kindergarten through 5th grade. We also have BYG, our student ministry that is for 6th graders through 12th graders.
No matter who you are or where you’ve been, we believe you belong here, and we want to help you get connected! We are for community, both within our church and in our city, and want to invite you to join us as we live life and grow in relationship with Jesus together not just on Sundays, but the other six days of the week. Here’s how to get connected:
- Weekend service. Our services are designed to be place for people to be challenged and encouraged in their walk with God wherever they are in their spiritual journey. This is also a great way to meet other people and hear about other things happening in our church.
- Attend NEXT. NEXT is a meeting for those new-er to our church that takes place on the third Sunday of every month right after second service. This brief meeting is an opportunity to meet some of our staff, learn more about who we are and our history as a church, and ask any questions you have about The Branch. This is also a great opportunity to meet other folks who may be new to our church.
- Community groups. We believe that while weekend services are necessary and great, we ultimately desire the people of our church to develop meaningful relationships with others. Community groups are a place to know and be known. And we want to help every person that considers The Branch their church home to also find a community group.
- Strategic service. Serving at The Branch is one of the fastest ways to build connections. We believe that God has uniquely gifted every person, and that includes you. More than that, we believe that God chooses to use people to bring about real change in our world. So we want everyone to serve in a way that uses their gifts as well as meets a real need. This is an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself.