Moved to Begin
In 1998, when the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association wanted to bring their Mission to Ottawa, local pastors were moved to begin a new journey together, getting together for prayer, relationship building, and missional outreach to the city. Unity was recognized as an integral part of reaching the city with the best news anyone would ever hear. The Servant Leadership Team was formed, made up of a dozen pastors and leaders of different denominations.
Over the years, God evolved the group. Prayer and relationships strengthened. But the missional side of their efforts grew only slowly. They persevered and became known as Mission Ottawa, to reflect their intent that unity for unity’s sake was not the point. Their desire was to bring the Truth and Grace of Christ to the city through the church in unity.
Love Our Neighbour
In 2012, God spoke to their hearts about the need to love our neighbour. At the same time, through the advice of advisors, they realized they needed a change of internal structure. In order to catalyze missional efforts throughout the city, they took a leap of faith to disperse the larger team, and commission a smaller Executive Team who would give their focus to networking consultative, collaborative teams with specific dreams. To reflect the change the new team was called Love Ottawa.
Within two years, over 100 pastors and individuals were involved in over a dozen cross-denominational teams blessing the city in a wide variety of ways. These included a neighbourhood research study of Vanier, the Ottawa Civic Prayer Breakfast, Rock the Capital youth evangelistic event, Dig and Delve apologetics conference, The Big Give generosity event, Friends for Dinner outreach to foreign students, a training cadre for church planters, training in neighbourhood exegesis, prayer events, regional pastors’ prayer groups, and other initiatives!
In 2013 and 2014 two integral components of Love Ottawa began to take shape: Neighbouring Ottawa and Pray Ottawa. Neighbouring Ottawa was a banner to communicate as central to city reaching the command to love your neighbour as yourself. It led to a significant investment into a neighbourhood study of Vanier. Pray Ottawa naturally and significantly grew as a banner to mobilize prayer within and alongside the increasing diversity of outreach. Pray Ottawa has its own website which you can see here.
Network, Encourage and Support
The Love Ottawa core team continues to prayerfully network pastors and leaders, encourage missional efforts, and support collaborative, consultative teams working where they are passionate to reach out to our city.