Soma is the greek word for "body".
It's the word used in the Bible to describe the Church as the Body of Jesus Christ. We are connected to him as our head - he is our head pastor and leader. As his Body, we are to be the physical expression of what God is like so that the fullness of Jesus Christ can be seen and heard through us in every place and in every way.
The Gospel gives us a new identity.
We've been adopted
We are God’s chosen people – His family – set apart to live in such a way that the world would know what he is like. Through faith in Jesus we believe we are Children of God and brothers and sisters with each other. As God’s family we see it as our obligation to personally care for the needs of one another – both physically and spiritually. We disciple, nurture and hold each other accountable to Gospel life together. We do this through regularly gathering together for celebration, consistent involvement in a DNA group and loving others in the path of our life like the Father loved us. (Genesis 12:1-3; John 1:12-13; Romans 12:10-16)
We submit to God as our Father and love one another as brothers and sisters.
Worshippers: We worship God as Father
We are God’s Children (John 1:11-13) who are adopted and fully accepted and loved apart from any good behavior. When I believe the Gospel I know I have a perfect Father who loves me and accepts me not because of what I've done but because of what Christ has done. This leads me to worship God as Father and obey his word because I love him. I don’t obey God in order to be loved by him. I obey God because he loved me while I was still his rebellious enemy.
Disciples: We show ourselves to be Jesus’ disciples by our love for one another
As children of God we love one another as brothers and sisters. Jesus said this is the way the world will know that we are his disciples – by our love for one another. Paul said we were to be imitators of God as dearly loved children who love one another (Eph 5:1-2). The primary means by which we show the world what God is like and give tangible proof of the Gospel’s power to save is through our love for one another. If we don’t love one another, we show that we don’t know and love God (1 John 4:7-21)
We've been empowered
God sent Jesus to Earth to take on human form and live within the culture. He worked, ate and interacted among the people; living in such a way that those around him could see and experience what God was truly like. Jesus came so that all people, places and things could be restored to a right relationship with God. In the same way, we believe we are missionaries sent by God’s Spirit into our culture to restore all things to God through Jesus. We live this out through involvement in a missional community. (John 1:14; 20:21; Colossians 1:19; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21)
We submit to the Spirit as our Sender and Leader and are empowered to show and share Jesus to others
Worshippers: We submit to the sending and leading of the Spirit
If I believe the Gospel and can call God my Father it is because God has given me his Spirit (Romans 8:14-17). After Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father sent me I am sending you”, he breathed on them the Holy Spirit. Then, when he commissioned his disciples to be his witnesses, he told them to wait for power from on high (Acts 1:8). He was referring to the Holy Spirit that the Father and Son would send (John 14:16; 16:7). Just as Jesus was sent by the Father, empowered and led by the Spirit, now we are sent as his missionaries by the same power and leading of the Spirit (Matt. 3:16-4:1; John 20:21). If we have the Spirit of God it is so we might be the children of God who accomplish the mission of Jesus by the same Spirit that sent and empowered him.
Disciples: We are sent and empowered by the Spirit to share and show Jesus to others
As missionaries we are sent to share the truth about God’s love for the world through the sending of His Son. The Spirit has been given to us so that we can know what is true of Jesus (John 14:26; 16:12-15), live fruitful lives as evidence of the gospel’s power to change (Gal. 5:16-24), be empowered to share it boldly (Acts 4:23-31) and trust that he is the one who convicts the heart and gives new life (John 3:4-8). All fruitful missionary work is a result of being people who are born of, filled with, and led by the Spirit. If we are not living lives as missionaries fulfilling Jesus’ mission it is either because we don’t have the Spirit or we are grieving the Spirit, living in disobedience to what he is leading us to do.*
We've been ransomed
Fully God–fully human, Jesus took on the posture of a servant. He gave his life, even unto death, so that others could experience salvation, peace and restoration. Jesus said, “I am among you as one who serves…” All those who follow Jesus are called to serve in the same humility. For us this means joyfully submitting to Jesus as Lord, to the leaders he has placed over us and to each other as we also serve whomever God brings into our lives. We do whatever He leads us to do, whenever He tells us and wherever He wants us to do it. (Matthew 20:25-28; 25:31-46; John 13:1-17; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Peter 2:16)
We submit to Jesus as Lord and serve one another as though we are serving Jesus.
Worshippers: We submit to Jesus as Lord
If I believe the Gospel, I am being set free from slavery to false gods that keep me imprisoned, don't feed me and eventually beat me to death. All of us are serving a master or many masters. The question isn't “Am I a slave”, but “Who am I a slave to?” When I believe and live out my gospel identity as a Servant of Jesus, he is my master and he sets me free to live life as it should be lived. I now belong to him as His Servant and whatever I do, I do as unto Him (Matt. 25:40). My service and sacrifice for Jesus my Lord unto others is my spiritual act of worship.
Disciples: We lead people to Jesus by living as Servants displaying his rule and reign in our lives
As the servants of Jesus we are a holy nation – a city within a city. We give a foretaste of what the eternal city will be like under the rule and reign of Jesus Christ. Living as servants to the King who serve others as he served us, presents a tangible witness Jesus’ kingdom and to the power of the gospel to change us. We serve in such a way that it demands a Gospel explanation – lives that cannot be explained in any other way than by the Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus. Our humility points to his ultimate humility. Our servant hood is led by the Servant of all. And our sacrifice is motivated by the one who gave up his life for us. If we don’t serve others as Jesus served us it is because we have forgotten how we have been served by him, or we don’t really know him in the first place (Matt 25:31-46).
what are we about?
The Christian life is fueled by a deeper understanding and sensing of the good news of the Gospel - our past, present, and future salvation in Jesus Christ.
we have been saved from the penalty of sin because of Jesus' life and death.
Jesus took our sin and gave us his perfection so we can live free from guilt or condemnation. God treats us as if we had perfectly obeyed the law.
we are being saved from the power of sin because of Jesus' resurrection.
Jesus destroyed death's grip on us and raised us to new life. We live as adopted and beloved children of a good Father. The Holy Spirit fills and empowers us for life and mission.
we will be saved from the presence of sin because of Jesus' coming return.
Jesus will return soon to eradicate sin, suffering, and injustice. We live in hopeful anticipation of the full restoration of us and all creation. God will dwell here so we can enjoy Him forever.
what do we do?
what is a missional community?
A missional community (MC) is a small band of believers, pursuing Jesus together. 'Missional' means that we see ourselves as missionary people, sent by God into our neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools, to bless as we are blessed, and looking to make Jesus and His work known. 'Community' implies that we will do this together, partnering in order to do the work God has sent us to do in our city and lovingly caring for one another in the process.
WHAT DO Missional Communities DO?
A strong Missional Community has a healthy balance of our 3 Core Identities (Family, Missionaries, and Servants), meaning you are caring for one another as a Family, bringing the good news to our city as Missionaries, and sacrificially blessing one another and your neighbors as Servants.
Practically speaking, that means that Missional Communities meet together weekly to study the scriptures, pray together, meet practical needs, and encourage each other. Missional Communities will often take on specific service projects together.
WHY SHOULD I BE IN A Missional community?
Simply, because the church is the Missional Community. Missional Community is how you be who you are in Christ. It isn't an additional program on top of basic Christianity. This is the basic way of following Jesus in the real world. This is how you get cared for and encouraged and how you mature in the faith.
If you only come on Sundays, you'll be disappointed in your experience and likely frustrated by the lack of care that you receive, not to mention that you'll miss out on the adventure of being the church.
Many Christians are burned out on programs that do little more than maintain the institution. By getting involved in a Missional Community, you are fulfilling the Great Commission ("Go and make disciples") and doing it in a Great Commandment ("Love God, Love others") way.
How do I connect to a missional community?
We have 3 easy pathways to help you get connected to an MC near you:
- Use the interactive map here to find a group in your general vicinity. By clicking on the house icon, you'll see the contact information for that MC leader.
- Visit the Connect table during a Sunday gathering. The person at the table can help you identify a group that works for your schedule.
- Email Aaron Gibbs who can help facilitate a meeting between you and an MC leader in your area.
how do i connect?
Our Sunday gathering is for connection with God and one another. If you're new to Soma, take a season of rest, letting the grace of God in Jesus renew your mind and heart. As you experience refreshment, finding a place to serve on Sunday will help you begin to connect.
Our communities are formed around neighborhoods and networks of people. We will help you connect with people near where you live, work, and play, so that you can live missional community life together.
Getting equipped as a disciple who makes disciples requires holistic learning – head, heart, and hands. Gospel Basics class, Redemption groups, Men's or Women's Advance, or a DNA group (Discover-Nurture-Act) will help you grow in everyday discipleship to Jesus.
give: joyful generosity
Partnership with the Soma community includes joyful stewardship of time, talent, and treasure for the sake of our shared mission. Financial commitment to the needs and mission of this Soma family is one of the key ways we connect, share one another's burdens, and partner together.
Get in touch with our team!