Soma – http://wearesoma.com – is a family of churches that started out of Tacoma, WA. The word soma however means “body”. Like the Soma family of churches, churches in any given region have the opportunity to be family-like among one another. May Christ’s body be more and more evident to each community as we co-labor under the Great Commissioning that Jesus issued for us before He ascended after having victory over our eternal death and giving us eternal life.
This family of churches is a neat start for me and my wife as far as investigating what it looks like to see church done in a very Great Commission applied kind of way. What does it look like, friends, to see believers really loving on one another and loving on the lost? Soma as a family does church in a way of meeting often in an extra-local way. They fellowship over the Word and in healthy community life, seeking to meet based on closeness to each other instead of commuting to one another once or twice a week. I don’t know if I have this right on the dot, because they wisely don’t try to put things together as a formula for the ideal form of church, but what I’ve described above is at least a flavor of some of the form aspects that I’m noticing so far from what they portray on-line.
From what I’ve observed from a distance so far, I’m intrigued by Soma as a family of churches. In just over a week I hope to make some touch down on the ground with one of their churches down in San Diego, CA – http://www.reddoorlife.com.
While I don’t intend at this point to join this family of churches officially, my wife and I do hope to take a trip to Tacoma, WA to spend some time with their founding church and learn about their vision and how God is giving them such grace and favor in their labor of love.
What would it look like for churches in each community to band together, not needing to call themselves by the same denominational brand but working together at least at the level of care for believers and equipping them to make disciples of Christ? I have a group of friends who meet every Friday morning at Revive Cafe in Tuolumne City, CA. We are seeking to see this become more and more of a theme. We encourage one another to pour back into our respective local churches, and we care for one another as leaders. Many of us are leaders in one way or another in local churches in the area, or like me, some of us are praying about and learning about planting churches. Either way, we are striving to glorify God in every day by how we conduct ourselves.
As God’s story unfolds in the lives of His children, it’s incredible to see unity around the Gospel of Jesus Christ while seeing humble and genuine workings out in each church regarding the finer points of doctrine and practice. Loose networks like this I believe hold out opportunity for leaders and anyone participating in these fellowships to bond and realize that God is in favor of this good work, this labor of love, to make disciples of Jesus Christ. In fact, He commands it of us, it is our commissioning/direction as believers.
Are we searching for God’s will for our lives? This is it. Make disciples of Jesus Christ. Work together in each community to see the Gospel of Christ being proclaimed particularly through genuine believers. Imagine seeing more and more believers realizing that they can be “bi-vocational”… We are called to our traditional obvious and existing roles and responsibilities, but we are also called to make disciples. One vocation is the form stuff, the obvious and overt calling of God on our lives in various aspects – for me, I am a husband, father, friend, son, brother, insurance agent, church planter, and so on; yet, above all of this and absorbing and defining all of this is the reality that I am a follower of Jesus. I only do my overt outward life well in Christ because, well, I’m in Christ. I can only live fully-engaged for Christ because He has made Himself known to me. So, my outward and overt calling from God includes these various roles, for which I am joyfully responsible and seek to live in each role very well. Yet, my eternal essence is IN JESUS. I find my truest and life-transforming definition in Jesus. So, my eternal and lasting call from God is to be His follower, His disciple. It is my most all-inclusive CALL FROM GOD to make more disciples of Jesus Christ and to care for those disciples and realize their care for me. We find our definition as spouses, children, parents, and friends not as these positions ultimately but as children of God together.
Truly, WE ARE SOMA as Christians. We are the body that Christ calls His very own. We are HIS people. We are His instruments of grace to trumpet His praises throughout our regions locally and internationally. May we more and more look and be like an actual body, a united front before Christ, presenting ourselves as willing and in awe of His incredibly gracious love toward us as seen on the cross.
I apologize for some of the raw and even stream-of-consciousness flavor of this post. Take it as a narrowing in of focus for this blog. I intend to share our own story of discovery as we interview folks and share stories.
Overwhelmed by His kindness,