During the week we ’scatter’ in neighbourhoods across the Blue Mountains and Penrith. The primary way this happens is in missional communities. Missional communities are small groups centred around a neighbourhood, justice need, or common mission. We pray, eat, and spend time together as we focus on living out Jesus’ teachings.
Each Community has 3 identities:
We define a missional community as ’a family of missionary disciples.’ These communities are groups of people that live as brothers and sisters, eating, praying, and living life together. Living as ’missionaries,’ we join in Jesus’ kingdom work in our neighbourhoods, workplaces, and city. And finally, as disciples, we study and encourage each other to grow in knowing and following Jesus.
Like families, all missional communities look a little different, and that’s great! The 3 core elements of missional community are family, mission and discipleship. Whether you start with 3 members or 12 members, the important thing is to start with a foundation of people who are following Jesus by living life together, like sharing meals and caring for each other (family), partnering to share Jesus and serve their community in some way (mission), and intentionally pursuing deeper relationship with Jesus, together through scripture study, prayer and conversation (discipleship).
There are no prerequisites to starting or joining a missional community, and you have the freedom to initiate a new one any time! It’s about relationships, not a formula. However, we do offer a variety of resources if you want help finding or planning a community. If you’re ready to start one, go for it! We’d love for you to inform us about your community so we can keep in touch with you and potentially connect you with other people in your region who are also looking for community.
In addition to a Missional Community Training class, we invite you to do the missional community start-up studies called Missional Community Primer. It runs as 10 sessions over 10 weeks of your group’s initial gatherings.
If you want to join an existing community, drop us a line and we’ll get in touch with you about which communities might be the best fit based on your needs and what you want to bring to a community.
Regardless of your involvement in a community, you are welcome and accepted at Soma. We talk about missional community a lot because the elements of family, mission, and discipleship are absolutely central to the teachings of Jesus. We want to experience and share the fullness of life that comes from following him as missional families. Because we care deeply about the church and the city, we regularly encourage the church to live as a bunch of unique missional families that invite the kingdom of God into our homes, workplaces, shops, and anywhere we go where people need the love of Jesus. That’s everywhere!
Most of our communities are a happy mix of people in different stages of life. That being said, some groups exist for people in similar life stages, such as young adults, families with young children, or people unified around a pub or playgroup. If you’re interested in connecting with people of a similar age or stage, let us know.
At Soma, studying the bible together is a key element of discipleship within missional community, rather than a stand-alone group offered through the church. Within family, there’s freedom to ask questions about the bible and encourage each other to put what we’re learning into practice. While challenging us to grow as individuals, Jesus also shows us how to love and serve our neighbours, and that’s where community becomes missional, because it’s not all about us!
Living in missional community is a response to Jesus’ instruction to make disciples and do life together. That’s why being part of a missional community is our passionate desire for each member of the church. We want everyone to participate in a collective kingdom vision. We believe that Jesus came to offer life for all. While the people of Jesus experience richness and growth in missional community, they also partner in sharing the love of Jesus with those who don’t know him yet.