Soma School is a Gospel-centered, missional ecclesiology immersion experience which exists to see pastors, planters, and leaders thoroughly gripped by the Gospel. Soma School is a combination of white-board theology sessions, personal processing, and immersion within the life of an missional community in context.
We believe God is calling and preparing many pastors, church planters, and leaders today to bring about Gospel Saturation in their communities through word and deed. Overall, after spending 4-5 days immersed in a Soma church and working through our ecclesiology, we hope that participants leave more in love with Jesus, more convinced of the power of the Gospel, and better equipped to lead disciple-making Missional Communities in everyday.
The Soma School experience is about total immersion in the Gospel, including classroom training, life-on-life discipleship, missional service, and Sunday gathering. This training is experienced in the context of living with Soma families, partnering with existing Missional Communities, and practicing leadership while serving the city with a missional heart.
Soma School is no longer seven days. Several leaders over the years have requested a shorter, drivable Soma School. In 2018, we shifted to a 4-day Soma School format for the following reasons:
- The original format (7 days, not including travel time) has proven overly time-consuming and expensive for many potential participants. It prevented many from attending who strongly desired to do so.
- We now have more equipping content available than ever. Informal surveys at the beginning of Soma School have shown that the vast majority of participants have already worked through much of the Saturate and Gospel Fluency content. This started to make a couple of the days feel unnecessarily redundant.
- Because we are doing four Soma Schools in 2018, they are considerably more drivable than they’ve been in the past, opening up participation to a much larger group.
The 4-day Soma School format only works if participants come in with a decent grasp of the fundamental concepts. All Participants must complete the Saturate and Gospel Fluency requirement with an optional #3 if you are adding the Leadership focus day.
Before coming, participants must either:
- Read Saturate by Jeff Vanderstelt -OR-
- Attend a Saturate EveryDay event -OR-
- Work through the Saturate Field Guide by Jeff Vanderstelt and Ben Connelly.
And participants must either:
- Read Gospel Fluency by Jeff Vanderstelt -OR-
- Attend a Gospel Fluency event -OR-
- Work through Gospel Fluency Handbook by Jeff Vanderstelt and Ben Connelly.
Some of what you will learn and experience while you are with us:
- The Story of God: You will begin to see the Bible and the redemptive, restorative work of God in a whole new way as you discover, seeing the Gospel at work throughout the whole biblical narrative. You will also learn how to communicate and teach in new, dialogical methods.
- Identity & Rhythms: What is the Church? How should we live? Soma Communities is formed around the Gospel, our new identity in Jesus, and the rhythms in which he and his followers lived. We will dig deep into these realities.
- Building a Missional Community: We will discuss how Soma has begun to live in communities of people who are united around a common, local mission and how these communities are local expressions of Jesus and his church in the world,who live out the Gospel in all ways.
- Gatherings: You will gather with the Soma family in smaller Missional Communities and larger gatherings and spend time just being with us in community.
- Gospel Fluency: Soma School is as much about what God wants to do in you through the power of the Gospel as it is about equipping you to lead a church of Missional Communities. We press into Gospel practices so you experience them personally, even as you are being equipped to develop others in the Gospel.
Click here for an example of a Soma School schedule.
Click here to see the Soma School notes and to get an idea of what we will cover during a week at Soma School.
APPLICATION & REGISTRATION
Since we’re opening up our lives to share what we’re learning, not putting on a conference, space is limited. To steward these limited resources well, our goal is to see Soma School be very effective for equipping church planters and pastors toward leading churches that make disciples in Missional Communities in the everyday. Ideal applicants are lead planters or lead pastors who bring along with them one or two key leaders (three max from one team).
After we review your application, we’ll email you registration instructions. Note that spouses must apply separately.
Please apply only if you can make it for 100% of Soma School.
The cost is $500 per person, including a $150 deposit. If you bring a spouse, add only $250 more. Deposits are non-refundable if you cancel within 90 days of Soma School.