Soma is a family of ministries offering encouragement, order and covering to its members by the operation of the five-fold ministry through a network of spiritual fathers.
What is SOMA?
“SOMA is a family of ministries offering encouragement, order and covering to its members by the operation of the five-fold ministry through a network of spiritual fathers.”
SOMA is a family of ministries.
Using the family as a model, SOMA is a fellowship of ministries who gives and receives life from one another. The psalmist declared that “God sets the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6a NKJV ). It is our goal, therefore, to provide a place where people are nurtured and grown, giving life to subsequent generations of believers and ministries.
We believe that spiritual parents produce spiritual children. In keeping with that concept, we believe that every pastor needs a pastor. The basis of our unity, therefore, rests in our ability to relate to one another as a family instead of members of an organization. The core of SOMA’s existence is relational.
SOMA is a fellowship of ministries that brings order to life.
As the vine and branches work together to bring forth fruit, SOMA promotes the expression of life through each individual ministry. SOMA is structured in such a way as to enhance each ministry’s connection of life from vine to vine, recognizing and promoting the individuality of each ministry. As the arbor is to the grapevine, so is SOMA to the ministries we serve.
SOMA is a group of individual ministries.
We recognize that each ministry is unique. We believe that there should be freedom for every ministry to express their own individual gifts and calling within their respective communities. We, therefore, celebrate our uniqueness and see our individuality as a strength within our fellowship.
SOMA is an affiliation of ministries focused on growth.
We believe that each ministry should be encouraged to express their reproductive nature. This brings regenerative life to the vine and allows each ministry to give birth and expand their influence. It is our aim, therefore, to govern SOMA in such a way as to allow capable ministries to be raised up and used by God to create new families as God allows.
SOMA is an association of ministries using a biblical model of ministry.
We see the roles of all five offices mentioned in Ephesians 4:11-16 as being vital for the “equipping the saints for the work of ministry” and “for the edifying the body of Christ.” We further believe that the maturity of the Body of Christ also mentioned in this passage is impossible without the functioning of all five of Christ’s ministry gifts to His church.
We believe it is vital for us, as leaders in the church, to accept this paradigm of ministry and recognize the role of teachers, pastors, evangelists, prophets and apostles in our midst. We gladly, therefore, participate in establishing and functioning within this biblical model, seeing no need of excluding any of these offices from the church.
Having been given these offices by Christ, we feel it necessary, therefore, to use the terms given to us by our Lord. while not confusing the “office of apostle” with the twelve apostles of the Lamb, who hold special honor on earth and in heaven (see: revelation 21:14), we see no need of abandoning this term when used to describe the office of “one who is sent from God with special abilities to birth and/or oversee ministries with a father’s heart.”
What does SOMA do?
SOMA provides safety within a structure of accountability.
We believe that each minister is kept safe and alive within a framework of accountability. We should all seek to find a place that provides benevolent authority within the context of parenthood that keeps us safe like children within a family.
SOMA provides a wealth of resources.
We believe that all of us are stronger when linked together than we are independently. Our goal is to provide resources from which every ministry can benefit. These resources may include things like:
(1) accountability structure
(2) legal council and accounting services
(3) insurance and retirement plans
(4) ministry referrals for ministries
(5) educational material
(6) bulk purchasing power
(7) use of a retreat center
(8) church planting resources
(9) pastor’s conferences
(10) bible college classes
SOMA provides a place of love and friendship among a family.
Many ministers feel like they are alone on an island. It is the goal of SOMA to provide long lasting and loving relationships not unlike that of a family. SOMA is relational based not organizational based.
SOMA provides an avenue for strategic vision.
We believe the biblical model of building God’s Kingdom is one of strategy and purpose. Starting in Jerusalem and spreading to the ends of the earth, the church fulfilled Christ’s plan laid out in acts 1:8. Therefore, it is our aim to provide a vision for strategic efforts in reaching to the nations of the earth along with each local community.
SOMA provides a place of larger identity.
We believe that it is healthy for individual ministers and congregations to maintain a corporate identity larger than themselves. It is our goal to supply an identity as a group that supersedes and yet enhances each local congregation’s ministry.
SOMA provides a catalyst for spiritual development and growth
We believe in the principles of impartation. Under God’s sovereign hand, spiritual blessings can be reproduced and shared within a corporate people in much the same way as DNA is passed from parents to their children. For this reason Paul reminded timothy of the gifts of God that were given to him by the laying on of his own hands and of those of the eldership (I timothy 4:14 & II timothy 1:6). SOMA creates a framework where spiritual blessings can be imparted and regenerated throughout the fellowship, creating a corporate life not unlike that which Paul describes in I Corinthians 12:27, “now you are the body (gk: “soma”) of Christ and members individually.”
How is SOMA structured?
At the core of SOMA’s leadership structure is a council of like-minded men who form the leadership council. These apostolically gifted men serve the network of ministries much like the elders of a local church serve the needs of the congregation through a plurality of Spirit led leadership.
Apostolic Overseers (spiritual fathers)
We believe that every pastor needs a pastor. Using parenthood as our model, SOMA is a fellowship of ministries that focuses on raising up, sending out and overseeing other ministries. As such, every SOMA pastor who helps birth another ministry shall serve that ministry as their apostolic overseer (spiritual father). In keeping with our definition as “one who is sent from God with special abilities to birth and/or oversee ministries with a father’s heart,” we also recognize these overseers as filling the office of apostle for their respective ministries whom they serve.
Existing ministries wishing to join the SOMA family of ministries can look to the leadership council for spiritual fathering, pastoral ministry, accountability and leadership.
some of the ways an overseer can serve their family is by providing accountability for senior pastors or heads of ministries, serving as an arbitrator should disagreements arise within churches they oversee, helping to fill vacancies in the churches under their care by offering their insights and support, helping to equip and edify the pastors they serve with regularly scheduled meetings, representing SOMA at any special services held by the local churches they serve, etc.
Apostolic (spiritual) Families
The groups of ministries within the SOMA fellowship that are served by an overseer are referred to as “apostolic (spiritual) families.”
Senior Pastors and Elders
We believe that the backbone of the body of Christ is the local church with its senior pastors and elders. Since they carry the primary burden of care and vision for their respective churches, it is our aim to help serve and enhance their ministry in whatever ways possible.
In order to join the SOMA fellowship of ministries, a person, ministry or church must receive a recommendation from an existing participant of the fellowship. Their request to join will first be considered by the leadership council. upon approval of their request for membership, the inquiring ministry will be placed on a probationary period no less than thirty days and no longer than three months from the time of inquiry. After the probationary time is completed, the leadership council will consult the general SOMA membership before placing the new ministry into the SOMA family.
Membership in SOMA is strictly voluntary and shall be considered ongoing unless a person, ministry or church willingly removes themselves from participation or is asked to withdraw by the leadership council.
The Family Tree
The SOMA family of ministries is a network of ministries. As such, our structure reflects SOMA’s desire to allow and promote the birth of new families within the fellowship while providing a broader governmental framework for serving each ministry.
Understanding the need for a centralized budget, SOMA participants are given the following financial guidelines as two suggested ways to participate in the SOMA fellowship:
First, having been given the biblical example of tithing, a pastor should already be tithing somewhere. Further understanding that the tithe belongs to the “storehouse,” the source of a person’s spiritual food, we ask that every senior pastor consider personally tithing their income to SOMA or giving an equivalent amount from their church’s general budget. These funds will be held in an account under the responsibility the leadership council, until they are needed by the apostolic overseer to serve the needs of his apostolic family from whom they were received.
The second financial consideration is that every church in the SOMA family consider designating one Sunday a year to receive offerings for SOMA. All of these funds will be sent to the general office and will be used to serve the entire fellowship.
Every participant in the SOMA family of ministries understands that these are suggested guidelines and all participation in SOMA is strictly voluntary and should be considered only after much prayer has been offered, seeking the leading of the Holy Spirit.
SOMA recognizes that some ministers may wish to participate with our group on a secondary level while maintaining a relationship with other churches and/or denominations. These ministers shall be welcome to attend our public gatherings and interact with us on a personal level without receiving the full benefits of membership.
Click HERE to download the Soma Family constitution and bylaws.
Click HERE to download a sample Word Document constitution and bylaws for your church or ministry.
Joining the Soma Family
We want you to become a part of the family! Join the hundreds of others that celebrate the covering, relationship, and opportunities that being a part of the Soma Family provides.
There are 2 different types of applications you can submit, based on which level you would like to apply for.
- Download the fellowship application HERE.
- Those who are seeking a casual relationship with Soma and would enjoy attending some of the conferences and events should apply for the fellowship level.
- Download the covenant application HERE.
- Those who are interested in a closer relationship with Soma should select the covenant level.
- At the Covenant Level, you are stating that Soma, and the council thereof, are acting as an apostolic covering for your church or ministry. Covenant Level members comit to financially contribute to Soma, and consider themselves a vital part of all events, conferences, and meetings that the ministry holds. If you are looking for this type of relationship, apply for the Covenant Level membership.
Soma Family of MinistriesCall: 740.663.5497 Physical Location: 75 N. Paint Street, Chillicothe, Oh 45601 Mail: P.O. Box 913, Chillicothe, Oh 45601