Posted in: Mission
What's A Missional Community? Jeff Vanderstelt and The Story of Soma
Have you heard the term "missional communities" buzz near your ears? Is it a special kind of Community Group? Is it house churches? Small groups that befriend and evangelize local tatooed baristas?
Above is Jeff Vanderstelt's Soma Communities story, explaining the "missional communities" philosophy and methodology with church planting. Many Acts 29 churches follow this model. It's a great video and we hope you enjoy celebrating the church's story and how God is bringing the light of the gospel to Tacoma and beyond through the people of Soma.
Jeff Vanderstelt is Second Vice President of the Acts 29 Network. In 2003, he came to the Seattle area to help Bill Clem plant churches between Seattle and Tacoma. To plant Soma Communities, he went through the Acts 29 Network assessment process and became a member.
"What attracted me from the beginning was the serious commitment to both theology and missiology," he says of Acts 29, "and, most of all, the relationships." Nearly ten years later, as a leader within the Network, Jeff notes that Acts 29 is more of a brotherhood than an organization - and that it's the relationships that keeps him committed.
"I believe that God is moving and has been unbelievably gracious in extending favor to us," he adds (the Network has grown from 23 members in 2003 to nearly 400 currently). "I want to be a part of what he is doing through Acts 29."
In addition to seeing the unity around theology and missiology, and the momentum of a growing Network, Jeff appreciates the diversity within the Network over methods.
"There's freedom for us to be who God has called us to be, but still a commitment to unity. So many of us are being given opportunity and favor across the nation and world to do significant work together. This unity and diversity is going to make everyone stronger through and iron-sharpening-iron environment.
"In my own situation, I can continue to lead and develop thinking around Missional Communities, but all the other Acts 29 churches still need to work through what they'll do for themselves. They may not entirely move in the direction I'm headed, but they'll learn from what I'm doing. I'll learn and be shaped by things that Mark, Darrin or others will do uniquely and I'll become better through their excellence in my weak areas. There's freedom for us to specialize and benefit others with our strengths."