SOMA is a preaching series on the “one another” passages in the Gospels which cover the characteristics that are to be evident within the “Body Christ” (The Church). To make the preaching series more impactful, all small groups, current or newly formed, are asked to apply what is learned through the Sunday messages. When hearing the Word is combined with discussing and applying the Word, the retention level goes from 20% to 80%
How It Will Work
You will attend worship and listen to the message. Then you will meet with your small group weekly for seven weeks to apply the message to your life and the life of the Church. There is a study guide based on the weekly messages. This guide will be provided with tips on how to run a small group and questions to help you apply the messages to your life.
Want the sermon notes from the 3/1/20 SOMA sermon? Download here or stop by the church office for a copy.
The 3/15/20 SOMA sermon did not get recorded or streamed. Download Pastor Richard’s notes from Sunday here:
The Purpose of SOMA
The purpose for SOMA is to help us learn as a congregation what it means to be the Body of Christ. In the Gospel of John, Jesus said two astonishing things about the local church. He said that the local church is God’s chosen method for sharing the Gospel and silencing it’s critics. Most of us assume the best way to do that is with our words but Jesus did not say that.
He said: “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:23 (NIV)
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35 (NLT)
The intent of SOMA is to help us learn how we are to live with one another as believers according to Jesus. The hope is to become an authentic community of faith that accurately reflects the love and grace of God to the degree that when people experience us as a congregation they see Jesus!
“I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.” john 17:23
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I forget to pick up the study guide or lose it?
You can download the guide yourself. If you choose to download the study booklet, please change your print settings. Make sure it is going to print on both sides of the paper, and then go to Page Setup. Under pages and multiple pages, change the setting to book fold.
What is the commitment being asked?
I’m asking everyone and every small group to commit to meeting once a week for seven consecutive weeks from the week of February 23rd through the week of April 5th. If you study with a group you can begin any time after February 23rd. Hear the message first and then discuss it with the questions provided in the study guide.
Allocate 1.5 hours for the small group study. It will be a challenge to meet once a week for seven weeks so make it easy on everyone! One idea to consider is to meet with your small group after worship to discuss the message and topic. Have a simple lunch while you meet. Arrange for child care if you have kids.If you meet at or near the church, FPC can provide childcare if needed.
What if I miss the sermon?
Watch the sermon on Facebook or YouTube.
What if we can’t make it weekly?
Do your best. If the best you can do is to meet every-other-week, though it is not optimal, it is doable. Just discuss two “one another” passages per meeting. You will want to listen to the message that took place two weeks prior in order to refresh your memory.
For existing small groups:
Check with your group leader and members to see if your group would like to do it. It would be wonderful if for seven weeks out of the year we could be all on the same page as a church. It would give the church a huge boost spiritually.
On Sundays February 2nd, 9th, and 16th, an insert will be in the bulletin for individuals and groups to sign up for the study. If your group has decided to do the study, make sure only one person signs up for your group. You can also contact Pastor Richard below and let him know how many people are in your group; he can get you copies of the study guide.
Should I go through this study by myself?
We prefer this study to be done in small groups. The intent of SOMA is to help us learn how we are to live with one another as believers according to Jesus. Going through this study with the community of believers is ideal.
If you are not in a small group:
You can sign up for a small group on Sundays February 2nd, 9th, and 16th using the bulletin insert. You can also contact Pastor Richard below. Let him know where you live and the best day/time you can meet. You will receive an email to let you know what group you are in. The group can discuss in advance the first meeting place, day, and time.