Soma Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains City, west of Sydney, is a string of villages surrounded by the Blue Mountains National Park. It’s a community made up of writers, creatives, teachers and many others who are drawn to the beauty of this wilderness area. I grew up here and have always considered myself a ‘mountain’s boy.’
A Large team from Springwood Anglican joined us to plant Soma Blue Mountains in 2012. We did this in partnership with the Some Family of Churches. Our vision is to be a community following Jesus - following on the gospel, multiplying missional communities, and planting missional churches.
Our missional communities are discipleship environments that cultivate life-on-life, life-in-community, and life-on-mission. We currently have 8 missional communities scattered throughout the mid and lower mountains, and Penrith. we gather as a whole church each Sunday morning at Blaxland Public School, Baden St, Blaxland. We’ve also helped train and support other Soma church plants across the country.
Check out our website www.somabluemountains.org.au
Soma Penrith started in 2017 as a church plant of Soma Blue Mountains. We currently have 2 Missional Communities and hope to start a public gathering on Sundays mid-year 2019. We are focussing on reaching the new Thornton estate and the new high rise flats that are going up all around downtown Penrith. It is an ethnically diverse area of young families, city commuters, and retirees.
In the providence of God, The Salvation Army, Evolve Housing and Greater West for Christ have combined together to provide us with a café in the centre of Thornton that we can use as a base for our ministry. At this stage we are seeking others to join us, in order to strengthen our core team and have the critical mass necessary to launch a Sunday gathering.
Forrestdale gospel community
Forrestdale Gospel Community was planted by God’s prompting in 2011. Oliver and Nadia Heggers felt moved by the Spirit of God, and His good news found in Christ, to bring the church to their neighbourhood, rather than trying to bring their neighbours to the church.
With the blessing and commission of Willetton Christian Reformed Church, they launched the plant with 7 other young followers of Jesus. The passion of this mustard seed community was to see the gospel go and permeate people’s lives, and therefore see the church multiply out into households around Forrestdale, Byford and to the ends of Perth.
Following in the missional and theological vision of groups like SOMA (USA) and Crowded House (UK), Forrestdale GC has lived this out as a family of missionary servants living out and speaking the gospel into the ordinary stuff of suburban life.
Having babies. Running businesses. Consoling broken marriages. Celebrating new ones. eating local produce. Living in intentional community. Drinking coffee with neighbours. Mentoring young adults. Running Christmas concerts. Serving local primary schools. Playing sport together. Working on our neighbours homes. Raising kids. Battling addictions. Contributing to local council discussions.
Our desire to live out Jesus’ commission to make disciples who make disciples has been an all-of-life adventure! Over the past 8 years, we have learning that being backyard missionaries to suburban Perth is about faithfully preparing the hard and dry soil of peoples’ hearts (our own included) to receive the good seed of the gospel. We are excited about what God is doing in and through us so far in 2019.
Currently, a number of our church family are completing the City to City Incubator training modules to continue equipping us to go and make disciples in Forrestdale, Western Australia. Forrestdale Gospel Community is being led by a small council of Elders.
the church next door
The Church Next Door is a Jesus-centred church based around the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Our story began in partnership with Soma in 2012. We started as a small team with a great desire to glorify God and be his church together. We have since grown and now find ourselves with a high proportion of young families with small children. At the same time, God is slowly growing us into a diverse family of believers. Organising ourselves in Missional Communities, we seek to make disciples who can make disciples and live out the truths of the gospel in the everyday stuff of life.
THE GATHERED CHURCH
The Gathered Church is a young church formed in January 2019 and is one of the expressions of the Soma family. We are made up of followers of Jesus who are compelled by the Gospel to do life together and speak Gospel truths into each other's lives regularly.
We meet as Kingdom families several times throughout the week and gather with other Kingdom families weekly or monthly to read scriptures together, share communion, practice gospel fluency, pray and worship as the gathered ones (Ekklesia) of Jesus.
We form our weeks around the rhythms of gathering, serving, sharing and welcoming others into their lives. But we don’t have the traditional senior pastor, lead pastor, any paid staff or even a building. What we do have are elders and leaders of each Kingdom family who frequently meet up with other elders and leaders to pray for the Church and prepare ways to facilitate scriptural discussions.
We love Adelaide and desire to see a tangible presence of the Gospel in every city council and (eventually) every suburb. As missionaries we bless and serve the world around us, and seek to reflect Jesus by living lives that demand a gospel explanation. As adopted children, we get to experience the joy and rest found only in our Fathers love. This is worth sharing. This is Good News.
To find ways to connect in and gather with us visit here
gospel church newcastle
Gospel Church has a focus on planting Churches that plant Churches in urban poor and rural communities. We have seen two Churches planted; one is located in a government housing estate in Newcastle in a suburb called Hamilton South, and the other is in Central Hunter out at Branxton, which is a gateway into the rural areas. We hope that through these two Churches we can see people come to know Jesus through the preaching and demonstration of the Gospel, and to desire to go into planting Churches in places like these.
Our two Churches are focused on being the body of Christ. We are quite different, but we are there to serve each other and our communities. We want to be bold in proclaiming the Gospel, but also active in living it out. We see that the Gospel calls people not only back to God but also towards each other. We believe the Church should resemble a family, which means we share our problems with each other, we help each other when we are in need, we holiday together, and we do normal everyday things together. Through all this we can invite people outside of the Church to join us and learn about the power of the Gospel for transformation.
Urban poor and rural communities are different but do have similar characteristics. In these communities everyone knows everyone, which means that everything is going to be on display. Moving in means people are sceptical of you and it often takes a long time to be seen as someone who is a local. It’s messy to get involved in people’s lives, because people are needy and have baggage. And the entrenched and complex disadvantage that people generally experience in these communities make them very hard places to do ministry. It will be costly to invite people into your family. But it is worth it for the sake of the Gospel.
Inner west church, kensington
Melbourne’s Inner West is a richly diverse and close-knit community. I fell in love with it the very day I moved in, and yet was also saddened that there did not seem to be many local Gospel-centered, mission-focused churches.
Fast forward 4 years, and by God’s grace I was able to spearhead the planting of Inner West Church as a planting initiative of St. Jude’s Church. We launched in March 2015 with a small core team of around 15 people, but with a big vision to be a church committed to intentional community and local mission. We are focused largely in the suburbs of Kensington, Flemington, North Melbourne and Footscray, but hoping to reach out further westward as we grow.
From the very beginning we felt the call to make disciples who make disciples and plant churches that plant churches. To do that we realised that we would need a new strategy to not only call people to the gospel, but also to see them grow up into maturity in Christ. After careful thought we established a structure that has at its heart small groups of people committed to loving each other like family and serving their neighbourhoods like Jesus. We call these ‘missional communities’. In support of these communities, we also gather all together on Sundays to celebrate who God is and what he has done.
Pete is the lead pastor of Inner West Church and is married to Jackie. Find out more about Inner West Church here.
Regeneration church monash
In 2013, Stephen attended a church planting conference where the theme was “Multicultural Australia” and the strategic mission opportunity we have with thousands of migrants moving to Australia every year. As a Malaysian Chinese migrant, Stephen felt challenged to plant a church that would effectively reach the many migrants who were moving to Australia. Stephen’s pastor at the time wanted to plant a church that reached the students of Monash University. According to one SBS report, Clayton where Monash University is located is the most ethnically diverse suburb in Australia. Both visions were amalgamated and Stephen was sent out by Mentone Baptist Church to plant Regeneration Church.
Regeneration Church had their official launch in July 2017. They are guided by three core values: 1) Gospel-Centred 2) Transcultural Community 3) Missional. To find out more or to get in touch, visit the Regeneration Church website.
Southern beaches anglican, Dodges Ferry
In a partnership with City to City Australia, Soma Australia and the Bush Church aid Society: Jamie Bester, with his wife Claire and three children are leading a new church plant in the Southern Beaches area of Southern Tasmania.
This area was listed as the fastest growing region of Tasmania in the latest census and is without any regular Christian gathering.
Jamie and Claire gave up careers in business management focused on business start-ups and re-structures to serve God and his kingdom, seeking to use their gifts for Gods purposes. Jamie will be ordained within the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania in February 2018 to plant “Southern Beaches Anglican”.
God has given Jamie and Claire a heart for the lost and given them a strong focus on hospitality and service within the community. They believe that it’s important to not only tell people about Jesus but also to show the community the love that Jesus brings. Jamie says: “We must have total belief that the Gospel can change lives, communities and the world around us”
The vision statement tells the story of what this church plant is praying:
Southern Beaches Anglican: “Love like family, live like missionaries, making disciples as servants of Jesus Christ” Please pray this prayer with them. Find out more about Southern Beaches Anglican here.