How is Soma structured?
At the core of SOMA’s leadership structure is a council of like-minded men who form theleadership 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 suggestedguidelines 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.