Our Name

WHAT DOES SOMA MEAN?

Soma is the greek word used throughout the New Testament for body, particularly used to describe the church. Soma is used to describe two fundamental aspects of the church who hope to display: the Church as the incarnation of Jesus and the church as an interconnected and interdependent. We chose this name because it captures who we are: not just a group of people that meet once a week, but a present and unified family displaying the good news of Jesus in the places God has sent us throughout the city.
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Our hope and prayer is that we will see Los Angeles saturated with communities living as the body of Christ.

Our Vision

Why We Exist

We are a church proclaiming Jesus in the westside of Los Angeles through word and deed. We exist to see Los Angeles saturated with the gospel so that every man, woman, and child has a daily encounter with Jesus. Our hope and prayer is to see Soma continually experience revival in our hearts and participate in the renewal of Los Angeles.

WE BELIEVE JESUS IS CALLING US TO BE A CHURCH PLANTING HUB IN LOS ANGELES

where we're headed

Over the next 10 years, we see our church multiplying into a family of churches in Los Angeles by planting multiple churches throughout the city as we equip, resource, and send missional communities and church planting teams.
We believe the fruit of that work will result in a transformed city culturally, socially, and spiritually.
We see the people of Los Angeles reconciled to God through Jesus
We see our neighborhoods and city without need
We see Missional Communities forming in every neighborhood.
We see new churches started throughout the city.

Our Beliefs

 

The Gospel

“Gospel” simply means “good news” and is the pronouncement concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is all about Jesus: That he is God and became a man, lived the life most abundant life with God and others without sin. Jesus died the death we should have died, as our substitute. Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and its effects.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,
— Apostle Paul, Romans 1:16

Gospel Power

The Gospel is the power of God to save (Romans 1:9). Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we have been saved from the penalty of sin (justification), we are being saved from the power of sin (sanctification) and we will be saved from the presence of sin. This means the same power that saved us from the penalty for sin also helps us obey God now. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Colossians 1:27-29; 2:6-7)
You are more broken and sinful than you ever dared believe, and at the same time you are more loved and accepted than you ever dared hope, because of Jesus.
— Tim Keller

GOSPEL PURPOSE

The good news is also that God sent his Son to redeem the world from the affects of sin and create a new humanity. Eventually the whole world will be renewed to the way God originally created it. Rebellion, death, decay, injustice, and suffering will all be removed. When everything is restored, God will be seen by all for who he truly is—he will be glorified. (Ephesians 2:10,14-22; 2 Corinthians 5:15-21; Revelation 21).
The gospel is not just about my individual happiness or God’s plan for my life. It is about God’s plan for the world.
— Jeff Vanderstelt

Theological Statements

In additional to the centrality of the gospel, we align ourselves to the Lausanne Covenant, a historic and holistic theological statement. As members of Acts 29, we are in full unity with its theological distinctives and values.  Additional, we hold the theological distinctives of the Soma Family of Churches in North America. Many of these theological statements overlap, but provide increased context for our doctrinal beliefs. 

 
 

Our Identity

living out of our being 

 

We aren’t defined by what we do. We are defined by what God has done in the person and work of Jesus Christ. What we do is based upon and motivated by who God is, what God has done, and who God has made us to be.

The New Testament  doesn’t define the church by activities, buildings, or programs. Instead the church is defined by God—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the gospel, we receive a new identity.

People are exhausted from working hard to create an identity for themselves. The gospel story offers the liberating reality that through Jesus our identity can be given, not earned.

 
 
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We are family

God, the perfect Father, has adopted us as His children.  Rather than a random collection of individuals, we live in committed relationships as brothers and sisters. We arrange our lives to maximize the opportunity to be a part of each others’ lives. We gather regularly to eat, celebrate, and share life.

 
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we are servants

Jesus not only rules supremely over all the earth, but he intentionally disadvantaged himself for the sake of others. Because Jesus was willing to serve us to the point of death, we are committed to serving each other and our cities.  We humbly and sacrificially serve by blessing people in word, deed and gifts.

 
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We are Missionaries

Jesus sent His Spirit to enable His Church to be a conduit of blessing to the world. We actively engage and bless our communities with the good news that our world belongs to God.

 

Our Leaders

Equipping Every disciple for the work of ministry

 

This is our team of servant-leaders who are leveraging their lives to serve, train, and equip the people of Soma to grow in our love for Jesus, one-another, and our city.

 
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missional community leaders

The primary organizational structure or backbone of our church is our missional communities. Therefore, the leaders of these communities are truly the front-line shepherds, catalysts, servants, and leaders within our church. 

 

Our Elder Team

Our elders come alongside missional community leaders and serve them through equipping, encouragement, and pastoral care. Each elder is appointed to oversee the big picture health, doctrinal unity, and spiritual growth of our church. Our elders lead as a team in a variety of ways but primarily through a commitment to prayer, teaching doctrine, modeling through missional communities, and pastoral care.

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brad watson

elder/pastor (staff)

Brad is married to Mirela and they have three kids, Norah, Maitê, and Truman. Brad's the author of multiple books including Raised? Finding Jesus Through Doubting the Resurrection. Before moving to Los Angeles to serve at Soma, he and his family helped plant and lead a church of missional communities in Portland, Oregon for eight years. He holds a degree in theology from Western Seminary.

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Jared brient

elder/pastor (non-staff)

Jared is married to Robin and they have three kids, Camden, Lucy, and Lincoln. They have been a part of different church plants in Los Angeles and London since 2006, and love seeing disciples being made. Jared also works as a visual effects artist in the film industry, and has a passion for great storytelling that demonstrates how the truth of Jesus unexpectedly breaks into our everyday reality.

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trip Forgeng

elder/pastor (staff)

Trip is married to Jessica and they have four girls, Ellie, Victoria, Noell and Joscelin. Trip and his family moved to Los Angeles in 2010 to plant Soma. Before moving, he served as a pastor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has been in pastoral leadership for over 20 years. He holds a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Organizational Leadership from Biblical Theological Seminary.

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Our Partners

 

 
Soma is a gospel-centered, theologically formed family of church planting churches that make disciples through missional communities.

Soma is a gospel-centered, theologically formed family of church planting churches that make disciples through missional communities.

City to City Los Angeles is affiliated with Redeemer City to City which helps leaders start churches in global cities.

City to City Los Angeles is affiliated with Redeemer City to City which helps leaders start churches in global cities.

Acts 29 is a diverse, global family of church-planting churches characterized by: Theological Clarity, Cultural Engagement, Missional Innovation.

Acts 29 is a diverse, global family of church-planting churches characterized by: Theological Clarity, Cultural Engagement, Missional Innovation.

Young Life invites kids to follow Christ, cares for them regardless of their response, and changes lives in the process.

Young Life invites kids to follow Christ, cares for them regardless of their response, and changes lives in the process.