We are a part of a local church community that is focused on living with an "outward" focus rather than an inward focus that is only concerned with those who join us during our weekly gatherings. This is an exciting thing because it seems to resemble the early gatherings described in the Bible and post- Biblical writings but it is a difficult thing to measure in this culture. I have said before that I am consistently tempted to measure the effectiveness of this church by the number of people in a gathering but then I have to stop and consider greater indicators.
1. The fact is that we have a growing number of people who do-not-yet believe or who are struggling with faith who are engaging with Christians in our community groups. These friends of ours are asking real questions and are sharing pieces of their lives with us as we journey together. My prayer is that through this they will see Jesus lived out through us and take the next step towards faith. This is what we wanted when we began this church community so how can we not be excited?
2. Through a few faithful members of our gathering, we have a food box ministry that is growing each month and is already at a point where it has to be the work of God to provide enough food each month. It is a joy to know that a small gathering of people who want to help others can actually make a practical difference in the lives of so many families each month.
3. This Holiday Season we are adopting some families in need from a local neighborhood and extending this "adoption" to the entire year. In addition to this, our gathering is planning to spend less on ourselves and spend what we save to build a water well in an area of Northern Africa. In addition to these things, we are continuing our partnership with persecuted Christians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
4. Without any prompting, many of the people in this gathering are finding ways to spend time with neighbors and friends in order to bless them and give them a glimpse of Jesus in real life.
We believe all of these things are commanded to us from God and are all things that we are blessed to be a part of. I want to thank the people of Soma Church of Orange County for jumping in a doing all they can to life unselfishly and passionately for Jesus.