core values

These beliefs, values, DNA and structure describe who we are as a church, and the convictions that have shaped our culture over the years. They communicate who God has called us to be and direct where we're going. 


We believe the bible is a collection of characters, writings, stories and letters all pointing to the person of Jesus.

We believe that all of life is about Jesus and all of humanity finds its purpose and meaning in Jesus. We make friendship with Jesus our chief end because we believe that through and in Jesus we can fully know the indescribable, incomprehensible and invisible God in a personal way. Because Jesus is matchless in mercy and limitless in grace, we set our hopes on Him and put our faith in Him. Because Jesus, our Sovereign King, is unparalleled, unprecedented and unequaled in glory, we surrender our lives to Him and worship Him extravagantly. Because Jesus is the greatest phenomenon the world has ever known, we believe He should be over, underneath, inside and in-between everything we do. Jesus is our brand, He’s our center, He’s our strength and He’s our ultimate treasure. He’s our deliverer, defender and rescuer. Nothing we do matters without Jesus and everything we are is because of Jesus. Simply put, at Soma City, it’s all about Jesus and we want to be known as lovers of Jesus more than anything else.


We are family. Because Jesus died so we could be children of God through adoption, church is not an event we attend but rather a family we belong to with other sons and daughters of God. Like a healthy family, we believe church should be a place where people are known, names are remembered and life long friendships are formed.

We are better together. Because God envisioned us living out all his plans for our lives in the context of friendship and community, we believe we are always better together. Meaningful friendships with others are not optional for followers of Jesus. They’re the visible evidence of an authentic friendship with Jesus. Without others, we’ll never be all God made us to be. With others, we reach our full potential in Jesus.

We are a movement. Because the Church is a community of men and women saved by God’s power and filled with God’s presence for God’s purposes in the world, we believe community happens best within a church when that church is on mission. We believe the church shouldn’t be a safe subculture for Christians, but rather risky, messy, diverse expressions of the gospel in motion.

We love circles more than rows because we believe connection is more important than attendance.


We believe that Jesus calls all his followers to be missionaries of the greatest love story ever told.

We believe the same God who sends some to Sudan has sent us to be the best friend the city of Toledo has ever had.

We believe God has called us to be the most barbecue grilling, story telling, fence hopping, meal sharing, risk taking, community dreaming, injustice fighting, party throwing, wall breaking, story celebrating people in our city.

And because there’s nothing more satisfying to the human soul than friendship with Jesus, we are relentless in telling our city about the love and grace of Jesus in the context of loving and graceful no strings attached friendships.


Because every human life is God designed, purpose intended, eternally significant and lavishly loved, we believe that every person has a story worth sharing and hearing. While we don’t believe that God created the universe to revolve around people, we do believe that people are the greatest display of God’s greatness in all of creation.

We believe every human life is a unique expression of God’s creativity and there’s none else like it. Because every cell, atom and muscle was carefully knit together by God and for God, every person we interact with is a unique opportunity for us to see God in a new way. And so we listen, share and celebrate life stories every chance we get. We intentionally look for pieces of God’s beauty in people, and we constantly look for opportunities to remind others of their great value. We believe the best, we cheerlead and we never let the troubles of life cloud us from seeing the beauty of life. We believe how our church sees and treats people in our city is the single greatest and most tangible measure of how much our church actually loves Jesus.


Because God, in pursuit of friendship with us, freely, joyfully and sacrificially gave us his only son, grace, salvation, mercy, forgiveness and eternal life, we believe that followers of Jesus should be the most generous people in our city.

We believe generosity should be a normal and joy filled adventure because it is a response to God’s extravagant grace and an imperishable investment in our secure future.
Generosity is an invitation to trade greed for joy through intentional, consistent and sacrificial giving.

It’s Jesus’s antidote to our discontent hearts and it is for everyone.    
Because generosity is not about the amount we give but about the sacrifice we make, everyone, regardless of age or status, gets to play, and everything we give counts in eternity. 


We believe that the church is a “SOMA” (Greek word for ‘body’) made up of many parts and we believe each and every diverse part of the ‘SOMA’ plays a critical role in the mission of the church.

We believe that Soma City will only reach its full and unique potential when everyone is fully engaged in humble service to Jesus, each other and our city. The good news is there’s no greater investment we can make with our lives than locking arms in service to Jesus, each other and our city. Everybody can’t play the same role but everybody can play a role. And while everybody won’t serve with the same capacity of giftedness, everybody gets to serve with the same posture of servant hood.

Since Jesus served us, we don’t believe anybody is too important or too big to serve others and since Jesus created us, we don’t believe anybody is too small or too weak to play a critical role on the team. No role is beneath us and no sacrifice is beyond our reach as we pursue friendship with Jesus and others. Serving is not a chore, an obligation or an option for friends of Jesus. It’s worship, a joyful privilege and way of life for friends of Jesus.


You cannot look intently at creation and not be overwhelmed by the creativity and excellence in which God strung it all together. Every star, bird, fish, cloud and snow flake is a reflection of his majestic ingenuity and as image bearers, we want to reflect God’s nature by innovating, stretching our creativity and giving our very best in all we do.

God does not need us but he has chosen to work through us and it is our desire to do his work with the highest degree of excellence and creativity. Excellence is not about trying to be better than others. It’s great stewardship fueled by a deep desire to use the gifts God has entrusted to each of us to the height of our ability as a reflection of him. We value excellence and creativity because we believe that excellence honors God and creativity leans us in the direction of our creator.


We believe Jesus is so infinitely powerful that trusting him with our lives is the only logical response to being his friend. Because we believe nothing is impossible for Jesus and he can do more in a second than we could in a thousand years, we pray, dream and expect him to do things in our city, our church and our lives that are way beyond human capacity. We will always wrestle with doubt but we won’t let fear and insecurity stop us from taking risks for the sake of friendship with Jesus and our city. We choose faith over fear, sacrifice over safety and courage over comfort because even when we can’t see it, Jesus is always sovereignly working all circumstances of life for our good and his glory. We are people of faith because Jesus conquered death and nothing is too difficult for him.