A Book Summary from Books At a Glance
About the Author
Jeff Vanderstelt is the visionary leader for the Soma Family of Churches and the lead teaching pastor at Doxa Church in Bellevue, Washington.
Vanderstelt present a case for all-life ministry and discipleship in deep personal relationships between Christians, their neighbors, and their community institutions. Vanderstelt builds the case for such a ministry model through theological reflection, compelling anecdotes, and practical ideas for how to execute such missional communities.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Beginnings
1. It Began in a Boat
2. Jesus Goes to Poker Parties
Part 2: Jesus
3. Jesus is Better
4. Jesus Did It Better: We Have Been Saved
5. Jesus Does It Better: We Are Being Saved
6. Jesus Will Make It Better: We Will Be Saved
Part 3: Discipleship
7. All-of-Life Discipleship
8. Life on Life
9. Life in Community
10. Life on Mission
Part 4: New Identity
11. You Do Who You Are
12. We Are Family: Baptized into the Name of the Father
13. We are Servants: Baptized in the Name of the Son (The King)
14. We are Missionaries: Baptized into the Name of the Holy Spirit
Part 5: The Everyday Stuff
15. Everyday Rhythms
16. An Everyday Plan
17. Everyday People on Mission
Appendix A: Missional Community Covenant Template
Appendix B: Missional Community Covenant Sample
It Began in a Boat
Vanderstelt recounts the events that led up to his decision to pursue church life on a new model. Although he was seeing great success as a pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, Vanderstelt was experiencing deep depression and a loss of focus. On a fishing trip, his father recounted how their new discipleship pastor was inspiring them to engage in whole-life discipleship by opening their home to others. Vanderstelt was both struck and perplexed by his father’s new vision for ministry. He was struck because Vanderstelt had been operating with a view of church as an “event” and “spectator sport” rather than church as the “Jesus-gathered people” sent out into the world. He was perplexed because he grew up in a family that always had an open door to others. How could this be a new discovery for his father? Vanderstelt realized it was because the institutional church had never recognized that what his family had been doing for years was actual ministry. With this new revelation, Vanderstelt began a journey to correct these blind spots in the church, leave his position at Willow Creek, and join a ministry friend in the Seattle area to church plant.
Jesus Goes to Poker Parties
Vanderstelt describes one of the first outreach meetings he and his wife hosted in the Seattle area. Using recreational poker and hot meals, Vanderstelt began to cast a vision to those around the tables of a different way of doing church. Vanderstelt provides some biblical warrant for why feasts and parties have always been at the forefront of how God gathers, keeps, and empowers his people. After all, it’s a cosmic feast, not a cosmic worship service, the Bible uses to describe our eternal life to come.
Clustered around the central role of hospitality is Jesus’ model of breaking down the barriers between sacred and secular space. It is not events, programs, or places that define sacred space, but the presence of the Divine Son in and through his redeemed sons and daughters. With this perspective, Vanderstelt and his initial collaborators wondered what a church community might look like that brought Christ to every aspect of their lives, particularly, their home life and professional life in business. The Soma Community of Churches was birthed to begin answering that question practically.
Buy the books
Saturate: Being Disciples Of Jesus In The Everyday Stuff Of Life