Sozo Church
 
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Our Story

 
 

In 2000, Jason & Jennifer Laird were a young couple sitting in a church youth service when they first sensed a call to ministry and church planting. It was a God-given dream and like most dreams, it began as a small seed planted in their hearts. That dream grew into a clarion call to plant a life-giving church that would shape a city in a city that shapes the world.

After 17 years of serving as Pastors in two of the largest and fastest growing churches in America, they begin to sense that the time had come to step out and pursue the dream. The Laird’s call to the city of San Francisco was confirmed by the Elders of their home church and they were sent to the city in February 2017.

This dream to start a life-giving church that would help people reach their full potential in Christ, resonated with many other families and individuals from all over the nation that joined the journey and moved to San Francisco to be a part of Sozo Church. The team began meeting in homes for dinner parties around the city, building authentic community and meaningful relationships, and after 9 months, the team began to grow as local Bay Area individuals and families joined the Launch Team, which helped start the church in September 2017.

Today, Sozo Church is a life-giving church committed to helping people reach their full potential in Christ. From weekend services of passionate worship and relevant teaching, to small groups gathering all over the Bay Area, people are experiencing opportunities to Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose, and Make a Difference.

 
 
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Our Pastors

 
 

There’s something special about finding someone you can trust, especially when it comes to leadership. Trusting not because you believe they’re perfect, but because you know they’re human. Honest, transparent, real humans. They understand life, because they’re in the middle of it. They know the reality of struggles, because they experience them too.

Friends would tell you that Jason & Jennifer are those leaders. What started with a calling to ministry in the year 2000, grew over 13 years serving as pastors at Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, and has continued at Gateway Church. If you’ve known them during their journey, you know that one of the traits that the Lairds have always displayed has been faithfulness. Devoted to God, committed to friendships, and always inviting friends and strangers into their home.

You see, if you’ve known the Lairds for very long, you know that starting a church isn’t really an outrageous idea; it’s the natural progression of what God has been doing through their life for nearly two decades.

After serving as an executive pastor at Gateway Church for three years, the elders confirmed a call that Jason first felt in 2012: to start a life-giving church in the city of San Francisco.

With excitement, Jason, Jennifer, and their sons, Liam and Nixon, are stepping out to do what God put in their hearts many years ago. We’re excited to share a little more about this journey as you read through the pages of this website.

 
 
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Our Values

 
 

JESUS IS OUR FOCUS.

We believe that the church’s primary focus should be to reach people far from God and to teach people how to follow Jesus. As a church, we choose to make much of Jesus. We believe that the church is built on Jesus, by Jesus, and for Jesus, therefore the focus should be on Him. Jesus is the focus of the messages we preach, the songs we sing, and the prayers we pray. We focus on Jesus because we believe that if people see Jesus for who He is then they will be captured by his beauty and compelled to devote their life to knowing and following him.

Colossians 1:15-29

 

THE CHURCH IS OUR MISSION.

We believe that the Church is the hope of the world. Jesus gave his life for the church, He is building the church, and we get the amazing honor to join His mission. We love the church, not just our church, but also the capital “C” Church. We celebrate other churches. We believe that other churches in our city are our partners not our competitors. We love, serve, build, and defend the church at all cost. 

Matthew 28:18-20

 

THE CITY IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY.

We believe that the city has been entrusted to us. God has placed us strategically in the middle of the beauty and brokenness of the city to make it better and brighter. We have a deep conviction that if it’s our city then it’s our responsibility. The city doesn't exist for the church; the church exists for the city. We take responsibility for our city by seeking the peace and prosperity of the city. We aggressively seek to know and meet the needs of our city in practical ways. We believe that if we take care of our city, God will take care of our church. We love our city. 

Jeremiah 29:7, Mark 12:30-31

 

PEOPLE ARE OUR PASSION.

We believe that people matter to God and so they should matter to us. People are our greatest asset. We value people. We celebrate people. We invest in people. We care for people. We extend grace to people. We love all people regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic background. We believe that if we love the people nobody wants that God will give us the people everybody wants. We prioritize people over policy every single time. People are not projects but precious to God and to us.

John 3:16

 

SERVING IS OUR CALLING.

We believe that every person has a calling and that calling is to use their life to serve others. Serving others is one of the most fulfilling parts of the Christian life. We are contributors not just consumers. Jesus modeled serving. He said that the very reason He came to earth was to serve and give His life for others. He said the greatest among us is a servant. We believe that anyone can be great because anyone can serve. We believe that if you're too big to serve, you're too small to lead. We believe that if serving is beneath you, then leading is beyond you. We believe saved people serve people. Every Christ follower is called to follow Christ example of serving. Serving isn't an option but a lifestyle.

1 Peter 4:10, Matthew 23:11, Mark 10:35

 

GIVING IS OUR PRIVILEGE.

We believe that Christians should be known as the most generous people on the planet. We believe that Christians should give cheerfully, regularly, and sacrificially. We believe that as Christians we should live with open hands always ready to give and receive. We believe that giving should be with no strings attached. We believe that the greatest motivation for generosity is not based on a law but based on the generosity that has been shown to us through Jesus Christ.  We believe in the tithe and the offerings. The tithe is a simple way to show God that He is first in our lives. The tithe feeds the house and the offerings build the house. We believe that the tithe should be motivated by grace instead of guilt. Our church is not built on the generosity of a few but on the sacrifice and generosity of many. We believe the church should save aggressively, spend wisely, and give generously. Giving is not an obligation but a joyful opportunity.

Malachi 3:10, Proverbs 11:24-26, 2 Corinthians 8 & 9

 

EXCELLENCE IS OUR STANDARD.

We believe that excellence honors God and inspires people. We believe that the most excellent message deserves the most excellent presentation. We believe that excellence is about doing little things in a big way. God is into the details and so we are into details.  We are passionate about creating excellent environments and experiences for people to encounter God. We believe that God is worthy of excellence and people are worth it. We hold a high standard of excellence for every area of our church.

Colossians 3:23-24, Daniel 6:3, 1 Kings 10

 

THE LOST Are OUR PRIORITY.

We believe that the lost are God’s top priority and therefore the lost should be the highest priority of our church. Our church desires to equip the insider, but not at the expense of disengaging the outsider. We build our weekend services with the lost in mind. We are committed to do anything short of sin to reach the lost for Jesus. We are a reaching church, a rescuing church, an inviting church, a welcoming church, and a “do whatever it takes” church because that's what Jesus did for us.

Luke 15, Luke 19:10