When Church Becomes a Second Home

Sheena Gershom   |   October 3, 2023 

"What's the point of going all the way to church only to miss most of the service?" I asked my husband 15 years ago. With three babies in tow, we spent more time outside the church hall on Sundays than inside it.

Week after week, we would travel 40 kilometers and step into church… only to walk back out a few minutes later when one of the kids (or all of them) started crying!

Even as toddlers, they would often feel car sick and throw up on the way to/from church. Going all the way to church seemed pointless for many years… until it didn't.

Fast forward 15 years, and the church has become our second home; the people in it are our extended family. Our teenagers jump at every chance to be in church – and not just on Sundays.

God orchestrated a shift in my perspective that dramatically changed how I viewed church, and we're all the better for it.

The Hands and Feet of Jesus

I've seen the overflow of God's love pour out from the hearts of individuals into the lives of the community. The church has been the hands and feet of Jesus – ministering to the rest of His body.

Pastors and friends have traveled 40 kilometers (in Bangalore traffic, that's a lot!) to pray over sick kids and ferry us back home after surgeries. They've dropped off food, babysat my kids, and washed our dishes. They rushed us to the nearest hospital in an emergency and also traveled 700 kilometers to be with us at a loved one's funeral.

The friends we've found here have become family. This community has rallied with us through thick and thin. They've prayed for us through fiery trials and tangibly helped us when we couldn't help ourselves.

Saved to Serve

Fifteen years ago, when I was standing at the back of the church with three babies, a kid in front threw up. While everyone else moved their chairs away, I saw another young mom hand her baby over to a neighbour and clean up the mess made by a child who wasn't her own.

She didn't move away or wait for a volunteer to clean it up. Her first reaction was to do it herself – just as she would in her home. That was my first glimpse of how people served in our church.

I have since learned what a privilege it is to be part of a community that sacrificially offers its time, energy, and skills at the feet of God. It's the least we can do in return for all that God has done for us.

Be the Blessing

Hordes of people attend our church for the worship, sermons, and pastoral care. And the number of volunteers who turn up week after week to serve them is astounding. It's as if the whole community turns up with an agenda to be a blessing to someone else!

Over the years, the church has helped me, an introvert, venture out of my shell and interact with others who might be hesitant to reach out and talk to someone new.

We've moved closer to church since, and most of our family plans revolve around our commitments there. It's become natural to stick around longer than we need to on weekends, enjoying the fellowship of once strangers who've now become some of our closest friends.

If attending church seems more of a hassle right now than a joy… if you feel more drained out after church than filled up… let me say, I've been there. It might take a while, but when you belong to a spiritually healthy community, you will eventually enjoy hanging out at your Father's house!

Do you belong to a local church community? What's something you love about it?

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Sheena lives in Bangalore with her husband and triplet sons. When she gets a moment's peace, she enjoys journaling, reading, and listening to podcasts. She sporadically documents real-life stories and lessons she's learning from God's Word at SheenaGershom.com

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6 comments on “When Church Becomes a Second Home”

  1. I agree! This is the same way we feel abt our church. There was a time when all we did was attend the service and not take part jn fellowship. Over the years, and especially in our current church, I have grown in my understanding of what it can be, the way Christ meant it to be - His family and household - and what a rich blessing to be a part of it!

  2. Love this, Sheena Aunty! So true that we've found family among the church community.

    To many, their school or their university is their second home. But I definitely feel that the church takes that place in my life 🙂

  3. But here I find very few traditional churches where we relocated recently to new city ! I watch online videos of pastor Johnson! Nice write up ! It’s very powerful!!

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