For most of my life, church was simply a place. More specifically, a building that I went to.
When I was in my early 20’s, I can remember working through the first big steps of adulthood. You know the drill. Finish school. Get a job. Get married. Buy a house. Today, I think they call this “adulting.” Back then, I called it a whirlwind because it all happened at once and it was a lot to navigate.
Rachelle and I settled into a community on the west side of Indianapolis, ready and eager to develop a rhythm as a new married couple. One of those rhythms was to find a church home. It took us a few years, but eventually we landed at Plainfield Christian Church and began attending services and serving.
A few months in, we got a call about joining a young adult Sunday school class. We were excited to get plugged into a smaller community and start making some deeper connections with people, but it was all a fairly new experience for us as neither one of us grew up being deeply involved in church. To us, the church was a place that we went to. You pick out a church and then go to it on Sundays. That remained our routine on Sundays, but we were grateful to have a consistent group of people to study and pray with. It was a season of growth for us.
Then, it happened. Full-fledged adulting struck in the form of our first child. This tiny little human dictated new routines on a daily basis. It was a new kind of whirlwind for us, but a beautiful thing emerged out of the chaos. This group of people that we went to church with became the church to us. They took turns bringing meals to us for weeks. They came into our home and prayed with us. They shared stories, encouraged, and supported us.
For the first time in my life, it clicked with me that the church isn’t the building that houses the worship service that I attend. The church is the people of God connected by the hope that we collectively share in Jesus. The church came to us during those weeks that followed the birth of our daughter and it forever changed my perspective.
We look back fondly at our time with this Sunday school class at PCC, but our memories are not of any one Bible study that occurred during our class time. Our most vivid memories come from this time when this group of people surrounded us with the love of Christ and impacted our home in a deep and lasting way.