The Hohmanns: A search for connection
Billy and Trish have a story that is common to so many couples. When you begin a life together, you not only combine finances and habitats; faith becomes an important topic as well. When both parties are raised with different ideas about church, worship, music, and serving, it can leave them with more questions than answers. Even when the differences are subtle, finding a church “home” can be a challenge. Billy and Trish each had clear ideas of what they didn’t want, but struggled to find common ground on what they did want. Finally Trish encouraged Billy to attend a church led by a pastor that she knew from her youth. Even though it was a significant drive from their home, Trish enjoyed the messages, and Billy got involved in serving. But over time, the majority of the family lost their passion for attending. Often Billy would find himself sitting in church alone. While he didn’t have all the answers, he knew one thing very clearly: THIS was not the way he hoped church and family would collide.
By this point, the youngest of their three children, Katie, began attending Access Church. She had been invited by a neighborhood friend and immediately fell in love with the student environments at Access. Her former church was filled with many warm and wonderful people, but there was no opportunity for her to connect with other teenagers and hear God’s truth spoken in a way that resonated in her life. While that had been on a “list” of ideas for her former church, they couldn’t find a way to execute it. Access Church was such a great fit that Katie invited her entire family to attend Access with her.
Both Billy and Trish admit that there was a little culture shock when they attended Access for the first time. But it was a positive change. “I love the contemporary upbeat music,” Trish said. “The music is so alive and fresh.” Billy connected immediately with the messages. “I feel spiritually fed here,” he said. The most exciting development is that Billy no longer heads off to church alone. Trish and their two daughters attend faithfully. Even if Billy is out of town, the girls can be found serving and worshipping together with their Access family. Trish and the girls serve in Waumba Land, and Billy is a Guest Services captain. They were all able to plug into strategic service opportunities that fit their personalities.
One of the advantages to attending Access is the availability of Community Groups. Billy and Trish have been part of a group that has grown and birthed new groups at a rapid rate. “People are hungry for connection. We were made to do life together,” said Billy. “These individuals are not just our neighbors, they are our family. It doesn’t matter where you come from; there is a place for you here.”
When Billy and Trish look around during weekend services and at their Community Group, they feel confident they are exactly where they should be. Billy is grateful to see the way God has grown his family. He knows he never would have been the catalyst for change on his own. He can see the way God reached out to each member of his family through Access.
The message they would share with anyone in their shoes is very simple. “Give Access Church an opportunity to show you what God intended community to look like. Don’t be afraid to search for something more.”
Recently Trish took an important step in her faith journey and was baptized. Check out her story in the video below.
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