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Strangers to Family: How Lydia, Jojo and James Found Community and Acceptance

If you’ve ever sat through a Sycamore service, then the saying “the church that we see is as much your church as it is my church (or more humourously put, as it-ti-is my church)” rings a large bell. In service, we sit side by side and collectively share the moment as the weight of that statement hangs in the air but in our individual lives, what does that statement translate to?

We reached out to a few people to get a peek into what it means to call sycamore a church family.

Hi! Can we meet you? Tell us your name and what you do.

I am Lydia, a UI/UX Designer and Website Developer.

My name is Joseph Mathew Junior. Preferably Jojo. I am a freelance writer— I write YouTube scripts and video games dialogues and plot stories.

I’m James Iziren and I’m a student of the University of Ibadan.

How did you hear about Sycamore? And when was your first time in


Lydia: My sister took me to Sycamore for a show in April 2021.

Joseph: I heard about Sycamore Church from my mum. But I was eventually invited for service by my girlfriend and started attending in January.

James: A friend of mine visited and decided we were going to visit a church he saw on someone’s status—that’s Otito. I would have normally objected as usual but I agreed to go.

I first came to church in April 2022.

How long have you been in church?

Lydia: 2 years and 4 months, now.

Joseph: I have been attending Sycamore Church for 8 months now.

James: I finally joined church in May, 2022. So that’s a year and 3 months

Do you volunteer in church? If yes, which team? Are you a member of a connect and a lifegroup? If yes, how has the aforementioned contributed to your sense of belonging?

Lydia: Yes, I volunteer with the production team.

My team and past lifegroup members have provided me with people I can call family and can be vulnerable with.

Joseph: I don’t currently volunteer in church. I used to be in the Bodija physical lifegroup and it has been a big part of my Sycamore journey. Everyone there made me feel as though I had belonged to church even before I actually joined. It was an instant chemistry.

James: Yes, I volunteer but have not been consistent with it. I also attend campus connect and I’ve been a member of two lifegroups. When I joined church, I’d usually just run away after service. I didn’t say  hello to anyone until I joined a lifegroup. It was the community I needed to be in. And now I don’t run away after service anymore.

The church family

When I joined church, I’d usually just run away after service. I didn’t say ‘hello’ to anyone until I joined a lifegroup. It was the community I needed to be in. And now I don’t run away after service anymore.

How has your understanding of your faith or spirituality evolved since joining Sycamore church?

Lydia: I have grown to a space where I am personally convinced about my relationship with God. I found my true identity in who created me after joining Sycamore church.

Joseph: Coming to Sycamore Church has increased my general knowledge of spirituality, church, faith and the Bible. It has polished my spiritual life and also made church not just impactful but also enjoyable.

James: I have grown in understanding. The things I didn’t previously know are becoming clearer. I’m still learning and growing by the grace of God.

What is the most exciting thing about being a part of Church for you?

Lydia: The people in church that smile at me and welcome me home every time.

Joseph: I have been able to connect with like-minded, young people who are on the same faith journey as I am. And of course, the worship in church. It is something I look forward to at every service as I am a big lover of music.

James: The breath of fresh air. For me Sycamore has become a home away from home. And the church experience is top notch—having an opportunity to really worship and be part of a family.

For me, Sycamore has become a home away from home

Have you formed any meaningful relationships or connections within the church community? If so, how have these connections impacted your experience?

Lydia: Yes, I have formed a lot of connections and that has given me the opportunity to do life with Godly friends.

Joseph: Yes! I have formed meaningful friendships and connections in church and these connections have impacted my experience, as one of the things that is worth looking forward to is going to church and seeing your friends and loved ones— sharing a smile or two, and taking pictures after church. Lol.

James: Yes. Brethren from my previous lifegroup and those I meet in outreach and every unique individual I get to sit beside every Sunday has made my church experience worth it.

Having people to pray with and those to encourage me at diverse times has really impacted me. 

Also read: Four people shared what it means to be in a lifegroup 

Have you had the opportunity to engage in any volunteer or outreach activities organized by the church? How did these experiences contribute to your sense of belonging?

Lydia: I haven’t participated in any outreach but I volunteer with the production team and that has stood as a reminder of who I am and my ultimate goal, which is to build the kingdom of God.

Joseph: I had the privilege to volunteer for the Easter creative show. It helped me make the meaningful connections and friendship I have in church.

James: Yes. I volunteered for the health outreach some months ago. Getting to preach Christ and health to the people was a really awesome experience.

How has attending church influenced your daily life and decision-making outside of church activities?

Lydia: It has helped me to put God first, helped me to understand what I should do in my daily life as a true follower of Christ.

Joseph: Attending church has helped shape my daily life in big and small ways. One, it has taught me how to exhibit faith properly and two, to cut down on seemingly little things such as using negative words and having a negative outlook on life.

James: What I learn in church has become a part of my daily life. Living the God life has and is becoming a normal standard of life for me.

What would you say to someone who just joined church?

Lydia: I would say that Sycamore is truly home. Be open to growing and connecting with awesome people that would help you grow in all areas of your life.

Joseph: I would tell them to look forward to Church’s worship and the word. I would also tell them that our Pastor is pretty funny and he’s a joy to listen to. He makes hearing the word of God easy and simple to understand.

James: To belong and experience.

To get involved and partake in what God is doing.

Written by: Oluwatofunmi Owoniyi and Adeola Oke,

Tofunmi and Adeola volunteer with the Content Team at Sycamore Church. 

(Blogposts are creative expressions generously provided for Sycamore Church. The ideas and thoughts do not necessarily represent the position of Sycamore Church)

1 Comment

  • James Iziren
    Posted September 14, 2023 at 7:40 pm

    This is such a beautiful Read!

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