Engaging Young Adults

The Point is one of approximately 40 congregations in Indiana selected to be a part of a grant initiative through the Center for Congregations that focuses on the impact of young adults in today’s churches. Churches across America are generally aging and shrinking, and the young adult population is the key to reversing that trend.

Over the past few months, a small team of young adult leaders at The Point have been focused on conversations with other young adults. They have asked a lot of questions and then listened to the responses. The stories that have emerged from these young adults are helping us understand how best to engage them in the church. We hope you'll take a few minutes to read some of their stories!

  • Ethan Ault - Age 26

    I grew up in Seymour and attended a local church and parochial school but never truly knew what it meant to dig deeper into my relationship with the Lord. I realized during college through a campus ministry that I had been going through “the motions” in my relationship with Jesus. I then committed myself to the Lord and actively sought him. After college, as I was working and learning to live on my own, I struggled with loneliness because I no longer had the solid Christian support system living life with me as I did during college.

    A year after graduating, I received a job opportunity back in Seymour. I was reluctant to go at first because I felt as if I had to continue my independent adventure. God certainly led me back home. I began to check out churches in Seymour and God led me to The Point. I was drawn to The Point for a few reasons including the biblical truth preached and its practical applications to everyday life. The Point was also one of the only churches with a young adult small group. I was nervous coming to a church where I didn’t know anyone but was hopeful I would make connections quickly. In three short years, God has done so many wonderful things in my life by providing me with a solid church family, a beautiful wife, a wonderful son, and a home of our own. I am so grateful to The Point for guiding my relationship with the Lord in the right direction.

  • Heather Kincade - Age 28

    This is not just another story, it’s a testimony! God heard my cry and rescued me! I am where I am because he has moved me in the way to go. I don’t know where I would be without God! At first, I was critical and hesitant to be open to the possibility of there being such an awesome creator who loves me so very much. I began to seek on my own and journal as I went along. He spoke to me in everything I read and heard! That Christian praise music really lit me up! I can’t express how much I love to sing praises to God! He also showed me that he has a purpose for me. This perspective changed the way I see struggle and everything around me. God is so good!

    My lovely cousins encouraged me to attend church and it wasn’t until I went to The Point that I really began to soak in God’s word and engage in all the possibilities that the “Christ following life” had to offer! Not only did I attend the Sunday services, I also went to youth bible studies, I was on the quiz team, and I went on mission trips! I can’t forget to mention Pastor Steve’s great sermons that instilled great wisdom and strength. The women’s bible studies encouraged me the most. Sharing and listening to others’ stories really helped me feel right at home. Knowing that you’re not the only one going through difficult situations is surprisingly uplifting! I love The Point!

  • Tony Franklin - Age 27

    I am originally from Fort Wayne and grew up in the Lutheran church. Growing up in the church, I was heavily involved in the handbell group at my local church, and became good friends with the organist/music director, Stan. I’ve always valued Stan’s friendship, and the mentor he became in my life. Now, as an adult, I still make it a point to stop and say hi whenever we visit. Stan has been a great role model for me on how to be devoted to God through music.

    My love for music drove me to be a music composition major at Butler University, and that is where I met my wife. We dated throughout college and were married 3 weeks after I graduated in 2013. That’s when I moved to Seymour and started coming to The Point regularly. I enjoy serving within The Point through several different avenues, including the worship team, media team, and the youth group. In all of these areas, I have enjoyed meeting and forming friendships with many different people. Similar to my relationship/mentorship with Stan when I was younger, there have been several men at The Point who I’ve come to look up to in my adult life. I’m thankful for these people and the support they've shown my wife and I as we walk through our young adult life.

  • Josh Spangler - Age 27

    I’ve been going to The Point regularly for about a year now, and I’ve come to call it my church home. Nazarene roots, a casual atmosphere, and the emphasis on community make it a great fit for me. When I’m not programming and running lights for the worship team, you can typically find me outdoors or out on a racetrack somewhere.

    After growing up in the southland of Chicago, I studied Mechanical Engineering at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology. This was an interesting time in my life for a few reasons. I did not seek out a church and much like any typical freshman I was quickly introduced to a whole new world filled with likeminded individuals (Read: Nerds) living on their own as adults for the first time. Growing up in the church helped to form a strong moral compass but without a solid local church family or spiritual support group I was less likely to hold onto north; less likely to adhere to my upbringing. Following a tough breakup, I gave into sin and turned away from my faith.

    Flash forward 6 years later. As a Senior Product Development Engineer at Cummins here in Seymour, I’d been subjected to a great level of mental and emotional strain. Combining this with the passing of my grandparents and my distance from God, I wasn’t in a good place. Through a sequence of interesting events, including but not limited to, Jehovah’s Witnesses reading Revelations to me on my porch and a surprise visitor from Florida telling me to go to The Point…I listened. Pastor Steve and the 20 Something’s small group have been instrumental in helping me right myself; helping me return to the fold and I’m incredibly grateful to have these people in my life.

  • Shawnee Ault - Age 25

    I came to The Point the summer before my 8th grade year when I moved to Seymour. Right away, I was welcomed into the church, invited to come to youth group, and eventually joined the Bible quizzing team. I gained friendships during this time that impact my life even still.

    After graduating, I moved away for college. My first year at college was filled with loneliness. I yearned for the community that I had before: youth group, bible quizzing, and friends. I tried attending small groups for my age but these groups were few and far between and I never quite felt welcomed. The loneliness took me to my lowest point as an adult. It was at this point where I truly started looking up for God to lead me. I asked God to show me His people. As God offered opportunities, I continued to say yes. I was eventually led back to Seymour and The Point, where I would later meet and marry my best friend and welcome our sweet baby boy into the world!

  • Jesse Wilkinson - Age 26

    After graduating college 4 years ago, I was blessed with a job opportunity and moved to Seymour. Since then, God has moved in my life in so many ways to not only build me, but to build the kingdom. He has given me a grand opportunity to be a part of a church that has a vision to see that people know Jesus Christ.

    When I first came to Seymour, I had very few connections and spent a lot of time looking for things to do. I had been looking for a church but didn't know which one in Seymour to attend. A friend suggested that I try out The Point. It was after first attending the church that I became aware of the 20 Something group. This gave me the opportunity to seek that much needed fellowship I had been missing. I quickly found that being a transplant in a new area, your friends ultimately become like "family." It is here that I built great friends, which ultimately led to having more opportunities to get involved in the church. God has blessed me through the blessings given to the church to better help grow my faith in Jesus.

  • David Wenzel - Age 27

    Hello! My name is David Wenzel, and I grew up in northwest Indiana in the city of Valparaiso. When I graduated from Ivy Tech, I moved to Columbus to take a welding position at Faurecia, where I still currently work. I enjoy football, kayaking, and cooking on the grill. I started coming to The Point about 4 years ago when some close friends from home moved to Seymour and began attending The Point. They invited me to join them at the 20 Something group. I enjoyed the people that I met there and am blessed to have them in my life. I like the 20 Something group because I get to talk to people my age about life situations we go through as young adults.

Thank you for taking time to read the stories of young adults from The Point. If you’d like to help us learn how to better engage young adults in the church, we invite you to take part in our Growing Young survey here.