Building a Community for Young Adults

August 31, 2022 | Uncategorized

On a Sunday in 2020, a young woman walked into King Street Church for the first time.  She was alone and looking for Christ-focused community.  She met Bria Zook, a member of our worship team, in one of the lobbies.  The visitor asked Bria if we offered a class or group for young adults.  We did not offer anything for young adults. That young lady spent a morning with us, but as far as we know, did not return. 

On that day a seed was planted… a hope that we could offer more for young adults like the visitor.  In the next year a few possible ideas were considered, and in March 2020 – yes, just days before the COVID-induced shutdown – a new young adult Sunday School class was planned.  That was put on hold during the pandemic, and ultimately never materialized.  But a deeper conversation continued between three of our own young adults.

In the fall of 2020 the team of four began to meet with Pastor Jay Brown to develop a plan: Bryton Zook, Bria Zook, Lauren Dukehart, and Austin Rosenbaum. 

Lauren says, “When young adults leave the education system there is really a lack of community that they were used to the last four years, whether that is high school or college.  In most church instances, there really isn’t a place for them to go where they are in a similar life stage.”

For college students, the change may also include moving home from another state, and the adjustment is even more jarring. This is a season when there are expectations to pursue your dreams, make life-altering choices, and navigate new jobs and relationships. The pressure is intense, and it can be difficult to maintain one’s faith in the middle of it.      

Bryton says, “The Porch is important because I have seen, over the years, the gap in church ministry for young adults in between graduating high school and starting a family of their own.”

Together, the group planned and prayed about developing a ministry for Young Adults called The Porch.  Three core values emerged that go hand in hand with KSC’s core values:

  • Being an open and inviting community of faith through relational connectedness.
  • Being rooted in God the Father’s Word in the Bible, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as we learn, grow, and pray to be spiritually alive through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Being missionally engaged as we serve the local community and the church together as disciples of Jesus.

In the spring of 2021, they launched The Porch. The first gathering was planned for May 20.

Bryton remembers that Pastor Jay cautioned the team to keep their expectations low for their initial attendance because it can be very challenging to begin a new ministry.  He encouraged them that even 10 participants would be a success.

“I knew it was a long shot but I still felt like 25 people was a realistic expectation,” Bryton admits. “And then the first night came, and 29 people came out, and it was really exciting!”

It wasn’t a fluke either.  The fellowship continued to grow.  Now, more than a year later, is not uncommon for 30-40 young adults to attend their meetings.  It was clear that there was a desire for this type of connection.

Lauren notes that about half of their meetings are filled with a dedicated core group, and about half is a constantly fluctuating crowd.  She says, “It’s exciting to get to meet so many different people and see so many different faces, and to know that there is a hunger for community.”

Bryton says, “It’s been encouraging that other local young adults have also had this desire of faith community.  I was a small group leader with one group of guys from 6th grade through graduation.  And now it’s great to see those guys come to The Porch and stay connected through the summer and when they’re home from college.  I am now excited to see the fruits of this ministry being able to fill the gap that we recognized.”

While they play games, enjoy snacks, and have plenty of time to talk, the leadership team have been committed to keeping Christ central.  They have pursued biblically-focused studies.  These have included Mental Wellness, a series on Adulting, and the Book of James (from Right Now Media.)

A series on worship culminated with an amazing night of worship together.  Don Baker presented one message on sanctification, and a very popular series was one on how to build healthy relationships. For one of the messages in that series, the team invited three couples connected to KSC to share about their own experiences.

Lauren says, “It was special for everyone to see the different perspectives of the three couples and to hear that they have had struggles as well as seasons of blessing.”

The Porch has hosted several recreational activities, including volleyball at Norlo Park, mini golf at Cluggy’s, a few game and trivia nights, a fall party and Christmas party, and worship and testimony outreach.

Their serving opportunities have been just as well-attended.  They gardened at NETwork Ministries, and have regularly hauled supplies to prepare for Once More Ministry distributions.

A notable event was when The Porch teamed up with InterVarsity at Wilson College to offer a worship night.  One of the leaders of InterVarsity – Emma Lowman – attends both KSC and The Porch, and she was looking to create a night that would bolster their weekly group.  A night of worship with a live band would draw in more students.  The night ended up being a great success.

Most recently, The Porch took a team to landscape at Monarch’s Way.  This ministry to young women is flipping a home that they will sell to raise money for their work.  The Porch hoped to make a dent in the landscaping needs, but they ended up completely transforming the grounds.

Just last month, the Porch began small groups on the second and fourth weeks of the month.  These groups grew out of increased hunger for relationship.  The leaders for the small groups have come from within The Porch family.

Lauren says, “It’s nice as a leader to be able to participate and give others an opportunity to step into a leadership role.”

Pastor Jay says, “From the front-row seat that I’ve had in seeing The Porch ministry develop, it has been an encouraging privilege to see how God is bringing young adults together to love each other and seek His glory.The leadership team has been amazing in how they have worked together and created an environment that welcomes everyone and puts them on a path to greater discipleship.We have needed this for a long time – and it’s wonderful to see how God is building it and using it!”

The Porch is a glowing example of God at work through King Street Church.  This is not just because they are growing or impacting our community in the name of Jesus. It’s also because the ministry has come about because four young adults responded to a need within our body of Christ, and they sacrificially dedicated themselves to meeting that need.  They saw a gap, they stepped up, and they filled it.





The Porch Young Adult Ministry exists to gather young adults to connect, support, and challenge one another.  We come from different backgrounds and life experiences, but what we share is a desire to build authentic community and grow in our faith and affection for Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:1-11).


We meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month in the Student Ministry Center from 7-9:00 pm.  At these gatherings, we seek to build relationships, share life together, and gain practical and applicable insight from God’s Word to apply to our lives.  Small groups meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month.


We also have opportunities to build deeper community in gender-specific discipleship groups on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month. In addition to community, the main focus of these groups is to dig into God’s Word and study other Bible-centered books and devotionals that will help us to become more equipped disciples of Jesus Christ!


We present opportunities for young adults to volunteer their time in Jesus’ name. Here are some ways to SERVE: volunteer at KSC, in the local community, and international missions. Also, we will hold serving events throughout the year that are great opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ in the local community, build relationships, and sharpen our focus on seeing God’s Kingdom active and growing in the world.