The tiny cafe tables at The Loft were lined up in rows, with a six-foot clearance around each table, and one chair pushed under. It was a striking contrast to how it used to be a year ago, with four chairs per table. It was hard to imagine how one could connect with someone else within these limitations.
Parkside’s ministry to young adults has been meeting consistently on Wednesday nights throughout the pandemic, first with Zoom meetings and then outdoor meetings before moving back to The Loft for the winter. The consistency has been important for the ministry.
“Most of the people who come are in their 20s. They are new to the area, starting a new job, or in some type of transitional stage,” Pastor Brandon Smith described. “A person typically comes to meet people in their age group with whom they can spend meaningful time. The worship and biblical teaching we offer is important, but the forming of relationships and growing together is vital for this group.”
As young adults arrived and sat down, some chatted across the six-foot expanse, others picked up a chair to sit at a table with a friend. Pastor Brandon Smith began by opening the Bible.
“We’re currently studying Romans,” Brandon said later. “Romans is a great book for young adults. It teaches them how to discern what they hear in the world and directs them to the core of the gospel and the foundation of Christian life.”
This seems appropriate given that he has recently learned of five Transit attenders who have come to faith within the past year. “It may be the pandemic that has caused these individuals to reevaluate what they believe and search out answers, but it’s been really exciting to hear how they have responded to the gospel.”
Once the teaching concluded, people turned their chairs to each other and began to socialize. “Transit is the most relational ministry I am part of,” Brandon said. “The people who come become really good friends. A large group of them spend a lot of time together outside of Transit. Each week, I get to be a part of seeing those relationships grow and mature. That’s my favorite part for sure.
“The pandemic hasn’t changed that—in fact, I think it has strengthened it. Although Transit isn’t sponsoring as many events as we did in the past, now the fellowship is more organic. People get together often and invite others to join if they are comfortable. The group actually seems to have gotten closer because of it.”
While community looks different right now, it is still happening at Parkside and through ministries like Transit. We invite you, if you are a young adult (23-35 years of age, married or single) and are looking for a place to get plugged in, to visit Transit this next Wednesday at 7:30pm at The Loft.