20-somethings need a home

In today’s economy it’s pretty rare for a 20-something to own their own home. Especially in California. At the very least it’s even more rare to live in a stable living environment (that’s not their parents).

A safe place.

Tonight, after leading another week of the Summer Book Study it hit me.

20-somethings need a home.

My friend Summer’s graciously allowed us to meet in her home the past three weeks, and it’s fostered so much more than a Panera or a Starbucks ever could.


Because there’s less people.

Less distraction.

Less noise.

No interference.

You get the picture.

Remember those drawings we used to make when we were a kid of a house? It’s like that.

We need a place to belong.

To feel at home.

A place to share our deepest, darkest fears…usually stemming back from our childhood. It’s super painful and if not dealt with in a safe environment…one might never share.

Or find help.

This group that I’m leading this summer was totally impromptu. It wasn’t affiliated with a church. I didn’t ask for a pastor’s permission.

I just did.

I asked around who wanted to be involved and those who came, came.

“You get what you put into it” is our motto.

And you know what? It’s refreshing. Those who are committed show up. On time. Every week.

I love it.

So much.

If you’re wondering how to lead young adults at your church…the best place to start is in a home. It doesn’t even have to be official.

“You build it and they will come” is your motto.

Over the past three years I’ve had the privilege of leading discussions, small groups, spoken at conferences, attended conferences, launched and re-launched a 20-somethings ministry at North Coast Church in Vista, CA…and let me tell you…it’s rough.

Once you think you’re building any sort of momentum it changes.

Someone leaves.




Falls away.


That’s why I think the importance of building a Christ centered community starts in the home. It’s what my parents taught me from such a young age. Not one night has gone by in the Johnson household where dinner wasn’t being served. Together.

In community.

That’s why I take such great responsibility in finding a tool that will work with an age group that is always (and will always be–for that matter) in such great transition.

So here’s where you come in.

Suggest meeting together.

Find a home.


Keep meeting.

The end.

Dear Jesus,

Thank you God for the opportunity to continue to lead my generation and be a facilitator. Wake up those who are capable of leading and provide a home for those who are willing to host. Amen.

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11, NIV).


  • Brit Windel

    Excellent post Renee!

    Our church has been struggling with this ministry since the dawn of the church.

    I have recently been charged with ‘solving’ this problem and have been really struggling with the what’s the next step solution. Feel God saying just pull the trigger. Its about being together, not about a program, or a study. Just provide the ‘den’ for folks to come to.

    Great reminder to just do it Renee

  • Susan Meissner

    You know how my heart beats for this generation, Renee. May I just add a shout-out to people in their 40s and 50s who have a home they can ‘loan’ to a 20/30s small group, just for a couple hours one night a week, OFFER YOUR HOME! Especially if you’re a recent empty-nester. Contact your small groups director or 20s/30s leader and offer your home. Then go out for date-night on that night. Eat a leisurely meal, catch a movie, go window-shopping or visit people in the hospital or play Scrabble at your local Panera. Just give these young people the space and the place they need to build community. They just need your cozy home and two hours. You will be doing something phenomenal, possibly life-changing.
    Sue Meissner
    Director of Small Groups
    The Church at Rancho Bernardo

  • Renee Johnson

    Thanks Britt and don’t be discouraged. Just keep a home ready. Be intentional about those who show up and growth will almost ALWAYS happen 🙂

    Susan, GREAT point!!! Yes. any homes to offer? Let’s do it.