Cars line the street on Sunday nights in front of Daniel and Casey Snyder’s home in Mount Washington. Welcomes happen on the front lawn or porch regardless if someone is new or has been there a hundred times.
This group of 60+ young adults from Southeast’s Bullitt County Campus led by the Snyders runs like a big family. It’s the only way they know—a place for those who describe themselves as nerds, cowboys, and students, along with others looking for a job or on pause as they try to find their way in the world.
From the beginning, the Snyders dictated rules: No one is called out or put on the spot to find a certain Bible verse, pray out loud, or be forced to comment. Topics relate to real life. Cliques are not allowed.
“We know from experience that small groups can have awkward moments,” Daniel said. “We try to remove those. We say, ‘You don’t have to know Jesus to come.’ Everyone is welcome, no matter what…We tell them we will love them through what they have done or will do. In fact, we’ll love them harder.”
The group means everything to Tyler Beards, who began attending a year ago.
“If I could choose one word for this group, it would be family,” he said. “I didn’t know Christ when I came, but they treated me like family. I got baptized last December.”
There’s no doubt the Young Adults Group has a unique vibe. In fact, they need a more fascinating name, but all Casey can think of is “family.” The group began when Daniel agreed to lead high school boys at the Bullitt County Campus. He saw that after graduating from high school, these young adults, including his son, needed somewhere to hang out and asked Campus Pastor Heath Barth if he and Casey could start a small group.
Word spread so fast. Two years later, some 50 young adults from six to eight different churches come each week to the Snyders’ home for dinner, Bible study, discussion, and to meet others their age and have a lot of fun. The group often follows the sermon series at Southeast or a Bible study from RightNow Media. They have done series on sex, dating, and marriage.
No question is disrespected and no issue is out of bounds.
“We speak truth to them,” Casey said. “We want to prepare them to remain faithful. We would never put our kids on the baseball field without a glove. We want them to always have their glove ready. Satan is coming after this generation.”
It’s not just a once-a-week commitment. Casey often meets with one of the girls in the group during the week, while Daniel invites one of the guys to lunch on most Wednesdays.
When a man at a local gym asked the Snyders’ son, Braedy, what happens at his house every Sunday, he said, “Bible study.” That took the man by surprise. “Bible study?” he asked.
“Yeah. We just love Jesus.”
That sums it up pretty well.
Two years into leading their group, Daniel and Casey are sure they’ve received more than they’ve given.
“A lot assume you have to know a lot to lead a group, be their age, or be cool,” Casey said. “That’s not true. They just want someone they can trust. Someone authentic and real. We’re sure God has others out there to do the same thing. We believe God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called. That means all of us. Leading a group is a privilege. We get to see God work.”
Learn how you can find community through a group by clicking here.