Formation + Young Adults


Framework for Understanding


Questions asked by those raised in Church:

  • Can I be a Christian without believing everything I was taught growing up?
    • What’s central to faith?
    • What questions can I ask?
    • What are expressions of church?
    • How do my political opinions gel with my faith formation?
    • How can I relate with people who I respect, who claim the name of Christ, but who are ​fundamentally different than me.
  • What is the Gospel f​or?​
    • Forgiveness?
    • Personal transformation?
    • Self-improvement?
    • Social Impact/Societal Wholeness?
    • Aesthetic Appreciation?
  • What community of faith is a “fit” for me?
    • “Feel” of the church
    • Impact on the community
    • Commitment to people/issues I’m devoted to
    • Quality of teaching/worship
    • What hills will you die on? (What are non-negotiables that you’d leave a church over?)


Core Questions for Most Young Adults1

Common narrative: “I’m supposed to have it all together, and if I let my flaws show, I’ll be exposed as a fraud.”


  • “Who Am I?”


  • “Where do I best ‘fit’ in the world? Who are my people?”


  • “Why am I here? What is my calling in the world?”


Jesus-Centered Narrative: “________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


*Some of this conversation has been spurred on from research College Wesleyan has done through Fuller Youth Institute’s “Ministry Innovations with Young Adults” program.


Framework for Conversation


Questions to Ask around Faith and Discipleship:

  • What parts of your earlier faith have “grown up” with you into this season?
  • What components of your earlier faith are you wrestling with (or even, what parts of your childhood faith have you given up because they don’t fit)?
  • What about your recent development in faith feels like a “win”? What feels like a“loss”?

○ Another way to ask this: What loss of faith are you grieving,​ and what new

aspects of your faith are you celebrating​?

  • What Christian practices are especially nourishing right now?
  • What Christian practices have you left un-practiced?
  • How is that (your practices and those you no longer practice) working for you?
  • What aspects of Jesus are freshly impressive to you in this part of your life?
  • What about the Gospel seems like “Good News” to you right now? (Or: what’s “keeping you Christian” right now?
  • How does your way of spending time, money, and relational energy reflect your current values? How content are you with that?


Questions to Ask Around Identity, Belonging, and Purpose


  • How would people who ​really​ know you describe you?
  • Outside of your work, what’s important to you? (What do you budget time, money, and energy for?)


  • In what environment(s) do you feel most comfortable, known, and accepted? (Think of the place, and the people)
  • What core characteristics do you value in those you call “friends”? What do you value most deeply in a potential faith community?”
  • How is your current community of faith helping you thrive and flourish? What else might they do to help?


  • What do you do that brings meaning, flourishing, and help to others?
  • What parts of that fit within your day job? What parts of that might you find other expressions for?
  • How can you partner with your community of faith to lean into this mission?


*These questions, too, were inspired by research done at Fuller Youth Institute


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Ethan Linder

Ethan Linder is the Pastor of Hospitality, Collegians, and Young Adults at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana, and the Editor of The Wesleyan Church’s Education and Clergy Development writing staff.

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