Breaking Bread TogetherBy SARA ARTHURS Staff Writer ~ The Courier
When he was in seminary, Steve Rumschlag felt he would be called to start a church. He thought it would be many years down the road, but the pieces fell into place and today, just six years after graduating from seminary, he is pastor at Turning Point Church, a relatively new church in Findlay.
Turning Point is different from other churches, Rumschlag said. The approach is “very informal,” focusing on discussion. Each Sunday, the congregation also spends time eating lunch together, something Rumschlag said is important to build fellowship.
The congregation started out meeting in people’s homes, then moved to the Lighthouse. Last week, they moved into a new building at 1025 Blanchard Ave.
Rumschlag said the congregation includes about 20 adults and 10 children. Some are Findlay residents while others come from the surrounding area.
The group is “very real” and what draws them together is an interest in better understanding Jesus, Rumschlag said.
“We’re kind of a unique church,” Rumschlag said.
Rumschlag said the services aren’t traditional services.
“We interact a lot,” he said. “There’s not really a sermon.”
A typical Sunday morning starts with the group mingling and sharing how their week went. Then they spend time in worship, followed by a discussion of scripture.
Then they eat.
“We eat together, every week, and there’s no cost for that,” Rumschlag said.
In fact, the congregation considers the meals together an integral part of the service.
“There’s stuff that happens around food that can’t happen any other way,” he said.
He said people share stories. It makes him think of the passages about the early church and how they broke bread together.
“It creates that camaraderie,” Rumschlag said.
Rumschlag said Turning Point’s small congregation makes it easy to get to know people.
“When you show up at our church you’re noticed right away,” he said. “You can’t slide in and slide out.”
He said the church welcomes people who are questioning, and who want to join “a bunch of people that are just trying to figure it all out together.”
He said many people are drawn to Turning Point who are “uneasy” with a more traditional church service. Turning Point’s informal, interactive approach gives them “the opportunity to find Jesus where they’re at.”
While the style may be informal, Rumschlag said the congregation takes worship seriously. He said he has met many people who are “nominal Christians,” attending church but not really taking their faith seriously.
“I run into this a lot, where they don’t really understand who Jesus is,” he said.
Turning Point, he said, is designed for those who really want to know Jesus.
It is nondenominational and independent, although it is associated with the Alliance for Renewal Churches.
“It is a partnership rather than a denomination,” Rumschlag said.
Rumschlag, originally from Toledo, was living in Mansfield when he felt called to found a new church, and selected Findlay as the place to do so because it is a growing community.
“God had kind of planted that seed in me,” he said.
Rumschlag and his wife Kristi and their children moved to Findlay in 2004. Before that, Rumschlag was working at another church that was struggling financially, so his position wasn’t secure. Starting a new church felt like “the right thing to do,” he said.
Some of the congregation’s founding members also moved to Findlay to start the church. “They all had a passion to see lives transformed for Christ in a way that was authentic and palpable,” the church’s Web site states. “In the winter of 2006 all the families finally arrived (in Findlay) and they started meeting together. Since then they launched a men’s and women’s group, a weekly worship service, and have been seeking opportunities to serve in the community.”
As a transplant to Findlay, Rumschlag said he has been happy here.
“It’s a great place for family,” he said. “We love it here.”
He said Turning Point hopes “to launch a lot of other churches like us.” He said many churches follow what he called the “Wal-Mart model,” hosting everything in one place like a big market. Turning Point instead follows the “Starbucks model,” intending to stay relatively small but spread into other churches in the future, he said.
“We’re very interested in partnering with the rest of the churches in the community in whatever way we can … . Not everybody comes to know Jesus or grows to know Jesus in the same way,” Rumschlag said.
Rumschlag said the new building offers a better space for children’s activities, something the church wants to increase.
Services run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (including free meal) on Sundays.
“Anybody’s welcome to come,” Rumschlag said. “The more the merrier.”