A writer named Trevin Wax, who is 33, gives these pieces of advice for those of you in your twenties:
- Read beyond the requirements of college, church, or work. That’s right. Read. Feel free to enjoy video games, movie-watching, or other fun activities, but make sure you are intentional about deepening the well of your spiritual and educational life. You’ll soon discover how much need to draw from that well.
- Build relationships and connections with people who care about similar things. Find people you respect. Learn from them. Walk with people in ministry and learn from their successes and failures. Seek out mentors and listen to them.
- Embrace the big markers of life. If you believe God is calling you to marriage and childbearing, don’t postpone those two things indefinitely. Truth is, no one is ever really “ready” to have a kid. Ever. You’re never “mature” enough or “financially stable” enough to get married or have kids. I actually think, most of the time, the reverse is true. Marriage and kids are often what God uses to grow us up.
- For those who are single by circumstances or by calling, please do not misinterpret the previous word as suggesting that you can’t be mature without marriage or kids. History is filled with examples of Christians whose singleness (whether permanent or temporary) provided the opportunity to channel passion and wisdom into fruitful ministry. Take John Stott’s advice: “Go wherever your gifts will be exploited the most.”
- Future pastors, sermon preparation doesn’t start when you get a ministry position. It’s the result of whole-life preparation. Remember that. And start preparing now. Immerse yourself in the Word and in the lives of people.
- Future missionaries and church leaders, you are on mission now. You don’t need a title, a ministry position, or a seminary degree before you’re on mission. Jesus’ commissioning is all you need to love God, love people, and witness to the truth of the gospel. John Mayer sings ”Waiting On the World To Change.” It did. 2000 years ago when a dead Man walked out of His tomb. So let’s get going.
- When the day arrives and a leadership role is thrust upon you, you’d better be the person you need to be. You can and will do some training, of course, but so much of your role requires you to be a certain kind of person, not just do a certain kind of thing.
- Be willing to serve in the trenches of ministry without praise or acclamation. Serve your church. Work hard at whatever job you’re at. Encourage the people around you. If God chooses to expand your sphere of influence, wonderful. If not, then be the best you can be right where you are.
He ends with this encouragement:
Friends, if you are entering or still in your twenties, let me exhort you: do not sit these years out. Do not wait on the big job or the amazing ministry you think you deserve. Love God and love people now.
Become the person you want to be in your thirties; prepare for the role you’d like to have, even if, like me, you’re busing tables at Cracker Barrel. You’re not waiting on anyone, and time won’t wait for you either.