How To Be A Missional Young Adult
This blog is written by Rev. Patrick Wilkerson.
Patrick and his family are currently raising support to be missionaries in Colombia. To read about their adventures or to support them go to https://www.facebook.com/wilkersoncpmissions/
Get Involved And Love – How To Be A Missional Young Adult
“Maturity starts with the willingness to give oneself.” I love this quote by Elisabeth Elliot. There have been many times as a young adult that I thought I was mature or that I was handling something maturely. At times, I was or did, but I have been graced with years that make me older and give me the ability to look back and see that I wasn’t as mature as I had thought.
So how do we, as young adults, continue to grow into mature women and men? How do we take the faith and Christian life of our parents, family, ministers, and loved ones and develop it into something that is our own AND pleasing to God?
I would argue, just as Elisabeth Elliot did, by “the willingness to give oneself.” We must give ourselves completely over to Jesus Christ, to the scriptures, to prayer, and to loving our neighbors as much as we love God. As believers, especially if we grew up in the church, this has been easier to do during certain times in our lives. For me, I did these things well when I was younger and when it was easy to fall into the programs, events, and trips my youth pastor planned. But how do we do this when we are in college, or recently graduated from college, or we are just starting our career, or if we are newly married, or if we have recently started a family of our own? How do we do this when we are on our own to develop our faith more than it already is?
I think it is easier that what we think. GET INVOLVED!
Think about the people whose faith you admire or the people who make you think “I wish I could do something like that.” Look at them and I think you would find they all have something in common. They fell in love with a group of people, a community, a place, or a movement and they got involved. Mother Teresa fell in love with the people of Calcutta, our Cumberland Presbyterian Missionaries Boyce and Beth Wallace fell in love with the people of Cali, Colombia, and right now you are thinking of someone else who has made amazing steps of faith in loving others. You too, as a believer, are called to do this and God has equipped you in some way to do it.
I know, easier said than done! Here are some steps that may be helpful for you to follow as you discern how God can use you personally in the mission of the Kingdom of God.
- Pray. Don’t take this lightly. If you really want to take this step of maturity, ask God to reveal to you what you can do. I will offer you a warning here. If you ask, you will eventually hear a calling and that may mean you have to do something. Running from your calling doesn’t usually go well for you… ask Jonah!
- With the help of God, come up with a plan of action. Figure out the steps it will take and figure out what you have to do to follow these steps.
- Do it. Whatever thoughts or excuses you can think of for not getting involved, put aside. If it means sell everything and give it to the poor, do it! If it means a move to a new place, do it! If it means giving up days off to volunteer or free time to be in a discipleship relationship with someone, do it!
- After time, live in and enjoy the feeling and the blessings you experience only when you are living in full accordance with the will of God. I’m not saying it wont be hard, but I am saying that there is an amazing feeling you have when you are in the presence of God doing what He has called you to do.
I want to conclude by encouraging you. The fact that you are reading this shows that you are yearning for God to move in your life in a major way so that you can do what Jesus commanded us to do. Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (NLT)
So go and love because you are loved. Remember that nothing is too big or small. A relationship with a marginalized individual is just as important as a life in Calcutta. Listen and look for how God is leading you and do it. Remember that at the end of The Great Commission Jesus told the disciples that he was with them always until the end of time. The same is for you and for me.
My prayer for you and me today is that we develop a mature faith that drives us to love.