I have been in ministry to young adults for a number of years now. It has always been inspiring to meet folks who are just entering their 20s and/or recently moved to Jacksonville. So many would come to our ministry, immediately get plugged in and wanna get involved — DEEPLY INVOLVED. They would give tons of hours to the ministry. They attended every gathering and special event. They joined leadership teams and volunteered for everything from mailers to missions. They literally centered their lives around the cause of the moment. They went on every trip and wanted to attend every conference. They even had dreams of working in ministry one day if that is what God had for them. The days were long and tiring, but they were determined to eat, sleep and breathe the kingdom of God advancing. They had what we would call passion.
And then the reality of becoming an adult hit them.
They finished college (which does not necessarily mean they graduated). They got jobs, and therefore bills and responsibilities. They got married or found themselves single…or both. They got busy with things that were important, but not necessarily ‘kingdom’. The way they used their time had to change. They had to grow up, and growing up is not a bad thing. Their love for Jesus did not change, but passion for Jesus no longer made sense in the ‘young professional, young married, young parent, etc’ world.
And some made mistakes in the transition.
Some chose college over actively pursuing Jesus — they got a great job, but loss their connection to a faith community. Some got too close to people they were dating, and had to live with the ramifications. Some were ashamed of those consequences, and some were defensive…or both. They lost that sense of ‘belonging’ that first drew them to the church and ministry…that sense of community that fueled their passion for Jesus. And some lost interest because ministry tends to lag behind the needs of the culture. Some became disillusioned at the hard work you can put into ministry and the seemingly small reward you get for your labor. Some would say, they just changed and no longer felt like church and ministry was relevant to their lives. Their love for Jesus did not change, but was either forgotten or became shame, guilt or exhaustion. All the things that contributed to their passion became nothing more than a memory.
Young adults tend to lose passion for Jesus and His kingdom even when their love for Jesus does not change.
All of these scenarios and more are a part of the journey into adulthood. And the truth is, these young adults actually can get their passion back. Their love for Jesus still has the potential to fuel their passion in such a way that they could eat, sleep and breathe the kingdom of God again. That reignited passion can find itself in their new context — in the workplace, in the living room, and even in the bedroom. The key is finding a place and a space where that passion can be reignited.
If you are a young adult and the above description is your story, I want to encourage you to make it a priority to get your passion for Jesus back. Your entire life will find itself when your kingdom calling becomes front and center again. The passion you once had for Jesus and His Kingdom are still available to you.
PS The Reclaim Gathering is one of many environments that exist to do this — it will be two days when young adults will be challenged to live out their calling to be the Church in their day. We believe that all of us have been called by God to advance His cause in this world. Reclaim is an opportunity to reaffirm (or reclaim) that calling. If the description above fits your life, I encourage you to consider coming to Reclaim Gathering March 23-24 in Jacksonville, FL. You can register here.