In 2016, a Gallup survey of young adults in the workplace uncovered an interesting statistic. Of the young adults surveyed, only 50% “strongly agree that they plan to be working at their company one year from now.”1
This stands in stark contrast to previous generations. Many of our grandfathers worked the same job for 30-40 years. So, what’s changed?
In my 18 years of ministry, there is one question that I’ve been asked by almost every young adult that I’ve had meaningful conversations with. Though it may have been worded many different ways, the essence of the question is, “What is God’s will for my life?”
In other words, young adults are asking: “What can I give my life to that really makes a difference?”
The Bible has a lot to say about this question. In 2 Corinthians 5:20, the apostle Paul proclaims the one thing that we were created to give our lives to— the one thing that we’ve been longing for. It’s the one thing that 50% of young adults would, without blinking, leave their current jobs for. This is the one thing that is God’s will for you life.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20, ESV)
An ambassador is a diplomat sent from one kingdom to another to accomplish the mission of the sending kingdom. Philippians 3:20 reminds us that we are citizens of Heaven. Our sending King has sent us here to this domain to be His ambassador. That is, to accomplish His mission on this soil: to take the gospel of Jesus to places where the gospel has not yet been. (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8)
It is this mission that you were created for.
In the early 1800s, five young men, students from Williams College in Massachusetts, gathered in a field near their campus to talk about giving their lives to live as ambassadors for the mission of God. As they talked and prayed, it began to rain. As the rainstorm got more and more severe, students began to take shelter under stacks of hay.
What happened next can only be explained as a movement of God. God began to bring revival on the campus of Williams College. Then gatherings began to spring up in the region. This series of revivals became known as the Haystack Revivals. But that was just the beginning. Four years later, those students formed the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the first official foreign missions organization in the United States.
Millions of people have been impacted by the gospel because of how God used those young men who understood that this one thing was (and is) God’s will for their lives.
What could happen in this generation if young adults recognize and ferociously pursue what it means to live as an ambassador for the King on the soil on which God has placed them? Campuses, churches, and the world might just see another great movement of God! May it be so.
Kris Dolberry is a pastor, Bible teacher, writer, and trainer of leaders. After serving in pastoral leadership for 17 years, Kris now leads Ministry to Men at Lifeway and serves as Executive Editor of Stand Firm, a daily devotional magazine for men. He is passionate about serving churches in their mission of making disciples. Kris is husband to Vanessa and Dad to Konnor, Emma, and Brady. They live outside Nashville, Tennessee.