Here are Matt Pamplin’s abridged sermon notes from his sermon “Understanding the Spiritual Journey of the 20’s”:
A Snapshot of Life in the 20’s
- Paula Darcy says – 20’s are about saving the world.
- This is a decade there is a lot happening – lots of big decisions – marriage, job, where live, buying a house etc, start having a family.
- A decade of diversity among our friends. In this decade we can have friends who are single, dating, engaged, married, have a family all within our friendship group.
- Claudia Hammond in a book about nostalgia says that we reminisce most about the 20’s because it’s a decade of first time (major decisions)
- 20’s is about feeling invincible. I am healthy, I am now educated, watch out world here I come.
- Decade of opportunities – there is so much choice of what to do and not a lot holding me back. Travel opportunites mean I can go anywhere.
- Maybe the word that best describes this decade is adventure
The Major Spiritual Challenges of the 20’s
- Transitioning into owning my own faith. It’s no longer my parent’s faith. Lots of different world views and philosophies that collide at this time.
- You start to realise that some of the things that were important to you about your faith are no longer that important. In fact you don’t know if you even believe them anymore! You are asking lots of questions.
- Learning to follow Jesus even when life seems ordinary – how do I follow Jesus radically now that I have a family, house etc?
- Practically following Jesus – now that there is no-one to keep me accountable to go to church, read the scripture, serve etc.
- The transition of not just believing in Jesus but trusting him.
Big Picture – what’s happening?
- What am I doing? How do I make the big decisions that are in front of me?
- For the very first time – life might not be turning out as I expect. Not married, not in the job that I expected.
- Time for making big decisions – career, spouse, where to live etc. But a pressure to make the “right decision”
The Bible and the 20’s
Matthew 7:24-29 / Luke 6
First thing Jesus says is – “anyone who hears these (my) words” (personal). Are we listening to the voice of Jesus? Jesus says that everyone is building towards something. Earlier in Matthew 7 he has said there are 2 roads that we can take. So Jesus says our life is heading towards something. When we look to build a foundation for our life who are we going to listen to?
Second thing (Jesus goes onto say) There are 2 guys building 2 houses. He seems to imply that the house look the same from the outside. There doesn’t seem to be a difference when you look at them but it’s what the houses are built on. Jesus says you will know how well the house is built when the storms come. Are you willing to take the time to build well? How you build now will have implications for the rest of your life. It takes time to build a strong foundation, Its not instantaneous.
The Third thing Jesus says is – “the wise man is the one who puts my words into practise”. So Jesus says “practise my words” but what has Jesus said in the sermon on the mount. It’s really important to notice what IS in there and what is NOT. Jesus never mentions – Safety, comfort, financial wealth, instant gratification, security or success.
But Jesus does say – Love your enemies, fast, pray lots, give to the poor, don’t worry about material things and what true blessing looks like.
The North American lifestyle is not the gospel of Jesus. I am not saying all parts of it are bad but we have got caught up in thinking this is the goal of your life when Jesus says following him and his kingdom are the goal of your life. In Matthew 6 Jesus has said “if you seek my Kingdom first then don’t worry about the rest”.
So when making decisions what filter do you use?
Advice for 20-somethings
- Seek God and his kingdom, may your big decisions be based on this.
- When you make a decision (this is coles notes) Pray (surrender to God, check your motives). Read the scripture, Seek wise counsel (people who will challenge, not just people who will tell you what you want to hear). Then actually step out and do something.
- Prioritize being part of a church. Commit to being involved even if you don’t get something out of it. Being in a community of people who are not like you will help shape and form you.
- Disciplines not feelings that shape us. Be formed by the disicplines you are practising (prayer, reading scripture, fasting, giving, serving). Don’t be formed / make decsions just by your feelings “if it feels good do it”.
- Sabbath rest not busy noisiness – Learn to practise Sabbath. Its hard to claw it back later. Sabbath is about playing and praying. But Sabbath primarily reminds us that we are not God….God is.
How can the church support those in their 20’s?
1. Celebrate – We need to celebrate we have some great 20 something’s at Grindstone. As a church we are fortunate to have so many wonderful 20’s. I often hear from different churches that 20 something’s are great but they don’t contribute as much financially. They do contribute financially but why not look at their passion and how they stretch us to grow. Let’s look at how blesse we are to have so many vibrant, passionate 20 something’s.
2. Listen / ask – Often we see groups of 20 something’s but take the time to ask them their name, listen to their story. People who are older need to come alongside and support and help (mentor them). We need to learn from each other.
3. Pray – It seem obvious but take time to uphold them in prayer. This is a significant decade.