Jonathan walked into the leadership development group, a little downtrodden. He has been looking for a job for the past two months, nannying on the side to pay the bills, and we were about to talk about how God has uniquely gifted us with a specific calling in work…He was not seeing the results he wanted to in this area, and we were about to spend the next two hours talking about it.
Meg Jay in her book “The Defining Decade” says ““Twenty-somethings who don't feel anxious and incompetent at work are usually overconfident or underemployed.” In the past year of diving into ministry with young professionals we have quickly realized that work is where we often meet millennials in their crisis moments. Men and women feel the pressure mounting, and as they put on a brave face and try to superficially produce the results their companies are asking of them, there is often a moment of identity crisis. Millennials who moved to the city, thinking they were going to make it big in vocation x, find themselves not being as competent as they thought they were, and pretty broken up about it.
This is why in our leadership development groups we have a whole month focussed on God’s plan for redeeming work. We theologically look at work being part of God’s design before the fall, sin causing it to be more like toil, and God’s plan for redeeming it as He sanctifies us. We discuss some of the cultural norms of our social media generation which can tend to over promise and under deliver in regards to the ideal job. And we encourage one another in the way God has made us, with unique gifting, burdens and passion, so that we can be affirmed in the vocation God has us in.
Jonathan was in a place of brokenness in terms of “feeling” called to a specific work, as he was searching endlessly un the real estate sector. And yet, it was in this brokenness that he experienced the encouragement from Christian community that he needed to affirm his vocational calling. He texted me the next day and said he had sent out a new batch of resumes, taking the courage he received from the group and putting it into action. We are praying and trusting God for more moments where millennials experience freedom from God to be who He created them to be. We are reminded of Paul's words to the Corinthians, "Your grace is sufficient for me. You power is made perfect in my weakness".