April/May 2019 - Vol. 103

                  Legacy Conference 2019
. Young Professionals On Mission
by Michael Shaughnessy,

Navigating Your Twenties
January 18-20 (2019) saw 120 people from Canada, the United States, and Mexico converge in Minnesota for the 2019 young professionals’ Legacy Conference on Navigating Your Twenties

It is a span of life that is challenging because so many things change so many times: friends, family, career, housemates, and debt levels.

It is also the case that many of the most important decisions one will ever make are made in these years and they can affect the rest of one’s life.

Some of the key points made were:

  • the value of getting rooted with people who will call you on in discipleship,
  • facing the natural fears that come with this stage of life,
  • how to know God’s will and trust him in all circumstances,
  • how to witness to those around you,
  • how to make new friends and have a great time in Minnesota in the winter

Young Pro Podcast Launch

We are about to launch a podcast – a weekly, twenty-minute show – on the subject of doing outreach to those in their twenties, young professionals as they are often called.

Travis Wesenberg, the producer, interviewed Mike Shaughnessy about what they would be doing

Travis: These are not the easiest years in life. Everything important seems to be in a state of flux. It is when students transition to “adulting” and eventually reach adulthood. Mike, you have covered that a lot in this newsletter. What can we expect to hear in the podcasts?

Mike: What we will discuss - and by ‘we’ I mean a variety of people who are working in this space - we will discuss this newly emerging stage of life, the opportunities it provides for presenting the gospel, and how we can do that.

Presenting the Gospel
Travis: Is this stage of life just trend, or is this here to stay? Many young professionals feel the older generation sees this extended transition as a problem that needs to be fixed.

Mike: This is the new reality. There is no going back. The necessity of being better educated is real. So are more debt, higher prices, greater mobility, unemployment, and relational
instability. The higher stress level is real but it also creates a great opening for the gospel.

Travis: The people who will be listening to these podcasts are people who want to do mission. They are people who want to pass on their faith to their peers. They are eager to get started.

Mike: Yes. And anywhere you have two or three who want to start a Young Professionals Outreach you have it half-started already. You have a team!

The next obstacle is: Where to start! Doing nothing is never a way to start. It’s like the old Irish joke: “How do you get to Dublin from here?” The reply is, “Oh, I wouldn’t start from here.” My
point is that you start where you are! And you start by doing something.

But that ties into the other big obstacle to starting a YPO: fear of failure. It is funny how powerful the fear of failure is. The mere potential of experiencing that bad feeling keeps people from acting and that guarantees failure! Whoops!

Travis: Why do you think this is an opportunity, or as we often say, an open door for mission?

Mike: Many people at this age lack a stable foundation for what they believe. They grew up with a post -modern worldview. They accept the utter inconsistency in their thinking, but they don’t like it. Most still want a worldview that works rather than accepting confusion.

In addition, most young adults do not have stable, reliable friends. They had some in high school or at university but now they spend their day at work, mainly with strangers, few of whom are
peers. A good YPO is built around this amazing opportunity. We can be the best friends, loyal, gracious, servant hearted, inclusive. Friendship works like gravity. It draws people in. So, this
is a great opportunity for the gospel of love and truth.

Travis: Can you give us a preview of what things will be covered in the upcoming podcasts?

Mike: We’ll have two main kinds of podcasts. One will be “the news”. There is a lot going on in different places. We will cover what’s working in Kansas City, what’s new in Lansing, what’s challenging in Columbus and what’s starting in Seattle.

Second we will do training on things like developing ‘a genius for friendship’, creating a winning environment or helping people take the next step further up and further in.

Travis: The first podcast is already up on the Spotify and Apple Music apps. (Download those apps free. Then search for YoungPro Podcast on either.)

Life is busy, as we all know, but these great podcasts can be listened to on the way to work or when doing you laundry.

Youth struggle with the desire to fit into the culture of the world around them, especially when that culture speaks strongly but wrongly.

Helping youth to see the truth amid a flood of lies is not easy. Sometimes the “naked” Scripture says it best. When we fail to obey God, the consequences lead from bad to worse.

[This article originally appeared in the Kairos Youth Culture Newsletter, Issue 130 - February 2019.]

Michael Shaughnessy Michael Shaughnessy is the Kairos director for the Sword of the Spirit both in North America and Internationally. He is the editor of the Kairos Youth Culture Newsletter. Kairos is an international federation of outreaches to high school, university and post university aged people.
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