Q&A: Building Toward the Future

Q&A: Building Toward the Future


Author, speaker, podcaster

Q: How do you see higher levels of loneliness and anxiety playing out in the lives of young people? 01

Our generation has a huge amount of difficulty because we’re trying to get meaning and purpose and health—all these things that everyone’s always wanted—but we’re being forced to get those from a smaller select group of things. Realistically, the promise the world is giving us, in a consumeristic mentality, is an individualistic dream or promise.

The meaning or connection you get from neighborhood, from family, from living in one location your whole life, from religion … all these things that really anchor you are starting to go away, one by one. Because we think, as a culture, those are harmful; they seem to limit us, and limits are considered evil in our culture. I think that leads us to disillusionment, which then becomes anxiety: “Oh, this is not what I’m created for. There’s got to be more.” There’s tension. There’s wrestling. You see everyone else seeming like they’re doing OK.

Q: How can spiritual growth come out of the frantic nature and pressures of this culture? 02

I’d love to see people return to more of a hyper-relational discipleship. Bringing people into and joining rhythms—that’s where there’s a lot more of the richness or relationship of actual discipleship. When you look at Jesus’ life, that’s how it happens. Life on life. Walking with one another.

There’s a level to which we learn and are taught better when we are next to someone going about their life. We need to get back to that, but that’s really antithetical to our moment. Because that’s very invasive, and we don’t like our space being invaded. It’s very vulnerable, it’s very uncontrollable. All those things are really difficult for us right now, but I think that’s where actual discipleship happens.

Q: What message do you think older generations need to hear about your generation? 03

I believe the older generation has something to say. Youth is the ideal in our culture; a 25-year-old Silicon Valley tech person is basically the ideal of what we should pursue today, but in the scriptures, it says if you have gray hair, that’s the ideal. We have competing pictures of what the finish line should be. Because of that, I think old people are being moved aside. But it’s clear in scripture that you actually should build toward old age, and then old age is like this afterglow season, when you can unleash the wisdom God has formed in you for the development of resilient disciples.

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