The Apostle Paul was a mentor and coach for pastors, young leaders and churches. He was an expert in applying “tough love” when necessary. Timothy is a classic example of one who was admonished by the Apostle. “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6). Paul had invested too much time into his young protégé to let him become discouraged and depart from his ministerial calling.
It is easy to get stuck and find yourself going nowhere. You begin to accept your daily routines as normal. What you consider as average, God sees as below average. The abnormal soon becomes normal in our eyes, and what takes place is that we find ourselves stuck in daily schedules. We are experts in going through the motions; kidding ourselves that we are making a difference.
I like what the Apostle Paul says. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11). Now Paul, that really sounds good. But when does that happen? Is there an age where the transition from adolescence to manhood takes place? At 18, 21, 25?
I recently read a short paragraph by Mark Driscoll, former pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. “There was a day you would move from boy to man, and there was some indication of when that was. Now we don’t know…and the result is that you’ve got a bunch of biological adults…emotional children…boys who can shave.”
As a leader of men’s discipleship, I am appalled by the lure of adolescence. What is the lure of adolescence you ask?
The lure of adolescence is seeing men drawn back into boyhood, shirking responsibility and living only for themselves.
No doubt the video industry and the electronic age is a major contributor for men and leaders getting stuck making little to no progress.
Do you, along with thousands of others, feel stuck in the lure of adolescence? Crawford Loritts says, “The reason we have thirty, forty, fifty-year old adolescents… [Is] the breakdown of the family over the last thirty-five to forty years. With the rise of the divorce rate and the increased feminization of men, what we’re finding is a reticence of men to step up and step out.”
Good news! You do not have to remain stuck.
If you are feeling stuck in adolescence, James MacDonald from Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, Illinois recommends the following:
- Begin by believing that God has created you in His image for a specific purpose, and has a great vision for your life.
- Know that He has great love for you and cares deeply about you.
- God does not want to see you fail in your pursuit of life in Him (John 10:10).
- Identify what has you stuck.
- Recognize that time is fleeting. You must develop a sense of urgency about getting unstuck (Ephesians 5:16).
- Choose one thing you are passionate about and identify one action you can take this week. Meet with a guy you admire who can give you advice and encouragement in this area.
Enjoy the journey!
Bill Terry is the National Director for Men’s Ministries and the Assistant Director for Discipleship Ministries. Bill resides in Oklahoma City with his lovely wife Rita, where they will celebrate 44 years of marriage in 2015. He is the proud head of an extended family that includes two sons Gregory and Rodney, daughters-in-law Holly and Brec, granddaughters Grace, Annie, Emily and Elena and grandson Adam Gregory.