25 Is the New 45

About a month ago Time magazine did the unthinkable and named a 26 year old man their person of the year. They also kind of dated themselves because he probably deserved the award 3 years ago, but it was a gutsy move nonetheless.

Mark Zuckerburg, founder and CEO of Facebook was Time magazine’s 2010 person of the year. He’s 26 years old, the exact same age as myself.

I think it’s fair to say that in a small way Mark has changed the world, or at least changed the way we live our lives in today’s world.

It used to be that you had to wait until you were 45 to change the world. The thought was that you would go to school and get a good education. After graduation you would get hired at a corporation in your field and slowly work your way up the corporate ladder until you reached upper-level management in your mid-forties.

Today I’d consider that idea a myth. My generation doesn’t believe that. Sure, many people my age are doing this very thing, and in a way I am. But there are now alternatives.

I think of Jamie Tworkowski who founded To Write Love on Her Arms, a well known non-profit organization. Jamie is only 31.

I think of Steven Furtick, the senior pastor of a large church in North Carolina. He founded the church when he was 26 years old, back in 2006.

I think of Chris Tomlin who changed the way many churches worship a decade ago despite being in his late 20s.

I think of Matthew McCauley, who at 33, is the CEO of an organization with thousands of employees.

25 year olds no longer have to wait until age 45 to make a large impact in today’s world. They no longer have to go through the corporate machine for 20 years just to get their chance to do something of value. Culture has already shifted in this way, yet I think many churches are slow to recognize it.

I have some vague thoughts on how this relates to the local church, but I’d love to hear from you…

In light of a culture that allows 20-somethings to lead and make an impact, how does the local church need to change the way it raises up young leaders?