Learning to be vulnerable can be difficult. If your church community doesn't value authenticity, it will require courage to live differently. But when you lead with both honesty and hope, 20somethings are drawn to you and your cause. They will devote themselves to you because you model that you can be unsettled and not fully "arrived" and still have hope for change. Being honest is about imparting hope that God is bigger than our failures. But don't tell them! Show them, in the way you apologize, in the boundaries you keep, and in the stories you tell.
Hope for the Future
A 20something recently e-mailed me the following encouragement: "I love that you are still growing. That is so exciting and hopeful for me. I don't have to just make it out of the crappy early 20s and then get stuck." This is the vibrant benefit of investing in 20somethings. From seeing them grow out of baby adulthood to investing in their stories and skills, the older leader has an opportunity to leverage new people into kingdom work. It requires grace and perseverance, but the leader who succeeds joins the psalmist in proclaiming God's "power to this new generation, [his] mighty miracles to all who come after me" (Psalm 71:18).