Many teenagers are asking, “What is God’s will for my life?” Young people want to know their purpose on this earth. They’re wondering about God’s plan for them and their future.
A student once asked me an interesting twist on an age-old question. “Since we’re supposed to follow God and surrender our lives to God, why do some Christians tell people to follow their dreams and pursue the job they want?”
That’s just another way of asking, “What is God’s will for my life?” I answered this using wisdom from Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven model of ministry. Here’s what I shared with that student. I hope it helps you have conversations with teens about God’s purpose and plan.
What Is God’s Will for My Life?
Following your dreams can be fully in line with God’s plans but not always. God put us on earth to fulfill five purposes:
- Fellowship (building relationships)
- Discipleship (knowing God better)
- Ministry (serving God by serving others)
- Missions (reaching out to others beyond our immediate sphere of influence)
- Worship (honoring God)
We fulfill those purposes through our S.H.A.P.E.
- S – Spiritual gifts we get when God’s Spirit fills us
- H – Heart (what we’re passionate about)
- A – Abilities (what we’re naturally good at or choose to develop)
- P – Personality (being an introvert or an extrovert)
- E – Experiences we have (educational, work, circumstantial, painful, etc.)
God uses all of our S.H.A.P.E. to serve him and others. He uses what we already love to do and are passionate about. So when somebody says “follow your dreams,” they can be telling you to do what God wants you to do.
But those dreams you follow must also fulfill the five purposes God put you on earth to fulfill.
How do you answer teens’ questions about God’s will for their life? Please share insights with your colleagues in the comments below.