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Why is it that we have a generation of young adults who are struggling in close to all areas of their lives? I have worked with college students for the past five years, and have watched hundreds of them graduate college and enter into the “real world.” Watching them in their first years of Emerging Adulthood is fascinating because I am watching some of very talented, best resourced, and faithful men and women unravel with the transition out of college.
That is where this project starts, with wandering. First, it looks into the cultural shifts that extended adolescence and gets a framework for understand Emerging Adulthood as a new stage of life. That research exposed several key parallels between what Emerging Adults experience and Israel’s time in Exile. Those themes are explored in the contexts of wandering, belonging and calling. Pulling from the book of Jeremiah, and his guidance for Israel, wisdom could be harvested and implemented in how a young man or woman wanders through their twenties, and it can transform a season of suffering into a season of flourishing. The key is cultivating communities to Wander Well together and use a season of exploration, Emerging Adulthood, to move the center of gravity in their life from rituals to their hearts. This can be directed through several pivots from: 1) from feeling scattered to being sent; 2) from thinking calling is bestowed, you are sent, to experiencing the uncovering of calling; 3) from feelings of loss and destruction to experiencing preparation as calling emerges; and 4) then finally when we move from preparation to creatively participating in our calling.
Church work with young adults; Generation Y; Young adults; Adulthood
Missions and World Christianity
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Aadahl, Angela C., "From Exile to Freedom: How to Wander Well through Emerging Adulthood" (2017). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 21.