20 Somethings Need To Change

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Often times I talk about how 20 somethings need mentors and the desperate search for mentors. But there is an aspect of mentoring and 20 somethings that seems to get left out. The aspect that is missing is the 20 somethings themselves.

I think the biggest barrier that separates potential mentors and mentee’s (no matter the age) is both individuals do not think they have anything to offer to one another.

Simply put, this is not true.

The discussion that took place last week around the subject of 20 Somethings and the Relevance of Christian Conferences was a healthy one indeed. It provided a lot of people the chance to express their thoughts, feelings, and most importantly their ideas. But sometimes the mentor takes the beating (in the discussion last week it was conferences) when the mentee is the ones to blame.

20 Somethings it is time to stop…

Making excuses
Wasting time
Looking for answers
Feeling sorry for ourselves

20 Somethings it is time to start…

Taking challenges
Devoting time to task

Asking for help
Caring for those that cannot care for themselves

Can it be this black and white? Yes, I think it can.

Far to long 20 somethings have cried out for mentors and for opportunity only to run and hide when their voice is heard. We sit around talking about the “what if’s” only to return to the mundane and scared life the next morning.

The challenge is simple, start doing something

Join a small group
Volunteer at church
Ask a leader out for coffee
Turn off the TV and start a company
Take a trip our of the country
Ask someone to mentor you

The list could go on and on. The problem is we have so many ideas but such poor execution that before we know it we are not 20 somethings anymore and now we are the ones that are suppose to be leading but are still stuck hiding behind the “what if’s”.

What is something you would add to the list of things to start doing?




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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • Anna

    I completely agree with this. As a 20-something myself, it’s so easy for me to sit on my couch and feel sorry for the fact I have no idea what I want to do ‘when I grow up’, feeling lost, et cetera.

    But at some point I’ve got to decide to quit being reactive and begin being proactive.

    Of all the truly successful people out there (and I use the term ‘successful’ loosely because the term can be so subjective), I wonder how many decided they were going to wait to figure out what they were meant to do (or similarly, ‘called’ to do) before they started doing it as opposed to simply picking a path and choosing to move forward.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      you said it well:
      “quit being reactive and begin being proactive.”

  • http://www.cartoonrebellion.net Jenny

    I couldn’t agree more with this. And, wow am I so guilty. Sometimes i feel like i am a talker more than a doer, that my talking surpasses the action the Lord has called me to. That I sit in a corner and cry “Woe to me” “Woe to my generation.” That I claim that the generation before me, have been “missing the point.”

    I think we as twenty-somethings need to stop looking at ourselves, and stop criticizing those who have gone before us. Even though we are not convicted to do ministry the same way, even though we look at what they did and call it “irrelevant” or “boring” or “outdated”… God used those leaders to pave some sort of road for us, even though may be crackly, or have a couple pot holes now… God still used them, God still used them often in a big way.

    We need to pray for them, we need to honor them, and we need to love them.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      exactly, true that things are not the best in the mentoring world, but it has to start somewhere and it can start right now.

  • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

    You kind of said this through the other items in your list, but I think 20-somethings need to start taking the initiative in every part of their lives.

    I see it a lot with the college students I work with. They are quick to complain when something isn’t going right, but rarely will offer a solution or try to work towards making something better, without a lot of prodding.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      absolutely. I started to write some things about my life, but deleted it from the post
      But I can share that here with you. the biggest freeing thing for me was realizing that it is time for me to start doing things and stop sitting back. It took me a while to do it, but God has really blessed me as I stepped out and started doing.

  • http://www.calebgordon.com Caleb Gordon

    I agree…totally.
    people need to stop complaining about life, and go make something happen.
    If you’re broke go work, create something, and make money…give it away to people who need it, and see how God moves!

    Start seeking Christ first, and the rest of life will come along like it should.

    Find someone older and listen to what they say. (GIRLS) if the older girl says the guy you’re dating dump the looser!

    GUYS if the guys says cut down on call of duty, DO IT!!!!!

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      Create something, that is the most important thing right there…create something

  • http://www.calebgordon.com Caleb Gordon

    by the way i reposted this on my blog

  • http://mandythompson.com mandythompson

    I’m no longer a 20-something. But I’ve been in young-adult ministry, and have recently returned to convos regarding Y/A ministry. And the one thing I think 20-somethings need to do be the adults that they are. Stop expecting the church to have a post-college ministry just for their generation. You’re adults, for goodness’ sake. Own your place in the world and in the church. We freakin’ need you.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      yes, totally agree.

      Part of the problem I think is there is no clean break from adolescence to adulthood. It is missed somewhere. And I think a lot of people think once college is done everything will change and I will be an adult, but that never happens. There needs to be something.

  • http://gbrenna.com Graham

    This is a great call to action Kyle! My favorite is to turn off the tv and start a company. I’m actually thinking of starting one someday.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      do it…start something man.
      You are a sharp guy, you got a lot to offer. I think you would start something awesome

  • http://www.robstill.com Rob Still

    Hey Kyle, a great post and helpful to my gen, too. I read all your links in this post. I think I’ve seen you in the Tentblogger comments too.

    I’ve been a mentor and would be willing to help. I’m in Nashville, how about coffee? Shoot me an e-mail (rob at robstill.com)

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      thanks, emailing you now

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    Great stuff!
    As a 20-something this definitely hit home. It’s in line with what I wrote today about “poking the box” and Seth Godin’s new book.

    To paraphrase the ever eloquent Woody Harrelson, I think you could say that 20-somethings need to “nut up or shut up”.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      you have a link for the post?

  • http://www.jordantwatson.com Jordan Watson


    Great thoughts. Absolutely agree. I see many 20-somethings missing on great opportunities to learn from the great leaders that have gone before. Also, they are missing the opportunity for collaboration. Most older people that are interested in mentoring are not trying to manipulate a younger person. They are also looking to collaborate. I have found this to be true with my four mentors. I would add this to the list of things that 20-somethings can look to start doing. Collaborating with the older generation. Especially, in churches. I see a dangerous trend of young people abandoning intergenerational church. Intergeneration church is hard. But I believe it has great potential to combust if we collaborate. Also, I think 20-somethings can start meeting with older people with whom you disagree. I have an older gentlemen that I meet with on a regular basis that has a very different perspective than I do on leadership, faith, as well as life. There is great wisdom to be learned form these people and lessons to be learned. Really enjoyed your thoughts here Kyle. Keep calling out our generation.

  • http://mysoundtrackforlife.blogspot.com Chad Ray

    Great post. I fully agree with all you said. And as a Late-20-something I have fallen into these problems several times. I’ve searched for Mentors but have not kept up with the consistency of the searching myself.

    One thing that the 20 somethings of today though need is the activity of Community. We see the problems how community is what everyone longs for, but there is a disconnect with the 20somethings of today that claim to be all alone (look at the new Facebook Depression articles). We need to be engaged in our connections. We try to keep our lives so busy that we don’t actually engage and connect 1on1 anymore; we just say we’ll keep up over Twitter or Facebook or shoot a quick text. We don’t take the time to sit and experience life together anymore (or if they do I seem to be missing these people). I hope that we can learn to put down the smart phones, stop busy-ing our lifes to the point of exhaustion and really connect with people. That’s what I feel the 20 somethings need to start doing again.