Are We As Great As We Think

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Do you remember those days of childhood where you wanted to do everything yourself?
No, let me do it” is a common phrase that is uttered out of most children around the age of 3 or 4. It is the age where life becomes more about experiencing then watching. You could say that the age of 3 or 4 is the ownership age.

No doubt as a young child learning and experiencing is apart of every day life. That stage continues as responsibility starts to grow. But at some point that ownership moves from experiencing to following through. There is no more cute smiles when you say “I got this” or “I can do this.” Just looks of waiting for you to either succeed or fail. The life of a 20 something is much like the stage of a 3 or 4 year old. A lot of “I can do this” and “I got this” type of response. But what if 20 somethings don’t got this?
What if we are not as great as we think?

As a 20 something I believe that we have some of the greatest potential and talent ever seen. We have grown up in the information age of the internet, social networking, and social good. Never has there been more chance to accomplish major things then today, and you can do them all from your living room. We are living in one of the greatest times ever!

All that stuff is great unless we fail to do anything. 20 somethings like to talk a big game but have been known to fail at backing it up. It is what the ballers call “bringing your game” (obviously I am not one of them because I used the term baller. please forgive me). But instead of looking at if our game is good enough (referencing fear, failure, insecurities) maybe we should look at if we think our game is too good. Because the attitude today is that most 20 somethings are unwilling to listen, undisciplined, and over promising and under delivering.

It is a catch 22 of sorts…
Having confidence but also humility.
Having courage but also grace.
Having ability but also vulnerability.
Having strengths but also control.
Having ideas but also patience.

Maybe the issue with 20 somethings and responsibility is not that we want to do everything on our own but more that we want to do something greater then ourselves and just need help getting there.

Am I alone in this?
Do you struggle with this catch 22s? Do you ever wonder if 20 somethings are as great as they think they are?


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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
  • MichaelDPerkins

    Having ideas and also patience is really tough for me.  I’ve had so many ideas that I want to happen now, but they need time to be cultivated and grown.  

    • Matthew

      With you on this one man. An idea that rocks is very very hard for me to be patient on acting out or upon.

    • @kylereed

      amen. I try and remind myself of the gardening process. But having patience is so hard

  • Chris Cornwell

    I’m not a 20-something anymore (shhhhhh!!) but I feel you on this. Confidence vs Humility is something I struggle with everyday. As we grow and learn, exponentially is some arenas I have to stop myself. There is the constant battle of doing ministry and doing ministry better. I can do this better than the other person or I’m the next person to do that better. 

    Who am I to think that it has anything to do with me!? God doesn’t NEED me for Kingdom. He desires to use, but He doesn’t need me. 

    But I think the fact, for a lot of people, is that the age we live in is catch-22 in and of itself. Everything is available at our fingertips instantly. It is fed to us. We want to do things bigger and better but how often are relying on someone to do it for us?

    It’s simpler for a lot of people to have it done for them rather than just ask for the help they need. I think that comes back to the confidence vs. humility issue. 

    • @kylereed

      well said…and it is ok that you are not a 20 something :)

      You are right, that battle is huge. Confidence with humility, what does that even look like?

  • Matt @ The Church of No People

    Yes!  I posted about something similar recently.  Our generation is full of (at least what we perceive as) potential, but we’re desperate for more purpose.  We think the world is too small for how awesome we are.  The problem is we won’t have anything to show for all of our potential.

    • @kylereed

      ya pretty much the only thing we have to show is well…potential. 

      I don’t want that to be said about our generation. We need potential with action.

  • Darrell Vesterfelt

    You are not alone man — not at all.  I want to throw something into the mix here. 

    I had a meeting yesterday with a guy in his mid-50’s.  I was casting vision to him on a project I am working on.  He began to weep and tell me that he is sorry, and began to repent for the “father” generation not backing us enough in our ideas, ministries, etc. 

    I think 20-somethings would be a lot more secure in their ideas and projects if we had the backing of father type figures.  Not that we need them to make our things happen, but it probably would make it a little easier to do something great.

    What do you think?

    • @kylereed

      oh man…you nailed it.
      I actually had something along those lines in this post but took it out because I could not find the wording for it.

      It was basically along the lines of  20 somethings want to do something but they need someone to help them. 

      But yes, confirmation and approval is so vital. 

  • Stephanie S. Smith

    Oh absolutely. It’s a Catch-22 when our generation is being blamed for protracted adolescence, still living at home, bumming around without direction, but then there are some very brilliant and talented 20-somethings who live at home jobless because of the current job climate. An incredibly driven and professional friend of mine was just let go, due to financial struggles within the company…it’s to no fault of her own, yet she will be included in these demographics of extended adolescence. 

    The catch-22 I must struggle with, speaking of social media, is this: to succeed, to move toward getting a book contract, to be an influential voice in ministry, we need a platform, and many people work tirelessly building this. But are we pushing the message of redemption and Christ or ourselves? Can we blog and tweet and network in a way that reflects the heart of John the Baptist, “He must increase, I must decrease?” when we’re cheering at every new blog hit, Facebook fan? I ask because this is what I am struggling to reconcile myself. I think there’s a way, but we have to navigate it. 

    • @kylereed

      you are correct. I do not think there is any answers to that question either. 

      Because honestly you cannot control how people take your message and people can’t always know your heart. That is the struggle. Because honestly I want to grow my platform to impact more. Is that always translated to people or do they know that when they see me tweet out a link to a post? I don’t know. But I do know that is continue to impact lives through social media and peoples platforms. And honestly the chance I have been given today is in no way because of my own doing, it is purely a God thing. 

      Great questions though Stephanie

  • ThatGuyKC

    Great post, Kyle. As a 20 something I am many of the good AND bad things you mention above. I think the balance between the catch 22 is our biggest challenge.

    • @kylereed


  • Stephen Lynch

    Great post Kyle – I also feel the call for my contributions to have impact, and it would be great to see the level of impact reach places I never thought possible.

    Here’s been my calling card since I read this post –

    via Ben Reed – I think you’ve already seen it, but it’s good stuff.

  • Jason Vana

    Working with 20-somethings on a regular basis, I’ve come to see one of the biggest struggles is follow through. There is a lot of potential and a lot of dreams, but it seems 20-somethings need that push to take the first step. It’s one of the greatest parts of being a college minister – seeing students realize they actually can take that first step and make a real difference, and not just talk about it.