I’m a big fan of Wilde, but I have to disagree with him on this point. We’ve become too familiar with an unfair narrative in our culture where young people are painted as ungrateful slackers, or rowdy troublemakers.
This month our ‘33 under 33’ article aims to redress the balance, at least a little, by highlighting the innovative kingdom work being done by 33 people aged 33 or under. It’s not a ranking, or a list of the most influential (you won’t have heard of many of them), but simply a commendation and celebration of the work of young people in the UK who are making the most of their years.
It’s easy to forget that Jesus was, by our standards, a relatively young man when he healed and preached in the towns around Galilee. It’s likely his disciples were even younger, some of them probably in their late teens. Yet, within a few years, a handful of people with a fresh vision were the catalyst for changing the world.
I hope you will be inspired to pray for the people on our list. Perhaps you will also pray afresh for the young people you personally know, and the way they are using their talents and abilities to be a catalyst for change today.
At the other end of the age spectrum this month, we also feature the story of POW Geoffrey Mowat. This feature has a particularly personal connection to me, as Geoff was my grandfather. Seventy years on from the end of World War Two in the Far East, I recount my conversations with him of how his experience in captivity under the Japanese awakened a call to ministry in the Church.
Geoff was in his 90s when he passed away several years ago. But the formation of his spiritual character took place in his mid-20s in the brutal POW labour camps of the Burma railway. In many ways, the shape of our character is often formed early in our life. But, whether young or old, we are all called to live as ‘new creations’ in Christ. Our journey is never finished; there is always room for change, growth, and new realities.
I hope our stories of both young and old will inspire you to make the most of your life journey, wherever you find yourself on it.