In my previous articles, I talked about the first three priorities listed below. Today we will add another priority as we talk about the importance of how to Get Busy Learning, Growing and Serving. You will also read the wisdom from others that I interviewed (see the bold colored quotes below).
- Cultivate a Real Relationship with Christ.
- Surround Yourself with Godly Friendships.
- Keep Your Heart With All Diligence.
- Get Busy Learning, Growing and Serving.
PRIORITY 4: Get Busy Learning, Growing and Serving!
The next priority that you should focus on in your life is Get Busy Growing, Learning, Serving.
It is important to be thinking about what you would like to LEARN. Now is the time to learn some valuable skills that can help prepare you for the future. It is wise to seek God’s will for this area of life. It is also wise to seek Godly counsel, be it from your parents or another Godly influence in your life. This may involve going to college, a trade school, or taking classes, starting a job or getting involved in a service project like a Mission’s trip. This is unique for each person.
“After high school, pray and ask the Lord what He would have you to do. My kids knew they had to work to buy their own cars. We co-signed with them if needed. We also enrolled them in a safety course on how to handle guns properly. Your kids may choose to do different things. One of my kids went to college. We paid for the first two years of college and then they worked to be able to pay for the last 2 years of college. Another one of my kids, chose to live with a couple of friends. This fostered independence as they did their own grocery shopping, paid their own bills and came to church, without us prodding them along. It was important that we, as parents, were good examples to them by serving in the church and growing in the Lord in our individual lives. I am thankful for the relationship I have been able to keep with my now adult children. Even now, we often text regularly, even though they are no longer living at home.”
While the world may tell you, you should absolutely go to college after high school, it is much wiser to think if this will truly help your future goals. It is not worth it to go to college, just for the experience and then to end up with a lot of debt. If your future plans, need a college degree, then pursue that with intentionality, but it is not the ONLY option. To some people, going away may be a detriment to their spiritual life. To others this can be a life-changing experience. It depends on where you are going, and your own strength and weaknesses. I urge you to never consider going away for an extended period of time, if there is not a sound Biblical church nearby. You will need to surround yourself with Godly influences and good Biblical teaching during this time in your life.
“After I graduated, I went to Bible College for 1 year, then got a job. As a 19-20 year old, I liked being busy and I loved being with people. I took little steps of independence and had open conversations with my parents as I came across difficult situations at work.”
“My parents wanted us to be prepared spiritually and financially for marriage. We submitted to their direction as far as ‘education’ after high school. Some did college classes and all of us did Bible Institute. Each had personal interests in different fields of work, but the key was to never accept a job that took us away from attending church, visitation/outreach activities; and that encouraged witnessing opportunities or ways of serving the Lord or our church family. (Working at the church/school; Volunteering to help at church or our Christian school /Working with/for other Church members.) My parents wanted to keep our hearts tender to the things of God; and promote unity among our church family, and especially our immediate family.”
“It is of great value to have a ‘going away experience’ preferably to the mission field. We have found it helpful to do this gradually with our adult children. The first time they will go with a family member, the 2nd time with another responsible adult and lastly alone. Each time a huge shift in parent/ child relationship will take place. The child will become an independent adult and not fit back into the little kid role mom and dad are used to. Relationships can become tumultuous if the shift doesn’t take place.”
If you are unsure of what to do with your future, I would encourage to take Bible Institute courses to increase your knowledge in the Bible. This not only help strengthen you spiritually, but you will meet some new friends that most likely want to pursue the Lord with their own lives. You will also be more prepared if the Lord does call you to a ministry area. You could also seek out employment where you can learn some valuable life skills, like secretarial work, communication skills or learning a trade. The important thing is to get busy learning, otherwise it is easy for the seeds of slothfulness and discontentment to take root in your life.
After we seek out the area that God wants us to increase our knowledge in, to prepare for our future, it is also wise to add some valuable life skills to our lives. This could take the form of learning to budget, cook a meal, sew, babysit or even learn to work on your car or complete home maintenance projects. It may involve setting up a reading schedule to pursue great books, or maybe researching a subject that interests you. You could also implement an exercise program or even learn to play an instrument. The possibilities are endless but you want to pursue those things that will help you GROW spiritually, physically and emotionally.
“I encourage every young person to pursue a 4 year Bible Institute degree after graduation, before getting married. If God calls you as a young man or as a wife to a Pastor or missionary, you will be ready. Once marriage and little kids come, it gets harder to take classes because you are needing to support a family or take care of your children.”
“I took a self-defense class. I thought it was important for a me to not be a wimpy woman but to learn to stand up for myself.”
“It is important to learn several life skills. I think both men and women should learn to cook, do the dishes, take care of laundry, keep a budget, cut the grass, and learn to jumpstart a car. You never know when these skills will be needed if you live independently in single life, or if you have a sick spouse in married life.”
“Be intentional to learn new skills like housekeeping, cooking, playing an instrument, sign language, how to communicate more effectively or how to write. Do not be so busy socializing and working for the sake of saving money that you do not invest in other areas of your life that take time and energy which you won’t have later on. I wished I would have learned to teach ESL as this would be a huge help on the mission field I am now on.”
“Young men, prepare yourself to be the leader of your family by learning how to make clear, wise decisions. Dream big, ask questions, read books of great people you admire, apply what you learn in order to maximize the results. Most importantly - walk humbly with God - because you’re going to make mistakes, and you’ll need God’s grace to learn lessons and move forward with His help.”
Another area to pursue is SERVING. The primary place that you should be serving in is your own local Biblical church. Ask your Pastor how you can get involved. Learn what ministry options are available. Also think about what skills and strengths you have that can be used for the Lord. You can also serve the people in your own family. What needs are there that you can help with?
Can you help with meals at home? What about the laundry or taking care of brothers or sisters so your parents can have a night out. Maybe it is some lonely relatives that could use a phone call? It could even be your neighbors. Have you taken the time to talk with them and learn about who they are so you can be a better witness to them? There are many ways to serve, if you are looking for it!
“What does it really mean to wait on the Lord. A waitor is one who serves.”
“Waiting means to rest. It also means to serve. My mentor once told me that while we wait or rest in God’s timing, we also need to be serving the Lord. That means you need to do both. A good Godly man will be looking and praying for a woman that will be his help meet, not a couch potato.”
“It is important to have a surrendered life to the Lord. Serve the Lord on Mission’s trips during your single years, when given the opportunity. You can also get busy with ministry opportunities, visitation and Bible studies.”
“My Husband was very involved in his church growing up, and never regrets the time he invested in many ministries and mission’s trips. In addition to completing Bible College, and starting his own business, etc. He would say that young men ought to keep busy in the work of the Lord, give your best in the vocation you’re called to do; but allow quiet time for personal/spiritual growth and reflection.”
“I highly recommend you take a mission’s trip. I recommend you go alone or with a friend instead of with a group if you get the chance, as they are more individualized and focused. Single people can be such a blessing to missionaries when others are not able to.”
“After high school, I did not go to college right away but I did continue working (my 1st job was at 16). Two years later, at age 21, I began attending my local community college. As a young lady, I was busy working, commuting to school, practicing music and also staying involved in ministry opportunities. These opportunities all helped me to prepare for the busy life I now lead as a missionary. It is important to prioritize opportunities in ministry in your single years. You can help in ministry by playing your instrument in nursing homes, helping to print literature in your church office, or help with babysitting for new moms. No matter how busy you think you are now, you are not as busy as you will be later on.”
I trust that you will take this priority and see what changes you need to make in your own life. If you Get Busy Learning, Growing and Serving, you will see great growth in your Christian life. It will also be much easier as you have a focus and plan for your life.
Suzanne has been married to Dean, her high school sweetheart, for 24 years. She is a former Elementary Teacher and homeschooling mom with two now adult children. Jeremiah is 22 and Ruth is 19. Suzanne was saved in 1998 and has been a faithful member of Lehigh Valley Baptist Church since that time. She enjoys reading, snuggling with her new puppies, encouraging others and using her “Happy Planner.” Suzanne is a first-generation Christian and knows all about the struggles of striving to be a Godly wife, mother and servant of Christ. She hopes to encourage you with the wisdom that she has learned through the years and is still learning.