Saturday, August 07, 2010

What do teenagers want to be when they grow up?

I'D LOVE YOUR INPUT -- FOR MY BOOK FOR TEEN'S ABOUT LIFE PURPOSE (to be released in spring 2011) -- due soon! [The last of the 3 questions is, by far, the most important to me!]

What do teenagers want to be when they grow up?
Think back to your teenage years—what did you want to be when you grew up? Let me take a guess:

Helping professions:
• Police officer or fire/rescue personnel
• Doctor, nurse, veterinarian, or speech/physical therapist
• Teacher, counselor, or social worker
• Priest, nun, pastor, pastor’s spouse, or choir director
• Missionary in Africa (or other impoverished country)
• President of the United States or of your country (or a politician)
• Soldier or military officer
• Scientist who cures a disease or inventor who meets a need
• Lawyer or judge who takes down the bad guys
• World-class chef
• Best-selling author and/or motivational speaker
• Architect, contractor, builder
• Musician, artist, graphic designer
• Wealthy company president

Exciting professions:
• Triple threat movie star: actor/actress, singer, dancer
• Top-ranked athlete
• Somebody famous, like a fashion model, radio broadcaster, or talk show host
• Hobbyist, like a professional surfer, skateboarder (or ski instructor!)

Nowadays, we can add these popular professions:
• Technological genius
• Environmentalist
• Animal rights’ activist
• Reality show star
• Rachel Ray –type brand icon

[BLOGGERS...what have I missed in any of these categories—and can you think of any other major categories I might add?]

What do all these careers have in common? They help someone or they fill a personal need for passion.

[BLOGGERS...what have I missed as far as what they have in common?]

How does this relate to life purpose?
When it comes to God’s plan for your teenager’s life, we use these dreams to get clues, and then we flip the focus onto how the dream could benefit the kingdom!
Here are some real-life examples of people I’ve known, starting with myself and my two kids first:

• Katie dreamed of being a missionary in Africa and writing a book that gave people hope. I adored Sherlock Holmes mysteries and complicated jigsaw puzzles. Today, I am the founder of a missionary-sending agency—and a published author who helps people put together the puzzle of God’s plan for their life. I teach them that God never intended for their life purpose to be a big mystery.

• Stephanie (my daughter) dreamed of being a professional dancer and singer—and also of expanding the Peer Mentoring program at her high school to reach more teenagers. Today, she has completed her master’s degree and is finishing her clinical hours to become a marriage and family therapist. She volunteers at church in the liturgical dance ministry. She daydreams, nearly daily, about opening a Christian camp for young people who need counseling and who would also benefit from dance, music, and art therapy.

• Andy (my son) was greatly affected by the mentoring that a group of godly youth workers poured into him as a teenager, after his father’s death. Also, he was coached in small business, entrepreneurial, and marketing skills by one particular youth pastor who unofficially adopted him. Andy thought he was going to be a youth pastor, but he found his niche as an E-Commerce director of a major Christian youth ministry.
• Other example
• Other example
• Other example

[BLOGGERS...can you add your story here? Maximum word count = 85 words or four sentences. You can use a fake name, if you’d like. Nobody will be identified anyway. MAHALO/THNX/GRACIAS!]

This is a brief gist of the concept that God does work in our lives and our teenager’s lives to unveil the best possible plan—at the best possible moment. Part II will walk you through how to hear God’s best!