I Don’t Do Paperwork!

I am passionate about challenging millennials to get outside of the church and boldly share the Gospel. Each generation faces unique barriers to following God in a radical way. In every age, we are called to subvert the values of secular culture and confront the idols that are destroying people. There is perhaps no greater idol today than ourselves.

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is the Director of Come&Live! and is the younger son of David and Jodi Pierce. Come&Live!’s vision is to create a worldwide mission community that will provoke and inspire Christian artists to use their God-given creativity to revolutionize the world for Jesus.

Website: www.steiger.org/benpierce

Self-worship has been at the core of man’s rebellion from the very beginning, yet it now seems to be more exaggerated than in the past. Has there ever been a time when selfishness was more openly celebrated?

A few years ago, the now massive EDM (Electro Dance Music) band The Chainsmokers, released a song called “Kanye.” The message was simple: our goal should be to live like Kanye West, whose life embodies the narcissism of our day. I’ve come to expect modern pop music to be shallow and riddled with negative messages, but consider the following lyrics:

I wanna be like Kanye
I'll be the king of me always
Do what I want and have it my way
All day, like Kanye-eah, yeah, yeah

These words seem harmless enough, but to me, they perfectly sum up the spirit of our age.

The song goes on:

One day, I'll stand with a crown on my head
Like a god, yeah, like a god
With every step, no, I won't second guess what I want

These lyrics aren’t meant to be rebellious or counter-cultural. Far from it! This self-worship is in perfect step with the modern mindset, and sadly, many young Christians have absorbed this thinking into their understanding of God and His calling on their lives.

In this blog, I want to look at what I call “The Myth of Instant Specialization.” I work with a lot of twenty-somethings who are looking to enter into full-time missions; they often don’t last.

In many cases, this is because they want to serve in a way that perfectly aligns with their skills, dreams, or passions. I believe everyone has been created with unique abilities and, as a leader, I want to see them operating in those gifts. Yet, there is a critical component to lasting in any vocation - a willingness to “pay your dues.”

Among many young people, this is considered one of those “Dad” cliches that, along with “work isn’t supposed to be fun” and “I’m not paying to heat the outside!,” isn’t taken very seriously. Yet being a fruitful follower of Jesus is impossible without a servant’s heart and a willingness to serve in any way that is needed.

I have worked with a lot of millennials who are full of passion and truly desire to change the world, but quickly become frustrated if asked to contribute outside of their area of interest. As a leader, it can be exhausting to work with someone who has bought into the myth of instant specialization. In reality, specialization is rare. Thriving organizations are built by people who do anything required of them to bring about success. If this is true of a secular company, (and it is), how much more would it be valid in ministry, where our model is Jesus - the man who washed his disciples' feet, said that to be first was to be last, and to lead was to serve?

I am not suggesting that you can never expect to use the unique talents that God has given you. Quite the opposite! But it all comes down to having a servant's heart. God will often use our early days in an organization or ministry as a testing ground. The young believer who comes into a ministry with an “I will do anything that is asked of me” attitude is a huge blessing, and is far more likely to be successful. After all, Jesus said in Matthew 16:25, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Our culture glorifies individual achievement. I am God. I am King. I will get what I want. That is the anthem of our age. But God says, “Surrender and serve.” For a millennial wanting to live a life of radical obedience, it has to begin by rejecting the patterns of this world, surrendering to God, and saying, “I will do whatever you want me to do.”

Time and time again, I have seen that those with this kind attitude are not only a significant blessing to the ministry God has called them to serve, but they are also quickly released to accomplish the good works that God has prepared in advance for them to do (Ephesians 2:10).

The millennial that is willing to “pay their dues” and give their life to serve God will end up with far more than specialization—they will find real life.

Related items

  • Episode 77: I Don’t Dig Wells!

    When you think of the title missionary, do you think of khaki shorts and digging wells? Or construction projects, boring presentations during church services, and never-ending requests for funds? This false perception of what it means to be a missionary will so often keep people, specifically millennials, from ever going into the mission field. The regulars (including Chad, who finally arrived in Germany) look deeper at this barrier, share their experience (including a hilarious rant from David) and give some practical tips for those feeling called to missions.

    Related links to this episode:
    I don't Dig Wells blog post: bit.ly/2BmlaQd

  • Artist Interview: Delta Fleet
    Delta Fleet is the most recent band to join Come&Live!’s family of artists who are boldly sharing the message of Christ outside the Church. In this interview, band leader Jacob Pierce shares with us a bit about how God has been challenging them and using them in the club scene in Hawaii, and the unique Christian artist community that has been forming on Oahu.
  • Episode 76: I Don’t Do Paperwork!

    In continuing with our series, the guys look at another obstacle that Millennials can face when wanting to go into missions, “The Myth of Instant Specialization.” The world tells us to only contribute in a way that perfectly aligns with our skills, dreams, or passions. This mentality is a major roadblock to radically serving God. The regulars discuss the importance of having a servant heart and a willingness to “pay your dues” and how this ultimately leads to real contentment and joy.

    Relevant Links to this episode: 
I don't do paperwork blog post: bit.ly/2l2RGjM

  • Don’t Tell Me What to Do
    Living radically for Jesus has never been easy. Throughout this blog series, I have unpacked some specific obstacles for millennials entering into a life of radical obedience to Christ. I will try to wrap things up by addressing a barrier that is arguably the most problematic of them all, and it’s this: many millennials fail to follow Jesus radically because they are unwilling to submit to institutions and the leaders that run them.
  • Episode 75: You Can Rent Me, But I'm Not For Sale.

    In this series, you’ll get to travel to the past, when the regulars were all together at the Steiger International Center back in October 2017. They discuss some of the unique roadblocks that Millennials face in trying to live a life of radical obedience, and how they seem to experience a particular difficulty in entering the mission field. In this first episode they talk about the fear of commitment, and how many times Millennials want to go from experience to experience without actually fully giving themselves to anything.

    Relevant links to this episode:
    You Can Rent Me, But I'm Not For Sale blog post: bit.ly/2BR5BRG

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