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After CYC, What’s Next?

It may seem like you’ve been abandoned now that you’re done with CYC and there isn’t another specific activity to take its place. But, like when you graduate from college, this is now your time to take all the training you’ve been given and start using it in the real world.
Read Time: 10 minutes

For people who have been born into a Christadelphian family, your spiritual activities start off mostly consisting of whatever your parents bring you to. If you have highly active parents, that might mean a lot of Bible Schools and study weekends, while if you have less motivated ones, that might mostly mean Sunday and Memorial service only.

However, as you become a teenager, that starts to change—you start to get a little more choice over which activities you can go to, and a whole host of new options show up. You’re able to go to CYC, but not just CYC, also youth weekends, conferences and Bible Schools.

At first, you’re likely to only go to events in your local area—events your parents are willing to drive you to. But as you grow more independent, you begin getting rides from other people, later driving yourself, and eventually you may even fly to far-off conferences. Your world continues to grow.

While you are likely struggling with school, you may also secure a part-time job. While never having quite enough money, you may look forward to when you’re out of school, with a full-time job, when you will be making enough money and have the free time to be able to make it to all the fun Christadelphian events you want to.

Except, strangely enough, right around that point when you think you “made it,” you suddenly start to find that the number of Christadelphian events that you want to go to decreases dramatically. While you may have been progressively ascending the ladder of Christadelphian events, from those designed for 6 to 12-year-olds (Little Disciples), then 13 to 18-year-olds (CYC), then 18 to 25-year-olds (Youth Conferences), there’s basically nothing out there designed for 26 to 35-year olds.

What should I be doing at this stage in my life?

Sure, you can go to large broad based events designed for everyone, like family Bible Schools, but even then, they don’t really have events and activities designed for your age group, so it’s easy to get lost. This is especially difficult for people who have come into the truth at this age, since at exactly the time when they are most interested in reaching out and forming connections, there seem to be very few age-appropriate ways of doing so.

And if you do choose to keep going to events designed for young people, you find yourself hanging out with people quite a bit younger than you, and the adults start making comments about you being a little old for that now and needing to put in an age limit.

So, it starts to become a very real question: “Where do I go from here?” At the time of your life when you probably have the most freedom to do things, you have the smallest number of Christadelphian things to do. So, what’s going on here? Why does this happen? And, most importantly, if I want to serve God and be part of the Christadelphian community, what should I be doing at this stage in my life?


Now, there are a few groups of people who might not find this article particularly relevant. One of them is those who have, or are about to have, young children. For those people, it’s clear that what they should be doing at this stage is taking care of their children.

Children are hugely expensive in both time and money, and so you likely don’t identify at all with the idea of having a lot of freedom during this period of your life. You may feel both busier and more tied down than you have been at any other time in your life. In that case, stop reading this article and go raise your kids. It may be relevant to you in 20 to 30 years when they are grown, but until then, you’ve clearly got your job already laid out for you and should focus on that.

The other group of people who might not find this article relevant are those who see this as an opportunity to enjoy everything that the world has to offer. If you’ve always wanted to hike the Appalachian trail, or drive a fast car, or set a world record, well, this is your opportunity. I’ll tell you right now though that you’re going to find out that all those things are empty.

But if you weren’t willing to listen to Solomon, well, you probably won’t listen to me either. Feel free to come back to this article, though, after you’ve discovered that the world doesn’t really have much to offer and that you really do still need to figure out where to go from here.

But, if you’re someone who really is looking for the best way to serve God with the opportunities you have in the flower of your life, but you’re honestly confused about which way to go, well, keep reading. This article is for you.


First, let’s try to understand why, when you become an adult, suddenly the number of organized activities designed for you drops significantly. What has happened is that you are now done with your training and are expected to go out and use it.

When you are a child, you are expected to be spending most of your time learning, but when you are an adult, while there are still opportunities for continued education, it’s no longer the focus of your life. You’re supposed to be out there using what you’ve learned, not just learning more.

As an adult Christian, there are an immense variety of possible ways of serving God.

This switch from learning to doing between 20 to 30 years of age is not just an artifact of our modern-day educational systems but is also true Scripturally. A Levite would begin temple service at either 20, 25 or 30, depending on the period in Scripture.

At 30 years old, it happens to be the age when Joseph becomes ruler over Egypt, David becomes king over Judah, and Jesus is baptized and anointed with the Holy Spirit. While there is certainly some variance in age—and you shouldn’t think that just because you aren’t 30 yet, you shouldn’t get baptized or start serving God—there’s clearly a Scriptural precedent for moving on to a new stage at this point.

In fact, upon reflection, you may realize that the real issue at this stage in life is not that there are no longer as many options, but that there are many more options. As an adult Christian, there are an immense variety of possible ways of serving God.

Some examples would include:

  • Doing missionary work in a foreign country,
  • Starting a Bible study group at your work,
  • Composing and performing spiritual music,
  • Caring for the poor in your community,
  • Organizing Bible schools,
  • Writing spiritual literature,
  • Creating uplifting spiritual artwork,
  • Teaching Sunday School,
  • Publicly debating non-believers,
  • Raising children in the LORD,
  • Organizing fun group activities,
  • Visiting lonely members of your ecclesia, and
  • Editing Christadelphian magazines.

These are all different ways of serving God as an adult that have been and are being done by our brothers and sisters in Christ. Not all of them are going to be applicable to your talents—that’s expected. “For the body is not one member, but many.” (I Cor 12:14).

But, just like God gave the Corinthian brethren a variety of different gifts, He has done the same in our day and age, so that we can learn to work with each other and value each other. We can’t all contribute in the same way. One person may be exceptionally musically talented but lacking in attention to detail. Another may have excellent attention to detail, but no musical talent.

The point is that we all can contribute.

If God has given you a special talent or interest—perhaps you are an excellent dancer or enjoy writing novels—then there is almost certainly a way that you can use it to glorify him. Don’t feel like you need to be constrained by what other people are already doing either.

Perhaps God has called you to something new? There were certainly no people in the time of Jesus producing YouTube videos, and yet, thanks to the willingness of many brethren around the world to try something new, there are many Christadelphian videos currently available on the internet that have been immensely valuable to both those inside and outside the brotherhood.

Perhaps God has given you your special mixture of talents and experiences specifically because that is exactly what He needs in His service right now?


However, while we shouldn’t be constrained by what has gone before, we do need to make sure we are constrained by God’s will. When Nadab and Abihu tried to offer strange fire to God, it not only didn’t please God, but they ended up dying for their temerity.

So, while it’s important to serve God with the talents He has given you, make sure you are serving God. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. (Psa 127:1)

So, the first recommendation I will make is, if you are wondering what to get involved in after CYC, pray about it. Ask God for guidance. And then, even more importantly when He gives an answer, listen. Listening is, in my experience, far more difficult than asking. It’s easy to ask God for help. It’s much harder to listen to His answer, especially when it isn’t what you want to hear.

Just look at Jeremiah 42 for one example of many people asking for God’s guidance, and then immediately rejecting it when they find out it wasn’t what they wanted to hear. Don’t be that person. If you’re asking God for guidance, and what you’re really hoping He’s going to say is “go preach to that attractive person at work,” and instead He says, “quit your job and move to India,” you may not be happy with that answer.

But I can guarantee you that things will go better for you if you follow God’s directions rather than what looks more attractive in the moment. If you’re unsure, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for confirmation. Gideon certainly did. However, if you ask, be ready to accept the answer you’re given, whether you like it or not.

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. (Eccl 5:4-5).


But sometimes you aren’t given a clear answer. Sometimes, it seems like the answer is, at best, “wait,” and you don’t know what to do with yourself while you’re waiting. In this case, one thing that I can highly recommend is to look for needs and fill them.

Are they looking for Sunday School teachers? Volunteer. Is your ecclesial website a mess? Fix it. Are there a bunch of people in their 20s and 30s in your ecclesia looking for something to do? Organize something fun. There are always going to be things that can use a little more help.

One thing I personally find extremely helpful whenever I start to complain about something, is to change the thought into “What can I do to help?” Not only will that help you find jobs to do, but it will also help get those little things that have annoyed you fixed.

Also, look for older members of your ecclesia who may have been doing important duties for many years but are starting to get tired. God has designed a world where one generation passes and another one needs to replace it. If the new generation is not trained to properly replace the old one, we can end up with situations like that in Judges 2:7-10 where “there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD.”

You are part of the new generation. If the torch doesn’t get passed on to you, it gets dropped. Make sure that you’re learning what you can from your older brothers and sisters, while you still have them, because there will come a time, if our Lord remains away, when you will not. And they will often really appreciate the help.

Looking for how you can learn from and support an older brother or sister is both a way to show love to them and for your ecclesia. And finally, be patient. Our Western culture idolizes youth, and it can be easy to feel like something’s gravely wrong if you’re not living your best life now.

God, on the other hand, isn’t limited by either time or physical strength. Abraham had to wait until he was 100 years old before he had the promised seed. Moses had to wait until he was 80 before he led the children of Israel out of Egypt. Jesus didn’t start his ministry until he was 30.

Just because He hasn’t given you a clear purpose and goal right now doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care about you. If he’s making you wait, it’s because He has something planned for you that’s worth waiting for. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:30-31).


Of course, you also need to make sure you’re not just making up excuses to be lazy or fearful. It’s perfectly legitimate to ask God, “If you want me to go to South Africa to do missionary work, give me a way to get there.” But saying, “If God really wanted me to do missionary work, He’d make me a millionaire” is just making an excuse.

God will give you everything you need, but He may not give you everything you want. Before you decide “God must be saying ‘no,’” make sure that it’s God’s Spirit you’re listening to, not your own spirit. Also, it’s important to realize that you don’t have to do everything yourself. In fact, you shouldn’t do everything yourself. Certainly, being too proud to ask for help from God would be wrong, and the same goes for not asking for help from your brothers and sisters.

If you feel called to teach Sunday School, but don’t have the right craft supplies, ask for help. There are almost certainly going to be other people in your ecclesia with more than they can use who would love to help you. If you want to organize a hymn sing, but you can’t play the piano, ask if there’s someone who can play. And, maybe, even if you can’t find someone who can play the piano, someone will volunteer to play the guitar.

Sometimes when you start asking for help and involving other people, you’ll find better ways to do it than you would have ever come up with on your own. Along the same lines, remember that you are part of a worldwide body of believers, and you aren’t limited to your local ecclesia or your local area.

If you want to start a preaching effort, but there just aren’t enough people in your ecclesia to handle it, try asking other ecclesias for help. Or, alternatively, if you feel like there’s nothing to do in your current ecclesia, perhaps you can try joining the small one twenty minutes away that would absolutely love to have an enthusiastic young brother or sister to help.

Again, you’re an adult now, you don’t have to stay in one place. What might be impossible for one person, or even one ecclesia, can be possible if an entire network of ecclesias work together. A great example of this flexibility is with missionary work. If you feel called to do missionary work, but don’t have the money to just quit your job and live in a foreign country for a few years, ask for help.

Find where God is calling you personally to serve and start doing it!

There are a variety of Christadelphian organizations which can leverage the resources of multiple ecclesias all pooled together to support expensive activities like that. Jesus told his disciples that there is a lot to do but not enough workers to do it (Luke 10:2).

Mission workers today will tell you that the same is true now—that there is lots of work to do in the mission fields, and there is money to sponsor missionaries, but there just aren’t enough people willing to go do it. If God is calling you to do something, but the task seems like it’s impossible for you to do yourself, well, it probably is, but that’s why you shouldn’t do it yourself. Humble yourself, ask for help and watch as God makes a way.

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Luke 11:10).


It may seem like you’ve been abandoned now that you’re done with CYC and there isn’t another specific activity to take its place. But, like when you graduate from college, this is now your time to take all the training you’ve been given and start using it in the real world.

Find where God is calling you personally to serve and start doing it! Don’t forget to use all the resources that are available to you—your ecclesial family, your worldwide family, and of course your Heavenly Father. This is truly the time to serve in our Father’s vineyard.

James Robinson
San Francisco Peninsula, CA

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