Foster good habits. Press into pain. Never, ever get another perm.
Despite what many think, our twenties aren’t that dead space between youth and real life. Done right, they can be among our most important years.
In 20 Things We’d Tell Our 20-Something Selves, college professors Peter and Kelli Worrall look back on it all—the good, the bad, and the miserable—to give you the best of what they’ve learned. With humility, warmth, and brilliant storytelling, they invite you not only into their wisdom but into their lives, sharing about faith, marriage, drawn-out adoptions, dark nights of the soul, and the God who’s in it all.
20 Things is more than a list of advice; it’s a book that can change your life. Let the trend of your twenties be sowing wisdom, and who knows what the rest of life will bring?
Includes action steps, discussion questions, and ideas for further reading at the end of each chapter.
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About the Author
PETER WORRALL teaches Education majors at Moody Bible Institute and is a doctoral student in the Educational Studies program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He and his wife, Kelli, write and teach together. Peter also does pulpit supply, teaches Sunday school, and leads a small group. Since his twenties Peter has taught elementary school, graduated with a Masters in Teaching, and is a grateful father of Daryl and Amelia.
Table of Contents
#1 Examine your foundations carefully
#2 Remain Teachable
#3 Dig deeper than your doubt
#4 Choose your community carefully
#5 Feed yourself
#6 Foster good habits
#7 Learn to rest
#8 Be patient
#9 Don't worry
#10 Adjust your expectations
#11 Take risks
#12 Evaluate your emotions
#13 Press into pain
#14 Take sin seriously
#15 Embrace grace
#16 Seek healing
#17 Live loved
#18 Cultivate an eternal perspective
#19 Make God's glory your goal
#20 Finally, prepare to be amazed
What People are Saying About This
Praise for 20 Things We’d Tell Our Twentysomething Selves
20 Things We’d Tell Our Twentysomething Selves is packed full of wisdom that is eye-opening, practical, and inspirational. From the all-important first step—check your worldview—to the final piece of encouragement, prepare to be challenged and equipped! Each chapter is a wonderful mix of relevant research, personal stories, and biblical truth. Peter and Kelli Worrall write with authenticity about their own journey toward discovering and implementing these 20 Things. And they serve as compassionate and engaging mentors for anyone hoping to make the most of this significant decade of life. This is now one of the top books I will recommend for twentysomethings.—Sean McDowell, PhD, professor at Biola University, popular speaker, and the author of more than fifteen books
"I love this book. It's everything I wish I had when I was approaching my twenties and so needed for young adults today.” —Jeff Goins, best-selling author of The Art of Work
Imagine the pressure of writing an endorsement for your college English professor! I am one of the blessed twentysomethings mentioned in this book who was regularly invited out to Peter and Kelli’s home during my college years for tea, respite from the stresses that come along with being a college student, and life advice. The biblical, practical wisdom that the Worralls faithfully and patiently imparted to me over those four foundational years was greatly used by God to alter the course of my life, and that same wisdom is now contained in the pages of this book, for you. So go make yourself a good cup of British tea, and settle in for twenty life-lessons that will aid, assist, sharpen, and steer you in your journey toward becoming a faithful disciple of Jesus. —Lindsay McCaul, singer and songwriter
Peter and Kelli were the featured speakers at our recent college ministry retreat where they taught through the topics now captured in this book. The 20 Things immediately struck a chord with our group of college-age young people. The Worralls speak and write from personal life experience, which makes their insights authentic and relatable. The young adults I work with are hungry to address the very topics covered by 20 Things, and I’m excited to make this book a key recommendation in our ministry. Whether you’re a twentysomething looking to grow or a ministry leader hoping to impact the next generation, Peter and Kelli’s book is a fantastic resource.—Eric Naus, pastor for university students, The Moody Church, Chicago
Kelli and Peter’s experiences are relatable, their advice is grace-filled and gentle, and their thoughtful discussion questions encourage vulnerability and community. I wish I’d known them in my twenties!—Addie Zierman, author of When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over
A beautiful book. Peter and Kelli Worrall write words so meaningful and helpful, you feel as if they wrote the entire thing just for you. It makes me want to go through my twenties all over again, just for the pleasure of doing so with their excellent advice.—Tyler Huckabee, writer and former managing editor of RELEVANTMagazine
I have had the privilege of working with twentysomethings for over a decade as both their professor and their pastor, and I’ve come to realize that being in your twenties today is very different than it was two decades ago. It is also a much more difficult terrain to hike through. In 20 Things Peter and Kelli Worrall provide invaluable and much-needed godly wisdom for young people navigating the transition of emerging adulthood: that state of being no longer children, but not quite adults in a traditional sense. Peter’s and Kelli’s own experiences traversing the twenties ridge trail, along with their combined years of ministry with twentysomethings, gives them a unique empathy for the challenges often misunderstood by church leaders and a vision for a path to flourishing adulthood. - Joel Willits, professor of biblical and theological studies, North Park University, Chicago
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Moody Publishers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.] Although I did not find this book to be perfect, overall I thought this was an excellent book by two people looking back on their early adulthood from the point of view of about ten years or so in the future and giving some thoughtful advice to younger people. Overall, this book comes with the approach of giving thoughtful advice on how those in and just leaving college can live godly lives . Much of this advice hit home for me because it dealt with my own concerns, such as the risks of being known for reading unusual materials , and struggles with anxiety  and the search for mentors . The best praise I can give this book is that while I would have used my own stories instead of the authors that if I had to tell my twenty-something self twenty things, I would include a lot of the things that the authors told, and I know of little better praise I can give to a book like this. Perhaps selfishly, I tend to think highly of those whose thinking process is at least mostly similar to my own. The 250 or so pages of this book are largely filled with the writing of a husband and wife team who are providing the advice. Much of the advice is pretty straightforward, although that makes it no less necessary. Young people, and people in general, are prone to neglecting that which is obviously important–examining our spiritual foundation, remaining teachable, choosing our community carefully, feeding ourselves, fostering good habits, learning to rest, being patient, not worrying, adjusting our expectations, taking the right kind of risks, evaluating our emotions, pressing into pain (rather than running away with it), taking sin seriously, embracing grace, seeking healing, living loved, cultivating an eternal perspective, making God’s glory our goal, and preparing to be amazed, among others. Some of these are likely to be frequent struggles for people long after their twenties are over–the authors freely admit that rest is a problem for them, and speaking for myself there are at least a few of these that I do not do particularly well in. Likely other readers, whether old or young, will feel the same. The authors write in a way that is mostly confessional but they avoid telling at least some painful details even if it is clear that they had a bumpy road to their current offices of honor and respect. Although much of this book is somewhat heavy, the authors do include a humorous note in the afterword about not needing perms, which is a light touch that this book could have used more of. The authors show themselves in one of the chapters to be too enamored with Hellenistic philosophical thinking and too dismissive of the biblical Sabbath, but thankfully these moments of antinomian Hellenistic Christianity are few and far between. For the most part, this is a book of solid advice that is worthy of being taken seriously. As someone with at least a few regrets as to how my twenties turned out, much of which was spent in deep depression after the death of my father, and someone whose thirties are not proving to be a particularly glorious decade either, this book was a bittersweet and somewhat poignant look at time lost to the past, as well as a thoughtful reminder of what needs to be done in the time of my life that remains. Many readers will likely feel not so different from me in that regard.  See, for example: https://e
With wit and wisdom ranging from their own personal stories, Shakespeare, Winnie the Pooh and Scripture, the Worrall's lay out a foundation of faith and purpose for those seeking God's perspective and will for their lives. This book feels like sitting down with Peter & Kelli in their living room over a nice cup of British tea, sharing their wisdom and life lessons. I'm in my 30's, and God has used this book to speak directly into my life in powerful ways. The book is moving, honest, authentic and at times humorous. It has the feeling of discipleship mixed with solid Biblical teaching among the pages. In "20 Things", the Worrall's are beautifully transparent and honest, passing on the ways God has shaped and molded them both together and separately through both blessings and trials. This book is for anyone who is searching for what God has next, their purpose on the journey of faith, or advice on the path to becoming more like Christ. I cannot recommend it enough for anyone who is in a transitional time, seeking to firm up their foundation or get real with their faith. As a side note, I highly recommend the audio book, as hearing the author's personal stories in their own words adds a level of personal connection and reliability.
A Time for Everything Many people reach their twenties and think, "I'm grown-up now, therefore, I should have all the answers." But that thinking will only set one up for disappointment. The husband and wife team of Kelli and Peter Worrall, have written this book to help navigate this time period. It is the advice they wish someone would have told them when they were that age. Even though someone is in their twenties, a lot of learning will still take place, especially about living life as an adult. Mistakes will be made, but that is not a sign of failure. The course of one's life can be set during this time, and then it can be changed again. Life in this decade is a time of mastering relationships, possibly moving, picking a career, or a myriad of other things. It is a time of education, exploring, and change. This book is a tool that might help you maneuver through obstacles in your life. Besides the twenty points of advice the authors give, each chapter ends with actions to mull over, along with some reading or media material to consider. A couple of the topics the authors' include are patience and worry. Kelli tells how hard it was to wait until she was twenty-nine to finally meet the person she would marry. Before she met her future husband, she worried she never would find a spouse. The temptation was strong to push relationships that weren't "right," to become more serious. She also states that some friends gave in to that impulse, and have ended up in unhappy marriages, or even divorce court. The couple shares the ups and downs each of them individually faced in their twenties. They include faith journeys each one traveled through, and questions they had about God. They assure the reader it is alright to ask hard questions about God, He can take it, and there is nothing wrong with wanting answers. Both of them relate hard things that happened in their childhoods, and how that shaped some of the things they did during their twenties. I recommend this 5-star book to people who need help with direction or information in their lives. My best council would be to look to God for direction in life. Even if you doubt His existence, stay open to the wisdom and advice that can be found in the Bible. The authors advise to remain teachable. In that spirit, your parents can also be a rich source of advice. As Mark Twain has been credited with saying: "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." The publisher has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of 20 Things We'd Tell Our Twenty-Something Selves, through Moody Publishing for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.