When I discovered Christianity Today released its “33 Under 33 List,” I was compelled to study these promising leaders who are shaping the next generation of our faith.
All of them are born after 1980, all on Twitter, and come from the most racially diverse generation in the American history. 4 out of 10 U.S. Millennials are non-white.
Here’s 33 ordinary people with an extraordinary purpose. To witness such a laser-like focus for the Kingdom has instilled renewed hope for America and the world. In a nation here the Christian faith has been in a precipitous decline, these 33 leaders bring innovation, love, and diversity as they are leading the forefront of the spiritual battle. All of these leaders span all sectors of work to reclaim the seven mountains of culture and to restore shalom in our world.
The following are my top 10 favorite of 33 under 33. Click HERE to read the entire list.
1. Trip Lee, The Hip-Hop Theologian
- Protégé and label mate of Lecrae; faive rap albums
- Endorsed by John Piper and Anthony Carter who called Lee as a “clear, biblical and prophetic” voice.
- Senior pastoral assistant to Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC.
“I have great hope for this generation, not because of hip-hop but because of the gospel. Music can’t change hearts any more than good public speaking can. Only the gospel can do that.” – Trip Lee
2. Dale Partridge, The People-Before-Profits Entrepreneur
- Asks himself always, “If Jesus started a company, what would it look like?”
- Founder of Sevenly, an apparel company to raise awareness and funds for charities
- For seven days, Sevenly promotes and sells the gear, mostly through Facebook, giving $7 of each purchase straight to a cause—orphan care, autism research, and clean water, among others
“Like our God, entrepreneurs are great creators.” – Dale Partridge
3. Eddie Lee, The Idealist
- Founder of the the Jubilee Project, the production company that makes short films about charitable causes, the gospel and their motto that doing good is contagious
- Harvard grad and former White House director for Asian American outreach
- More than 100,000 YouTube subscribers, the project has created work for the Jeremy Lin Foundation, Alzheimer’s Associate, and other nonprofits
“I always lived under this belief that the harder I worked, the more I could achieve and the happier I could become.” – Eddie Lee
4. Nabeel Qureshi, The Ex-Muslim Evangelist
- Raised in Pakistani American Muslim family
- Came to Christ in medical school after reading the Bible in order to debate a Christian friend
- Joined as Christian apologist at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries
- Author of “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus“
“We don’t have to go overseas to introduce people to Christ. We can do it by loving our neighbors as ourselves while we love Jesus with all our hearts and minds,” – Nabeel Qureshi
5. Claire Diaz-Ortiz, The Tweeter for Good
- Author of “Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time“
- Manages philanthropic, social good, and cause marketing initiatives for Twitter
- Reached Christian leaders through events like Catalyst and consulted Pope Francis
- Used Twitter to build awareness for orphans in Kenya and founded Hope Runs, a charity that supports orphanages
“My greatest hope for my generation is that we will harness our collective power to make positive change in the homes, communities, and worlds we live in.” – Claire Diaz-Ortiz
6. Jefferson Bethke, The YouTube Evangelist
- “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus” spoken word poem went viral on YouTube in early 2012
- Has over 54 million views and features on his YouTube channel.
- Author of best-selling book “Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough“
“I think this generation is grasping the fact that all of life is worship. They can worship by giving thanks in every domain of life as good image bearers. That will provide a very powerful witness, because you will have people in all walks of life making disciples.” – Jefferson Bethke
7. Saira Blair, The Politician
- Before graduated from high school, beat out an incumbent state legislator in primary election.
- Campaigned on pro-life, pro-family issues to become district’s Republican candidate
- Freshman at West Virginia University, majoring in Economics and Spanish.
- If she wins the November election, she will become the youngest state legislator in West Virginia history.
The night before the primary, “I prayed that win or lose, I would be going down the right path,” said Blair, who believes God will use her campaign to inspire and influence others.
8. Trevin Wax, The ‘Missional Minority’ Blogger
- Popular blog hosted at The Gospel Coalition
- Writes perspectives based on as young Southern Baptists, seminary graduate, former pastor and editor at LifeWay Christian Resources
- Oversees The Gospel Project, an all-ages Bible study from LifeWay
- Written four books, including a novel
“I love providing resources that serve churches in their mission of making disciples,” he said. “I also love the opportunities I get to interact with church leaders who love God and their neighbors and are passionate about seeing people come to faith in Christ.”
9. Jaeson Ma, The Gospel Entertainer
- Jet-setting manager and producer for Asian artists in the entertainment industry
- Shares the gospel as a hip-hop performer and evangelist
- He spent his early 20s planting churches and preaching at crusades through organizations such as the International House of Prayer.
- A Chinese American, his ministry focused on the church’s surge in Asia, where Ma supported a movement to start house churches and student prayer groups.
- His 2011 album, Glory, features a collaboration with Bruno Mars.
“There’s a widespread reception, connection, availability, and accessibility to God’s Word, and that excites me about this generation. This is a generation in which the gospel can be preached to the nations.” – Jaeson Ma
10. Joy Eggerichs, The Relationship Maven
- Founder of Love and Respect Now
- Daughter of Sarah and Emerson Eggerichs, authors of Love and Respect
- Address common hang-ups for men and women, single or dating, married or separated
- Hosted the Illumination Project, designed to bring wisdom into Millennial’ relationships
“With all the divorce statistics and horror stories that people latch onto, my hope is that fear will not take root but actually become a catalyst for us to reevaluate what marriage really means, what the purpose of these partnerships can be, and where we look to for fulfillment in both singleness and marriage.” – Joy Eggerichs
Question: Who else should be included in the 33 under 33 list? Please share their platform and story below!