Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting Grace Williamson, founder of Generation Impact, in a miraculous way—through my book, Exposed. Although we are states apart and have only chatted over email, we’ve started to build a friendship based on our Savior and His work. So, with that brief introduction, I am pleased to introduce you to Grace.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in the rural Midwest with a loving, Christian family. In 2009 I graduated homeschool high school with a serious passion for writing. This Spring I completed my two-year studies with the Christian Writer’s Guild. I hope to use my writing – and every other aspect of my life – for God’s glory.
When and why did you found Generation Impact?
When I graduated high school, I faced that looming question: What am I going to do with my life? I looked around at all my peers dealing with the same decision. We were all self-proclaimed Christians, but I wondered, “Is our faith affecting our life decisions and impacting the world?” I knew other kids must be grappling with the same question. So I had the idea of starting an online magazine where I could encourage young Christians to use their lives for Christ. I spent months organizing and preparing the site with the help of a few friends who were patient enough – and crazy enough – to help me pursue the idea. Finally in May 2010, a year after I graduated high school, we launched Generation Impact.
What passage of scripture has especially inspired you?
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
In the verses preceding this, Paul talks about the resurrection of Christ and the coming resurrection of all who believe in Him. He asks, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” He explains that, through our Lord Jesus Christ, we have victory over death.
Because Jesus has saved me from my sins, I have eternal life. I am an eternal soul. Since I became Christ’s, the playing field is different. Now everything I do has eternal significance. In Him no labor is vain. I’m called to give myself fully to His work. At the end of my life here, I want to have held nothing back. I want every aspect of my earthly life, every labor I undertake, to be useful in the eternal Kingdom to which I belong. This motivates me every day.
What does Generation Impact provide for its readers?
The goal behind Generation Impact is to share articles and stories that encourage young Christians to live as instruments of righteousness. Each month’s issue features a conversational interview with a Christian who is using his or her talents for the Kingdom of Heaven. We also include movie, music, and book reviews to let people know about new media they may either want to support or be wary of.
My favorite part of Generation Impact, though, is our columns. In one way or another, these articles all share insight into living like Christ in an anti-Christ culture. I love reading these thoughts and heart cries from other young Christians.
Give us an example of some of the people you have interviewed? What was that experience like?
I’ve interviewed a wide variety of people over the past couple years. Generation Impact has featured professional photographers, videographers, filmmakers, magazine editors, and signers. We’ve also interviewed missionaries, authors, actors, and the list goes on.
My favorite interview experience was in the summer of 2010. A friend told me about this man who had spent much of his growing up on the mission field in Africa. I managed to contact him, and we met at a local park for an interview. As it turned out, he was a tall, good-looking kid with an unmistakable passion for the Lord. We’re getting married this June, and I couldn’t be happier!
What is your vision for Generation Impact?
I try to maintain a good balance between making plans and leaving the future in God’s hands. Five years from now, I’d like to see the site still providing solid, Biblical encouragement for young Christians. Of course I would also like to see growth. I’d like to feature more columns from different writers and see our audience increase. I want to see us reaching more and more people. At the same time I want to remember that even if we only touch one person for Christ, all the work we put into the site would still be worth it. Editorial goals aside, my goal as a Christian is to go into all the world, making disciples. The World Wide Web is just another tool for doing that.
What is the biggest lesson God has taught you through founding/developing Generation Impact?
Generation Impact has been a true gift because it has taught me so much: How to get outside my comfort zone, how to work with all kinds of people, how to prioritize and organize, how to trust God to provide everything I need to serve Him each day. The list could go on and on. But a major lesson has come from watching God work despite – and even through – my failures.
We often get so excited about a dream that we’re ready to take on the world. Confident that God is leading us, we move forward despite attacks, slander, and agitation. If the hardship is coming from outside, we’re fearless to face it. But when the hardship comes from within, from our failures, weaknesses, and insecurities, we throw up our hands and say, “I can’t do it.” We’re all ready to face the powers of darkness, but no one is brave enough to look in the mirror and see a human.
Generation Impact has shown me my humanity. Though the site has been successful, I’ve failed in a lot of areas and mishandled a lot of situations simply because I was inexperienced or afraid. But I’ve been able to move forward without any regrets or bitterness because I have learned more from those failures than I ever learned from easy success. I’ve become more aware of my own shortcomings, but it’s a beautiful thing because it has also made me more aware of God’s faithfulness and grace and total sufficiency to fill up where I am empty. He uses our humanity to magnify Himself. Generation Impact hasn’t just taught me how to successfully run a magazine. As strange as it sounds, I have also learned to fail for God’s glory.
How can we support/get involved in Generation Impact?
Read it, let us know what you think, and tell your friends about it. But if you want to actually roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with us, here are a couple things you can do:
We’re always looking for new people to interview and stories to share. So if you know someone who inspires you toward Godliness, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you like to write and want to share your work with others, Generation Impact is a good place to start. The world needs to hear the Truth. Send us your article at email@example.com, and our editing team will be thrilled to work with you.
And if you want to go even farther and impact your generation in ways a website never could, live to glorify Christ because that’s why you’re here.