Jesus didn’t do any service projects in Nazareth. He didn’t evangelize, either. He wasn’t teaching or preaching. He wasn’t doing any of the things many expect to see serious minded young Christians engaging themselves in, these days. It’s not that those things were wrong, or somehow beneath him (or us). But apparently, they weren't necessary, either.
When his time came, Jesus did mighty works. But they didn't happen all the time. Healings and teachings and miracles, preaching and feeding and outreach, prayer and retreating and resting, even discipleship - all the Lord did, He did on his own internal clock. By the natural outpouring of his own devotion to his Father. By the intersection of God's spirit within him with whatever providence or circumstance happened to bring his way at any particular time.
Jesus Christ was about his father's business at age 12, in Jerusalem. That lasted three days. But I believe the next 22 years - when Jesus did "nothing" in Nazareth - were also his Father's business. I wish more folks leading the christian youth of america were telling them this is an option. Aspects of time - growing, seasons, development, patience, and years upon years of literally waiting on God - these do not easily leap from the margins of most study bibles.
When we fail to see time in the scriptures, we uproot events from reality. It all seems to happen at once, so why shouldn't it be that way, now? Maybe the elders of mainstream christendom are just glad to see kids kept busy, staying out of trouble, serving the Lord with such vigor. And maybe they're blind to the burnout it causes. I don't know. But this I do know...
We need a stronger sense of time and place when reading the New Testament.