Insightful Stewardship/Consultative Input: The Second Stage of Retirement


In Bob Buford’s book “Halftime – Moving from Success to Significance” he uses the term halftime to describe the time when life is re-evaluated and future direction is determined.

There are always key life points when both circumstance and life seasons produce an opportunity for review, reflection, and evaluation.


In prior editions of this blog, we have explored the first stage of retirement, or the 4th quarter, which I entitled “Active Application”. As is true with each transition to a new stage of life, there is an opportunity to review, reflect, and evaluate once again.

In Buford’s book, the timeline he mentions is Life 1, Halftime, and then Life 2.

I want to suggest that there is then another Halftime after Life 2 which leads me to entitle it Life 3. This is the 4th Quarter and perhaps the place where we can hear the Third Calling, as it is referred to by Richard and Leona Bergstrom in their book by that title.  

Let’s call the points of transition between life stages, where review, reflection, and new direction emerges, a Strategic Pause with Tactical implications.

Moving from Active Application to Consultative Input begins in your late 70s and extends through your mid to late 80s. While none of the last three stages of Ministry for a Lifetime have hard edges, there can be significant examples of overlap and extension, life, energy, willingness to engage and impact during these life stage transitions.

So what does this time of Consultative Input/Insightful Stewardship look like?

Primarily it is more collaborative and less personal. Collaborative in the sense that the focus is on using a lifetime of experience, the longest period of time walking with Jesus, with the greatest understanding or who you are to speak into the situations and circumstances of life.

During this stage of life, you either have the opportunity to begin shrinking your world and limiting new life experience or expanding the world and bringing great wisdom and even new solutions to key issues, problems, and opportunities.

In other words, you can speak wisdom into reality and expand your world, not shrink it.

Remember the perspective that the ceiling of each stage of life is the platform for the next. Willam Barclay brought an interesting perspective to this conversation when he said,

There are two great days in a person’s life – the day they are born and the day we discover why.
— Willam Barclay

 I am suggesting that being in God’s will and listening to His calling is a lifelong process and continues during those times of strategic pause that accompany each and every life stage.

The Consultative Input stage is the time to begin to lead with ideas and input from a chair of collaboration rather than from a racetrack of activity.

I have connected with a wide variety of people and have asked for their feedback regarding this stage of life and here are some key themes that emerged:

1.     A commitment to walking alongside others

2.     A developed capacity to “speak into” a situation or a life

3.     A time to expand your influence and not shrink your neighborhood/world

4.     Mentoring rather than mining – begin to mentor the mentors

5.     Bringing unexpected blessings

6.     Increased humility and appreciation of and for “differences”

7.     “Just a closer walk with God”

8.     Be an encouragement and a living example

What can we expect from those in this life stage and how can we encourage them to really see their Kingdom Value?

John Kennedy said:

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.
— John Kennedy

The temptation during this life stage is to live in the past but it is actually the time to expand your world and help build the future!

Use your past and the present to inform your input about the future because there will never be a better time to make a difference!

Stay with us on this journey through the three life stages of life’s 4th quarter.

Your comments and responses are always appreciated.


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