The Retirement Reformation: an emerging movement

In our prior text, we explored the context for the launch of the Retirement Reformation. We left our exploration with the following:

Next we will examine the actual components, the basic elements, the critical pieces of what makes up a movement. What are the essential themes that need to present? How will those themes be identified and communicated? and, what will be the Leader’s (s) role?

A.W Tozer brought this perspective:

“With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? Surely we are the most favored of all creatures.”

The two ingredients - the two keys to movements whether social, political, or religious are rooted in a growing realization that there is a problem and the consequent desire for change as an answer is a component to solving the problem.

Another good description of the elements needed to identify a movement is: 

A pervasive and identifiable issue that is coupled with actionable solutions appealing to a certain group of people. With those keys the door is unlocked and then opened for a movement of significant impact resulting in societal change.

Neil Smelser’s observations about social movements help develop our understanding of them. He identified another key element with what he called an Initiating Event. This type of event is one that leads to a chain reaction of events leading to a growing group of people reacting to the event and a movement is born.

It has occurred to me that for any movement to flourish, there are a couple of needed elements:

“There must be an element of push back against some established norms or ways of doing things, as well as a positive energy moving the solution towards something very new.” I was momentarily exhilarated with this insight. “This Retirement Reformation” will be an exciting journey! Discovering new ways of thinking and doing while replacing an entrenched way of thinking about the 4th Quarter with something dynamic and new.

A friend of mine was scratching his head the other day during our weekly time together. He reflected, “You (referring to me) are a strange combination of Serial Entrepreneur and a pragmatic systematic builder”. I was waiting for more and he added, “It makes it hard for some people who don’t relate to one or the other part of you to stay connected.” I took that in and thought about it for a couple of days. My conclusion is that he was right.

Movements are similar in that they can be somewhat confusing. They are the beginning of something new while needing the structure and pathways leading to increased clarity and subsequent action. Whether it be life’s journey or that of a movement, there is bound to be some confusion, distortion, and re-orientation before the results are clear.

No doubt, the Retirement Reformation will exhibit these characteristics too.

Leaderless Leadership

The difference between leadership and spiritual leadership is the source of the vision that drives the enterprise, mission, or ministry. Here we acknowledge the role of the Divine. Next, the difference between Top Down Leadership and Leaderless Leadership is the degree to which we open our minds and hands to welcome and include others in the growth and development process. Acknowledging the source of the vision for the movement is a great starting place.

When we acknowledge God’s role in implanting the vision in us, it is easier to become His follower rather than always trying to establish proprietary ownership. It is easier to be guided by His vision as the source of the Top Down Leadership and Inclusive leadership to be the earthly format for growth.

If the idea of Retirement Reformation is to go viral, it will be because it has been God led, openly engaging, and energetically promoted. The role of the leader is to bring a compelling interpretation of both the problems and solutions with the transparency of purpose, while including other leaders and communicators into an ever expanding circle of trust.

Here will be the challenge for all God draws to the issue of aging and the Retirement Reformation:

To listen in new ways and respond in different ways to God’s call and divine purpose for all, both now and for a lifetime!

Let’s personalize it: You will listen in new ways and respond in different ways to God’s call and divine purpose for you, both now and for your lifetime.

If so, consider this prayer, “God, give me new ears to hear your call, wisdom to discern your preferred future for me, strength to carry out your will, and the ability to consistently reflect Jesus to all I meet.”

Join the Retirement Reformation, the movement for you.

If you prayed that prayer, you are now prepared to actively join the Retirement Reformation. So you understand a little more about what you are joining, here is a review:

Four key elements to a movement:

1.     A common problem rooted in an easily observed and experienced reality

2.     A common lexicon describing the problem and the solution

3.     A common methodology for communication and interaction among the like minded

4.     A common agreement about the solution to the problem and actions that emerge as a result of the solution

5.   A common commitment to following God’s plan for our lives: a commitment that extends for a lifetime.

Stay with us as we journey with Trusted Advice along The Way.

Your thoughts and prayers are always appreciated.

Bruce