Better Get Prepared

shutterstock_59019622.jpg

Did you ever get to the end of the road and it was a drop off to nothingness?  I’m afraid we are on such a path and aren’t reading the “tea leaves”.  “Unless deep seated social change occurs then a longer life is a gloomy prospect making longevity a curse and not a gift”.  So said Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott in their new book, The 100-Year Life.

What does that mean?  Some new statistics suggest that about 50% of those born in 2007 or thereafter, will live to be over 100.  Also, those born around the mid 1980’s will still be alive and somewhat kicking in their mid 90’s.

For decades now it has been our cultural practice to start worrying about whether we will have enough for retirement in our mid to late 50’s.  Then we start figuring out what we are going to do when we actually hit retirement, or general retirement age.  No wonder the numbers of those without enough and/or struggling with finding meaning and purpose for their 4th quarter are growing rapidly. 

The authors of the book also say that the failure to address the issue and to begin to think with an innovative mindset is a problem worth addressing, both individually, within our marriages, and corporately.  When we add our faith into the equation, the issue looms even larger.

I’ve recently written on how changing technology may alter our options during the 4th quarter.  For example, we may have to change from driving the truck to programming its delivery route and schedule.  Instead of teaching face to face, we may have to learn how to manage Skype and GoToMeeting.  The changing world may impact those in the 4th quarter even more than the rest of us.

I was speaking yesterday to two young financial planners in training.  They are both about 30 and passionate about helping Pastors and faith based workers deal with all the different life stage issues.  First, I suggested that  we examined the three different stages, seasons, of life that make up the “retirement years”.  They were a bit skeptical?  "Isn't all just retirement?" they asked.  I suggested that there were significant differences between the 3 stages.  Each stage then required both a new understanding and a different approach to planning.  More skepticism.

shutterstock_278222795.jpg

Then I followed up and asked if  significant differences existed  for the 30 years of life between age 20 and age 50.  They looked at me with the “duh” written all over their  face.  "Of course there are!" they said.  Understandably!  Then I asked, “Why then don’t we expect there to be differences between the 30 years extending from age 65 to 95?”  Their expressions slowly  changed to acceptance of a new reality.

The research and literature is exploding about the impact of longevity.  Increasingly we are growing our understanding not only of the reality of longevity, but the need to both understand and begin preparation for it earlier than our late 50’s and well after age 65 or 70.

As Christians, we are called to be faithful to God’s purpose for our life, for a lifetime.  We are to be prepared not just for a season or an arbitrary age, but for a lifetime.  That preparation must be funded and we call that a Future Funded Ministry plan.  Now we need a name for the time of preparation encompassing everything else prior to retirement and everything in addition to money.

Here are a couple of options.  What do you think?

A ministry for a lifetime plan?

Faithful for a lifetime plan?

A lifetime plan?

A future ministry plan?

Preparing The Way?

Future purpose?

Equipped future?

Well, you get the idea.  We do need to make ready and be equipped for our Kingdom Purpose.  The importance of being prepared for our Kingdom purpose in all areas of our life, can’t be emphasized enough.

So "be prepared", it is more than the Boy Scout’s marching song.

Continue the journey at Future Funded Ministry

-Bruce