I’m often asked in one form or another about key concerns of a minister’s retirement. Clearly these concerns have applications for all of us but this is specifically directed at those who are licensed, commissioned or ordained as a "minister”.
Those serving in this role are often pulled in multiple directions both vocationally and personally. It is a challenging profession. However, when called and passionate, the “yoke is heavy but the burden is light”. (Matthew 11:30)
Here are 7 key issues surrounding ministers and retirement:
1. Do you have a vision of your preferred future after you leave your vocational position?
2. Have you started to prepare financially and emotionally?
4. What financial resources will you need to continue to minister during the 4th quarter of your life and when will you need to access it?
5. How much money do you have and how is it invested?
6. Are you being intentional with a plan and is it integrated with your spouse?
7. What needs to change in both your understanding, thinking and action in order to fulfill God’s vision for your preferred future? Notice, I did not say “your" vision.
Anyone reflecting on these 7 components of preparing for a Lifetime of Ministry will pause for a moment and both reflect and evaluate. While none of us have it all figured out, some are further down the road than others.
Wherever you are, now is the time to begin and to continue in the process.
Many believe that the only key issue in retirement is having enough money. Certainly, without enough, your options and alternatives for ministry during that 4th Quarter are limited. They are limited because they are controlled by the lack of funding and having to calculate the income portion of any and all commitments.
There is a term that brings clarity to this part of the retirement issue: A Future Funded Ministry Plan. After all, there is ministry for you in the future and it must be funded. And, yes although "retirement" is not in the bible, "lifetime" certainly is and that makes all the difference!
While resources are a key issue, I am personally convinced that connecting with the idea of being Faithful for a Lifetime and serving through the duration of your life is the most impactful. Once that idea soaks into your mind and heart the action plan that it prompts will naturally lead you to the issues of vision, resource and planning. That preparation is certainly financially based but it also includes spiritual, emotional and relational preparedness as well.
Here is a challenge to all in ministry:
Are you ready to make Future Funded Ministry a part of your message to those you serve in your sermons, writing, counseling and teaching? It is time for this approach towards retirement to permeate our Christian community.
Ministers and those in Christian leadership, please join me in spreading the word!
Come join together as we share Trusted Advice along The Way.