Here is a high-impact Quote:
“I am dedicated to continuing my education and to follow God’s purpose and plan for my life as long as He allows me to be in this life. I should not have put off doing this for more than 65 years but God is opening new doors for me now.”
The writer of this statement is 77 years old. His view of what God is calling him to do in what the world calls “retirement” doesn't sound anything like the TV ads trumpeting fishing, travel and spending your kid’s inheritance on yourself.
The 4th quarter of our lives can and should be the most impactful. Because of our longevity, we have experienced more, lived more, made more mistakes and even learned what works. We are at the high point of our spiritual maturity and can have a clearer view of God’s preparation, process, and purpose for this season of our lives.
Unfortunately, this season is often viewed as a time of retreat, rather than a time of going forward. A time of looking out the rear view mirror, rather than peering out the front windshield. It is the Winter of life rather than a Summer with new opportunities.
Get Started Now!
If this writer quoted above, who is also a friend, can experience God opening doors for him at age 77, doesn’t it make sense that we acknowledge God's preparation process for each of us. We can begin now, during our current season, whatever that may be. I’m convinced that during each season of life, God has a calling, provides preparation and has a Kingdom purpose. In order to achieve His purpose, He has a unique plan, a role for each of us to fill to enhance the Kingdom.
Funding Needed During Every Season of Life.
I’ve also noticed that there is a funding need to support our lives of service during each season. During the early seasons it is usually our family. During progressive seasons we become responsible with compensation for work as the typical funding mechanism. During those productive years extending beyond 67-70, the funding must come from our wise stewardship of God’s resources starting years before. In each stage there is what we call a Future Funded Ministry plan. Of course, all ministry (service and changing lives) is in the future and during each season of life it must be funded.
The hymn, “Keep your eyes upon Jesus” is applicable here too. When the focus of our lives is on Him, we are looking up, out and forward. Knowing that there are seasons ahead, knowing that He chooses, calls, prepares and upholds us, and knowing that each season of life is part of the building blocks of life we can conclude that the last seasons can and perhaps should be the most productive……productive for Him.
God’s place for you, in every season.
There are thousands of churches in this country that do not have pastors to shepherd them and ministers to preach the word. My friend at 77, is prepared to answer that call. He is stepping up to a role as shepherd and minister. Having never done it before, he understands that God has uniquely prepared him for this opportunity to serve.
On the other hand, there are those ministers that have been in the pulpit for too many years and it is time to move on to what God has prepared for the next season of their life. There are so many needs, so many options and God sees them all. Being available to His call with enough resources to allow the freedom to answer and go is part of our larger stewardship responsibility and opportunity.
A quick quiz.
When He calls will I answer? Where He calls will I go?
Prepare now to finish well later.
Here is a thought that arrived on my desk recently:
Finishing well is not an accident; it takes intentionality.
My friend is now being intentional with his life. He is building on the experiences of many seasons and only lamenting that he put it off for so long. Let his story be your story, with a slight twist:
Let your Future Funded Ministry start now!
Trusted Advice for the journey ahead.
Come join us on the journey.