With the 76 year bench mark now behind me I am thinking it may be time to retire from full time ministry. I have served for over 15 years as the business administrator at Quail Lakes Baptist Church…and 15 years as the volunteer treasurer before that. I love what I do so my hope is to serve in a part time ministry that will continue to exercise my skills and interest.
Most of us consider the financial impacts as we move into retirement, as it should be, but there are other considerations almost as important. It’s a big deal dropping benefits like your medical coverage, expense accounts and the like…and then picking up some of those costs yourself. Then there is the question of where to retire? This was an easy one for us since all of our 11 grandchildren live within an hour and fifteen minutes of the Stockton-Lodi area. When you couple family nearby, our church, our friends and our doctors, our decision over 10 years ago was easy – even though the grandchild count was only 7 then!
For me one of the major concerns is the change in my daily life. For over 50 years I have worked a job daily with fairly predictable hours, weekends off and a fairly busy schedule! I don’t want it to be like the ocean cruise, that after 5 or 6 days you have eaten all you can eat, watched all the variety shows you can handle; but you can’t get off the ship and boredom has begun to set in!
It has been reported by more than one source that those who retire and become ‘couch potatoes’ watching the tube, live only 18 months on average…..that may help explain why we read of only one instance in the Bible of men retiring. Those who helped erect the Tabernacle tent(s) were to retire at age 50 and then could only assist after that. Looks like I missed that mark! I have found that many retirees I know are so busy they don’t seem to have any time to relax or participate in other activities. I don’t want to go there either.
So, some of the considerations I am looking into include some part time work in ministry, volunteer work and of course some additional time on my fishing boat (you can’t fish every day)! My wife likes to travel; so that will play a role in retirement, allowing us to spend more time together and with our grand kids.
I have always enjoyed making a contribution, which is how I want to approach retirement – now 6 months away. I now serve on 2 church oriented boards and feel I am making a contribution to ministry; and that will not change with retirement.
Lots of decisions have been in the making for a number of years now but not without much prayer for the Lord’s will to become evident to us. And, we will continue to look for His leading, but we trust with a less hectic schedule. Many times we have heard the saying ‘when I agreed to marry him for better or for worse, I didn’t agree to lunch every day!’ My wife has her routine and I will need to develop my own!