Several months ago, I asked Men Ministry Leaders and Pastors what is the one question or comment you would like to ask regarding ministering to men. One responded by asking why is it as men get older, it so easy for them to relinquish their roles in the church? I would add to that, do men who are retiring from a career think they can also withdraw from church ministry.
This is a three-part post you will see over the next few weeks. I am going to talk about men who are nearing retirement or are in retirement and what I think God may desire for you to do. As a Men’s Ministry Leader, we need to help men understand their identity is not found in their work – though many see it as such. As Christians, our identity is found in Christ, and as long as we are on this planet, God has a work for us to do.
If you are nearing retirement or have retired, you have spent many years in a career that helped you raise a family. You have watched your children become adults and are now raising their own families. Maybe you have grandchildren, and you are looking forward to spending quality time with them. Perhaps you and your wife are thinking about taking some nice trips around the country or throughout the world.
You deserve it. You have worked hard, long hours, odd shifts, when you were sick, maybe injured. You may have commuted many miles as I did; 100 miles round trip. Trying to stay awake while driving home in the morning after working all night and not knowing how you got home as you don’t remember those last 10 miles. Now you say it is time to slow down and relax. I get it – you deserve it.
Unfortunately, many men who are retiring from their career is also retiring from church. I don’t mean they are not attending church anymore; they may still be faithfully attending. Maybe teaching Sunday School or getting together with other men and doing some mission activities periodically. But in my travels, I hear retired men talking about it is time for the younger generation to take up the mantel and begin leading the church.
I get it. We do need to hand the mantel of leadership over to the next generation at some point. But have we prepared the next generation for leadership spiritually? As retirees, we may not be in visible leadership positions anymore, but we still need to take young men under our wings and encourage and continue to help them grow spiritually.
Think about it, men of the Boomer Generation, we are retiring from our careers in our 60s, 20 years younger than when Moses was starting his ministry. Exodus 7:7 tells us; Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh (Exodus 7:7).
In Joshua 14:10, Joshua was talking to his people and made this statement;
As you see, the LORD has kept me alive these forty-five years as he promised, since the LORD spoke this word to Moses while Israel was journeying in the wilderness. Here I am today, eighty-five years old.
Joshua had just completed leading his people into the Promise land and had fought many battles. Now he was leading them as they divide the land for each of the tribes.
Retired men, we have so much knowledge stored away in our brains and have learned so much in life as we have grown in the Lord. I want to encourage you to share that knowledge with younger men. You can do that through the ministry of discipling and mentoring.
Start a ministry in your church for retired men to sign up as a discipler and mentor. One of the joys I have had was the privilege to disciple college students who reached out to me. Watch how God will use you in these years. You will be amazed.
You may be retired from a career or maybe thinking about it. But remember, God is NOT through with you yet. As long as He allows you to walk on this planet, He still has a mission for you, regardless of your age. Give strong consideration to disciple and mentor those younger than you.
Next timie we will look a little deeper into this thing about Retired Men mentoring.
Together in the challenge and adventure to disciple men – Mike