In the last writing, I talked about working for many years to raise and take care of a family. Now we are ready to retire and maybe relax by traveling or fishing or working on your golf game. As we get older, we rationalize it was time for those younger to take over the leadership of the church. We need to hand the mantel of leadership over to future generations at some point; however, we do not need to think our ministry is over.
Those of us in the retiring generation have so much knowledge and experience locked up in our heads the Lord has blessed us with; we need to share this with those who will be and are our future church leaders.
I shared with you last time Moses was 80 years old (Ex. 7:7) when he and his brother first appeared before Pharaoh to state, “Let my people go.” Joshua was 85 (Joshua 14:10) when he finished marching into the promised land and begin dividing the land between the tribes. So, what makes men think when we retire from our careers, we can retire from training future generations to lead in a manner God desires. If you know me, you know I have a phrase I often say, “Often told – rarely trained.”
Let me share a few scriptures with you.
Psalm 71:18 says,
Even while I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me, while I proclaim your power to another generation, your strength to all who are to come.
Psalm 90:12 tells us,
Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.
Psalm 92:12-15 says,
The righteous thrive like a palm tree and grow like a cedar tree in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the LORD, they thrive in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, healthy and green, to declare: “The LORD is just; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” (Psalm 92:12-15)
It seems to me the Lord expects us to continue to proclaim and bear fruit in the years of our retirement.
In Psalm 71:18, the Psalmist asks the Lord not to abandon him while he proclaims God’s power in his old age. The Psalmist in Psalm 90:12 asks for God to teach us to use our days wisely, for we do not know when the Lord will call us home to be with him in heavenly places. Then in Psalm 92:12-15, the Psalmist writes that we will continue to bear fruit in our old age. This doesn’t sound like men who are spending their senior years relaxing. These are men who are pouring their lives into the future generations to ensure the next generation leads the church as God has instructed.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:8 Paul said, “We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.” Paul was ready to share his own life with those in Thessalonica. As we approach retirement or as we are in retirement, are we pleased to share our own lives with the future leaders of the church.
We‘ gray hair’ men have so much knowledge stored away in our brains and have learned so much in life as we have grown in the Lord; why would we not let younger men know we are available to share that knowledge through discipling and mentoring.
I encourage you to approach your pastor about starting a ministry in your church for retired men to sign up as a discipler and mentor. Watch how God will use you in the years of ‘retirement.’ You will be amazed. Or maybe you just go and, after prayer, find someone and tap them on the shoulder and invite them to meet with you periodically. You will be blessed, and so will they.
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. Give strong consideration to disciple and mentor someone.
Together in the challenge and adventure to disciple men – Mike.