April 13, 2024
Finishing Well, Success in ministry, Resilience

Resilience and fruitfulness

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Missionary resilience In my first blog post on this topic of resilience, I said that understanding resilience is not primarily about minimizing attrition. Our goal is not simply to prevent missionaries prematurely returning to their sending countries. We want our colleagues and ourselves to thrive. Our desire is that they bear much fruit and grow and develop in their ministry gifts and skills. In this post, let’s explore the relationship of resilience to fruitfulness. Rewards come at the end This morning, I received another email encouraging me to watch a training webinar. It included a familiar incentive: Additionally, as a ‘Thank You’ to our loyal KLS members, we will be giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to a random attendee at the end of each of our February webinars. Make sure you stick around until the end of the… Read the whole post
Finishing Well

The End of Retirement: Dying and the Hope of Glory

This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series Finishing well This is the last day of the year. It is also my final post in this series on finishing well in retirement. Appropriately, I want to end by focusing on the end of retirement. Every retirement ends with death. Yet, for the Christian, the end of retirement is not just about dying. Most significantly, it includes the hope of glory. I am just starting my retirement. Last month I spoke with a dear friend who was ending his retirement. Notably, he was so excited about seeing Christ in all his glory. Although he was experiencing significant pain, he was finishing well, with his hope of glory clearly visible. My friend modeled the key to finishing retirement well: facing the reality of death with the hope of glory. The Reality of Death North American culture avoids talking about death.… Read the whole post
Finishing Well, Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning in Retirement

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series Finishing well We are continuing our blog series on finishing well, focusing particularly on retirement after a life of missionary service. Finishing well does not mean that we finish learning. Lifelong learning ought to continue in retirement. After all, we are still alive! Interestingly, opportunities for learning in retirement have grown as more baby boomers retire. In fact, my Google search for “learning in retirement” produced 332 million results. Many of these were courses offered by colleges and universities. There were also travel packages with onsite lectures covering secular and biblical history. Indeed, continuing lifelong learning in retirement is popular today. Yet, why should it be a priority for a retiring missionary? Lifelong Learning is a Christian Calling J. I Packer writes, Lifelong learning, both of the truths by which Christians are to live and of the way to live… Read the whole post
Coaching, Mentoring, Finishing Well

Planning to Restart

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series Finishing well Recently I mentioned to a friend that my wife and I will begin our retirement with a sabbatical. He looked at me oddly saying that sabbaticals are usually followed by a return to work. My response was that Christ still has good works for us to do in our retirement (Eph 2:10). In other words, a retirement sabbatical is a time to rest, reflect on past ministry, and discern God’s calling for our remaining years. Indeed, we are called to be a people zealous for good works (Titus 2:13-14). And there is no expiration date on that calling! Essentially, a retirement sabbatical prepares us for a restart. The nine practices mentioned in the previous post can launch us into a fulfilling retirement. Moreover, they help us find meaning and purpose in our later years. A retirement sabbatical is… Read the whole post
Books, Finishing Well, Lifelong Learning

Retirement Sabbatical: Identity and Calling

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series Finishing well In a previous post, I mentioned starting retirement with a sabbatical. In this post and the next, I will explore the benefits a sabbatical brings at the start of retirement. Specifically, I want to describe the anatomy of a sabbatical resulting in discerning identity and calling in retirement. Then, the following post will explore coaching and mentoring in retirement. In other words, this post deals with our self-awareness, and the next post our relationship to others. Anatomy of a Retirement Sabbatical I have a confession to make. I’ve never taken a sabbatical. Furthermore, I’m not retired yet (that comes on January 1, 2022). Yet there are helpful guides for taking a sabbatical. In chapter two of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement, Jeff Haanen outlines nine practices to consider as we plan our retirement sabbatical. 1. Prepare A retirement… Read the whole post
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