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Life ministry continues in retirement

Created date

August 23rd, 2011

What is the appropriate age to retire? According to the Census Bureau, the average age at retirement is 62. Full social security benefits begin at 65, but that age is gradually increasing to 67. IRA distributions must begin by age 70 ' . There is only one mention of retirement in the Bible, part of the instructions for the Levitical priests: but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work. (Numbers 8:23-26)

No retirement age in God s work

This is a model for living faith retirement. Note that the Levites did not retire to a life of idleness and insignificance but remained active and productive in ministry, mentoring the younger priests. The Bible abounds with similar examples: Moses led the Israelites until his death at age 120; the prophetess Anna served daily in the Temple at age 84; the apostle John shepherded churches and wrote epistles until his death, probably well into his 90s. Dr. Howard Hendricks, 87, chairman of the Center for Christian Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary, advises that there is no such thing as retirement in relation to God s purposes. One may retire from a job, but never from life, never from ministry. After I retired, says Bob Mrozinski, a 78-year-old reader in Maryland and former bank executive, I needed something more than just another job I wanted to do something meaningful. For nearly 20 years he has voluntarily served his 10,000-member church by chairing its first Parish Council, chairing a committee that raised over $1 million for renovations, visiting sick members, and working in the office. I m on this Earth for one reason, he says, to help people. When will he stop? I might get tired, but I see others who are suffering and need help, so I ll continue doing it as long as God gives me the health and ability to keep going. Please write to me about the ways that you have transitioned your retirement years into ministry years. Send your letters to me at 703 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville, MD 21228, or email to bill@ericksontribune.com.

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