America is getting older. In 1950, near the beginning of the Baby Boom era, the average life expectancy of Americans was 68. Today, it is 79. By the year 2040, one in five Americans will be over the traditional retirement age of 65.
With so many facing life at or beyond retirement age, a new group of Christian leaders based in Colorado Springs is asking us to engage in some non-traditional, but thoroughly biblical, thinking about retirement itself.
This group says that age 65 isn’t the age to retire. It’s an age to re-fire, re-boot, and re-focus on your calling, influence, and ministry. It’s a time to pursue purpose, not pastime.
To focus their commitment, this group has produced a Retirement Reformation Manifesto, which begins: “Reforming retirement requires a reframing of our thinking, allowing us to shine a light into the purposeless retirement void and finding freedom from unending leisure, indulgence, and self-gratification.”
The group is led by Bruce Bruinsma, a 77-year-old entrepreneur and financial planner still active in business. Bruinsma says the Bible teaches that Christians are “called to bear fruit in every season of life.” That’s why the Manifesto aims to inspire “a movement where every Christ follower is confident in God’s plan for a lifetime of faithful service and committed to helping the Body of Christ reform its understanding of retirement.”
Bruinsma said: “As Christians, we are to remain faithful for a lifetime. My hope is that the Retirement Reformation Manifesto will inspire many, many people to believe God still has more for them in their later years.”
According to a statement released by Bruinsma and the other drafters of the document, “the 10-point manifesto challenges signatories to overturn traditional attitudes toward senior years as merely a time of relaxation and leisure. Instead, they are urged to embrace their ‘final quarter’ of life as time to find spiritual fulfillment and meaning in using their life experiences and resources to serve and enrich others.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Warren Cole Smith