Yesterday after a morning at church and an afternoon whacking weeds, I took a break to listen to the last couple of innings of my favorite baseball team on the radio. My wife Debbie recently purchased a hammock which we hung up between two giant pine trees in our backyard. As I laid there relaxing, listening to the game, daydreaming about the future, it dawned on me that it has been six months to the day since I retired as the pastor of the church I founded 21 years ago. Where has the time gone? Time as they say flies!
People always ask recent retirees, “What do you do with your time now that your not working” and the answer I’ve heard given by others is now one that I utter myself. “I’m just as busy now as I was when I was working.” I believe that to be true because as a Christian you never really ever stop ministering. Sure, in the time since I passed the leadership baton over to the man I had groomed as my successor, I have taken on some new assignments. For a couple of months leading up until Christmas I served as the volunteer coordinator for the Salvation Army and since the middle of January I have been writing blogs and coaching pastors for the Effective Church Group. But that’s not what I mean when I say that as a Christian you never stop ministering. It’s not about being hired for another job. No, every one who is called to be a Christian is called to be a minister.
Not everyone is called to be a pastor but every one of us is called, gifted and commissioned by Christ for ministry. The Great Commandment isn’t a nine to five gig. The Great Commission isn’t only for those who cash a paycheck. The security that God offers his people isn’t social security that gets collected at age sixty five but rather eternal security that begins the moment we say yes to Christ as our Savior. Even though we may retire from our vocations, even “full-time” Christian ministry, we never retire from serving the Lord because the world around us continues to need to see Christ’s Good News working through us.
The plan, purpose and work that God has for us isn’t over until we die or whenever Christ returns. Until then we are to serve him, share him and if you are so inclined, day dream in a hammock about what ministry he has planned for you next.