I recently read a book called What To Do Next by Jeff Henderson. This would be a great read for anyone who is wondering what might be next for them in life, career, etc.
As believers, we seek to follow God’s call in our lives and that’s not always easy to discern, especially for some who have been in a ministry role or church ministry for so long. Comfort, familiarity, deep roots, and relationships can all bring about a numbness to the potential nudge of God to move to the next thing.
In his book, Jeff Henderson made some great points about the possibilities and did so in a non-stressful way. God can and will always be able to use you as you live and serve and know him. Your risk of stepping out of the comfortable areas of life may be a great way to change the pace and rely on God’s strength even more.
Here are three ideas I pulled from this book.
The scariest place to be is the same place as last year. No growth, no challenges. Just the same”Jeff Henderson
There is some truth to this. As we use our skills and grow in them, God can keep shifting our ministry and work to different types of impact. But there is also a sense here, aside from our work of ministry life that we don’t want our faith to stagnate. Have you ever been closer to God than you are right now? If so, you’re missing out – you’re in the same place as last year – no growth, just the same. Often, when we are aligned with God and his work, our faith on fire, the answers to life’s next steps come with more ease.
“I’m not retiring, I’m rewiring.”David Salyers
I like this concept. One of the best seasons of life for many people to serve in ministry roles is during retirement. I have been blessed to watch some powerful retiree service and action amid our church and ministry. The factors for effective ministry are numerous – time, skill, nothing to prove, wisdom, and energy.
There are times when I’ve heard the phrase, “I’ve done my time, I’ll let someone else take it now.” If you have breath, energy, and health, you can be a change agent in your church ministry. Don’t stop working – change the pace a bit and shift your energy to the church. There are men and women around our church who are making things hum in retirement. They have access to the building, and leadership roles, and they invest time all week long helping move things forward.
I’m not to that age yet, but I’m grateful for the model – rewire, don’t retire.
One family inspired me – they always moved to a town, looked for a church then purchased a house near their church. In retirement, they were ready to serve, they were all in. Another family I know committed to a staff-type role within the church – using their gifts of administration, a life of business, and details to help serve in administration roles in the church. Finally, another man I know talks about how he doesn’t really believe in retirement from ministry. If you’re a Christian, you’re living out your ministry until your last breath.
For everyone the retired age category, I invite you to rewire and invest your gifts in your local church as much as possible!
It’s close enough. It’s time to go. It’s time to make the leap.Jeff Henderson
This book isn’t saying you have to leave your post or your ministry role. There are many great examples of people serving their entire lives in one particular place or ministry. But if you’re only staying because it’s comfortable and you have a sense you should make a change, then you must begin to consider it more seriously. Most often, it seems, people want to wait until all the facts are in. They want a sure thing. The older you get, the more this factors in. It’s hard to leave, change, or transition. It’s hard to take a risk financially and emotionally, maybe even geographically.
You’ll never have a clear picture of what’s next until you take the plunge. You’ll never know what could happen until you start on the journey. And you’ll never have all the info you want – at some point, you have to say, “This is close enough, I’m going to make the jump.”
Pick up a copy of the book here.