Retirement is a Change of Venue

I am now in retirement after twenty-eight years of ministry in Metropolitan Baptist Church of Oklahoma City. The people of the church made those years very satisfying and happy ones. it has been an honor to serve among them.

During recent months my wife Connie and I have been traveling, visiting our children and grandchildren, and enjoying some special adventures with friends. This has been restorative.

Folks have asked what I want to do in retirement. For one thing, it’s nice to be able to read the newspaper all the way through in the morning, and take a nap in the afternoon. Prerogatives of advanced age!

I have a few hobbies and I want to develop some new interests too. Life at this stage is good. Connie and I are happy together. We recently celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary in Florida with our five adult children and their spouses.

Recently I have been reading and re-reading Paul’s letter to the Colossians, recording impressions in a journal. I noticed something that Paul wrote near the end of his letter. In his personal words to his friends at Colosse, he admonished Archippus, “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord” (Colossians 4:17).

“That’s a word for me”, I said to myself. “Retirement doesn’t mean my work for the Lord is finished. There is more that I can do for Jesus. I need to pay attention to how he may be leading me.”

I read how Paul asked the people to pray for him. He said, “Pray that God may open a door for (his) message, so that (I) may proclaim the mystery of Christ… Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should”.  (Colossians 4:2-4).

Without for a moment comparing myself to Paul, I have been adopting his prayer as my own. I want the Lord to continue to use me as his witness, to go through the doors of service he opens for me.

Connie and I are joyfully serving as volunteer chaplains with the Oklahoma Jail and Prison Ministry. I’m a Whiz Kids tutor every Tuesday evening as I have been for almost twenty years. There have been opportunities to preach the Word and I look forward to doing that more. I just want to “see to it that (I) complete the work (I) have received in the Lord”.

Retirement is not the end of my ministry. It is merely a change of venue.

— Pastor Randy Faulkner

One Reply to “Retirement is a Change of Venue”

  1. I think this is an important perspective for all of us. As a man in my late 30’s, I’m in the middle of one of the most chaotic times in life: raising kids (one just became a teen), trying to succeed at work, guarding and nurturing my marriage, being actively engaged in ministry at church…. For most people, I think we tend to think of retirement as the “finish line” and dream of all the free time and leisure that awaits. If I’m honest, I don’t think as much about ministry opportunities in retirement as I do these things. I like the perspective of retirement as changing venue. It’s a good reminder of the life-long call to service we have in Christ. Thanks, Pastor Randy!

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