Distinctively Christian Retirement

Distinctively Christian Retirement : A Biblical call to serve Jesus well in older age

4.6 (5 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.6 (5 ratings by Goodreads)

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Most of us simply assume that we have a right to retire from work and spend the rest of our lives doing whatever we want. While the idea of a long holiday sounds wonderful, this is not the whole truth. Retirement is a relatively new concept in world history and often brings relationship challenges, health problems, and crises of purpose and motivation. It is often not the paradise we have been promised.

God's word never encourages us to take an extended holiday towards the end of our lives; while the concept of retirement is not found in the Bible, God's word remains very helpful for us as we prepare for our later years. God speaks to us through his Word about important issues like purpose, death and identity that make sense of the struggles many retirees face. The book of Ecclesiastes is a particularly rich source of wisdom for us as we consider the best way to live out our lives in God's world.

Older Christians should live in a very different way to those who don't trust Jesus. The Bible is full of teaching about age and maturity, while also furnishing us with a range of helpful and unhelpful examples of older believers who have gone before us. God's word also helps us think rightly about health limitations, nostalgia, money, and many other relevant issues.

While some older Christians may feel less important or that they have less to offer, the Bible teaches that our worth is not based on our work. Older believers have a great deal to offer the church and the world. The combination of experience and time means retirees are in a unique position to be a positive influence on those around them.

Christian retirees should be a great resource for the local church and a blessing to the communities that they live in. There are all kinds of opportunities for mentoring, encouragement, leadership, and evangelism. This book aims to give Christians a Biblical vision for how our later years might be used to serve Jesus.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 228 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 12mm | 308g
  • English
  • 0648993442
  • 9780648993445
  • 1,325,067

Review quote

With the wisdom of the Bible and the love of an astute and observant pastor, Simon has given us a timely gift regarding the much longed for or equally forbidden, R word. Retirement can see dreams of freedom dashed into nightmares of boredom. But by thoughtfully reflecting on retirement, he helpfully shows how, approached under God it can bring freedom through service.

As an active and reluctant retiree of 5 years I found encouragement as Scriptural reminders of our worth in Christ and God's design of us for freedom in service rather than self-indulgence, a tonic.

The challenges of the book come from an experienced and loving pastor, whose intent to help his readers catch, or re-discover, the joys of trusting and serving Christ clearly shines through. We are not being got at, but lovingly reminded, in very practical ways, that there is real life to be enjoyed in retirement.

Simon's book will be of great value to workers, their families, those approaching and already retired. With expectations vital to any life change, the encouragement to godly and realistic expectations is a great boon. Saving us from unhealthy cul-de-sacs by opening up new vistas for the last lap, is a gift worthy of personal reading and small group attention.

I am very happy to commend Simon's book and thank him for the work he has put in to helping us in this very practical way.

Rt. Rev Dr Peter Brain

Simon challenges us to rethink about the time God has given us on earth, and how we look at retirement against that backdrop. Is retirement from gainful employment really our time to relax, or an opportunity to serve God with that extra time He has given us? A most important discussion.

Rev Dr Stephen Rarig

A pastor in Perth (Simon van Bruchem) has written a very thoughtful book on retirement called "Distinctively Christian Retirement".

Because he is a pastor, he regularly sees how people think about their future and how they may plan in all the best and worst ways. And he's written this helpful book because every Christian of every age should be thinking of the way they can serve Jesus Christ right to the end. Of course we should! And it is a tonic for all ages with plenty of insights along the way.

The author challenges our foolishness in places - for example, will we really be remembered in one hundred years' time? And will we know or care? So why seek to be famous or try to leave an empty legacy? And he comforts our fears in other places, pointing out how powerful our witness can be in normal contacts and how impactful despite our sufferings. He also reminds us that we are stewards and not owners so let us use what we have with eternity in view.

This is a good book to teach the wonder of Jesus and salvation, to inspire a long and keen race for Jesus and to establish the real retirement that believers will have with Jesus.

Simon Manchester

Retired Rector of St Thomas, North Sydney
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