What do your leaders do at retirement age?

My wife and I had the great privilege last week to attend a seminar for shepherds and facilitators in OMS’s Every Community for Christ initiative. Through ECC, church planting movements are taking place in over 50 countries.

In 2011, ECC saw:

  • 587,037 decisions to accept Christ
  • 12,772 worshiping groups started
  • 473,908 baptisms

That’s 13 worshiping groups and 483 baptisms per paid worker!

Why is this initiative thriving the way it is? I believe there are a number of reasons, all beginning with the gift and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. One of those reasons provides a good assessment tool for us all.

Of those we met last week, a number of those engaged in the ECC mission are in their late-60’s and 70’s. For the opportunity to share the gospel and train and encourage leaders, some are riding across unpaved roads on the backs of scooters, traveling to places of great spiritual darkness, and risking severe penalties or persecution. Several talked about their diligent care for their health so that they can continue to endure the strain these ventures take on their bodies and souls.

Where do your leaders go when they hit retirement age? Are they still as involved in the mission as their health will allow? Are they dedicated to preserving their health so they can remain active?

Those involved in a big business may climb the ladder and trade work for pay until they can afford to exchange their work for leisure. If your leaders plan to spend most of their time golfing once they hit a certain age or save a certain amount of money, you might question whether they see what you are doing as more of an enterprise than a mission. If you can find your retirement-age leaders going as hard as they can long after they could have hung it up, then you know you have people working toward a great mission.

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