A radical new book out today aims to shake up America’s laid-back retirement culture and launch a new wave of missions-driven seniors into God’s service.
“After a lifetime of work, the thought of a life of ‘(doing) nothing’ can seem like paradise,” said Bruce Bruinsma, author of The Retirement Reformation, published by WestBow Press and available at major booksellers. “But I believe most people have it all wrong, and they’re missing wonderful opportunities to serve God in their later years when they could be most effective.”
Bruinsma, a 78-year-old veteran financial adviser, launched the faith-based Retirement Reformation movement (www.retirementreformation.org) as a counter-punch to the typical view of retirement as a time for leisure and self-indulgence.
“I’m on a mission to change the way people think about retirement,” Bruinsma said. “Men and women do not live by investment accounts alone. There’s more to retirement than money, IRAs and 401(k)s.”
The Retirement Reformation challenges people to pursue God’s plan for their golden years, cautioning against “the lure of doing nothing,” and explaining that most people approach retirement with “dreams about what they are free from, not what they are free to do.”
“God has been preparing us literally our entire lives for this last season,” Bruinsma said, “but sadly countless Christians enter a state of spiritual dormancy, not realizing or knowing how they can continue to have an impact for God’s Kingdom.”
The book sets out, step-by-step, how readers can plan for what God wants them to do post-career, pointing out that Jesus made plans – “I am going there (heaven) to prepare a place for you” – and Moses began his mission at the age of 80.
Mission Possible: 30 Years of Post-Retirement
With people living longer, America’s retirees can expect to live another 20-30 years in their post-working stage of life – potentially decades for active missions service, and sharing their wisdom with younger people.
“There are around 800,000 words in the Bible, but two of the most powerful words stand out in the Gospels: ‘Follow me’,” said Bruinsma. “As long as we continue listening and following, God continues to call us.” Sometimes, following God results in unexpected adventures – as Bruinsma discovered when God led him to Timbuktu, Africa, to help missionaries prepare for their retirement.
The book launch is a milestone in the Retirement Reformation movement, following the Retirement Reformation Manifesto – an online charter that has collected more than 1,000 signatures so far this year from Christ followers committed to seeking God’s plan for their “final quarter.”
The book – full title of The Retirement Reformation: Finding Freedom with Faith…. A Better Way to Experience the Final (and Best) Decades of Your Life – details the experiences of Dave and Terri, a real-life couple trying to navigate retirement. Initially, their retirement goals focus on family and leisure. But when challenged to rethink their priorities, their ambitions for their golden years change drastically.
“God wants you to use all your experiences as he prepares you for something new and exciting you can do today and tomorrow,” Bruinsma said. “Now is your time to find out what this assignment is.”
Bruinsma has published two previous books, Finding Freedom: Understanding the Power of a Future Funded Ministry, and Moving Forward: Putting Your Future Funded Ministry Into Motion.