Thursday, June 30, 2005

Finding Your Ideal Ministry

Show Notes:

Host: Jim Hughes, Christian Life Coach

Your Ideal (Dream) Ministry is defined as a ministry where:
  • You use your favorite skill
  • In a ministry defined by your favorite interests
  • In an organization having your favorite people environments
  • Serving your favorite ministry values
  • With your favorite working conditions
  • With appropriate salary and level of responsibility
  • In your favorite geography.
This definition is a straightforward adaptation from the one Richard Bolles gives as the definition of your ideal job in his book, What Color is Your Parachute?

Your favorite skills, interests, etc. are important because God made you the way you are for a reason -- to serve his purposes in ways that only you can do.

To learn more about yourself and how you're "wired," do the Flower Exercise in Bolles' book -- just apply the results to ministry instead of career.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Finding Opportunities to Serve

Show Notes:

Host: Jim Hughes, Christian Life Coach

Finding opportunities to serve means getting out and networking with people who are tied in to organizations that are serving. One in Houston that I like is "The Get-Together."

The ministry I talked about today is part of the City of Refuge church, and here's a link to their community development website.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

How well are you living out your values?

Show Notes:

Host: Jim Hughes, Christian Life Coach

If we spend a little time analyzing how we spend time and money, we'll gain a lot of insight into how well we're living out our values.
  • We may find that we're well aligned -- that we're spending our time and money on those things that are really important to us in our lives.
  • We may find that we're spending our time and money in ways that are not in alignment with our values. If that's the case, the question becomes "Why?" Are the things that we think are our values really values -- or are the things we're spending our time and money on truly what we value?
In retirement, we have more control over how we allocate our time. So retirement is a great time to re-evaluate what you're doing with your life. Why not intentionally structure your retirement to be well aligned with your values? Retirement can be about living your dream.

My challenge to you today is to spend some time analyzing how you spend your time and money. Does it align with your true values? What could you begin to do to bring your use of time and money into better alignment with your deepest held values?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Consumerism and Self Esteem

Show Notes:

Host: Jim Hughes, Christian Life Coach

Sign in the mall: "Because where you live defines who you are."

Our culture is dominated by consumerism. Advertising and marketing are doing their best to define the sources of our self esteem -- from cars to clothes to pots and pans.

Is it true that where you live defines who you are?
  • When I say I live in Houston, do you immediately think of a stereotypical Texan?
  • Don't we often judge people by where they live?
The real truth is that no house, no car, and no clothes can make any one of us better than we are. Buying things does not define who we are.

God defines who we are. And our allegiance to God -- or our allegiance to idols of this world.

May we be known as God's children -- may that define who we are.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Learning From a First-Grade Mentor

Show Notes:

Host: Jim Hughes, Christian Life Coach

1. Mentoring a child in a school is an example of a good volunteer effort. It provides a sense of purpose and the opportunity for collaboration with others -- meeting a retiree's needs for replacing work functions. It is also a tremendous service to children, families, and society.

2. There is a significant barrier in the minds of many to becoming a mentor -- or to taking on any volunteer assignment. We need to develop effective ways to help people who would benefit overcome these barriers.

To find information about mentoring in general, and mentoring opportunities in your area, click here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

What does the Bible say about retirement?

Show Notes:

Host: Jim Hughes, Christian Life Coach

Only recent English translations will use the word retirement, because the concept wasn't invented until 1885.

From New Living Translation: Numbers 8:23-26: "The LORD also instructed Moses, 'This is the rule the Levites must follow: they must begin serving in the Tabernacle at the age of twenty-five, and they must retire at the age of fifty. After retirement they may assist their fellow Levites by performing guard duty at the Tabernacle, but they may not officiate in the service. This is how you will assign duties to the Levites.'"

That's the only place in the Bible you'll find the word retirement.

We learn from the Bible that all other servants of God continued serving throughout life.
  • John the Apostle was serving and writing into his 90's.
  • Moses didn't even start his most important work until age 80, and continued until he died at age 120.
Jesus' call to us is to take up his yoke -- to join him in his work. It would go against every example in the Bible to suggest that we should slip off the yoke -- retire from working with him.

In fact, the modern invention of retirement actually provides the opportunity to do just the opposite -- to significantly increase our workload in doing kingdom business.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Why the Volunteering Process is Broken

Show Notes

Host: Jim Hughes, Christian Life Coach

Most churches and nonprofits offer retirees volunteer tasks -- but most often they are menial tasks. Such volunteer roles do not meet the need of retirees for gaining a sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction from working with others on something that matters.

Suggestions for church leaders:
  • Develop a list of significant ministries that need leadership and manpower.
  • Be ready to help retirees get started and to help them recruit others to work with.
Suggestions for retirees:
  • Be prepared to invent your own ministry.
  • Dream big.
  • Plan and build it like you would with a small business.
  • Be prepared to recruit others to work with you.
  • Expect little physical support from the church staff -- they probably don't have it to offer.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What will provide self-esteem in retirement?

Show Notes

Host: Jim Hughes, Christian Life Coach

Retirement can result in a huge blow to your self esteem.

Major sources of self esteem
  • Accomplishments (Doing)
  • Other People
The American ice-breaker: "What do you do?"

"What I really miss since I've retired is the people I worked with -- and getting to work with them on something that made a difference."

Things to consider:

1. Our self-esteem should increasingly be drawn from who we are.
  • We are "human beings," not "human doers."
  • You are a child of God.
  • You are a son or daughter, a spouse, a parent, and a friend.
2. We need to replace the functions of work when we retire.
  • Things to do that give us the feeling of accomplishment.
  • People to work with on something that makes a difference.
A link to an article on depression in older adults.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Why do people want to work in retirement?

Show Notes

Host: Jim Hughes

Why will you work?
  • Keep Mentally Active: 67%
  • Keep Physically Active: 57%
  • Keep Connected with others: 48%
  • Health Insurance Benefits: 45%
  • The Money: 37%
(Merrill Lynch New Retirement Survey, Dec. 2004)

Link to the Merrill Lynch New Retirement Information