About the Author
SEVEN ESSENTIALS FOR FINISHING WELL
“Fulfilling God’s Plan for Our Aging Years”
By Dr. Hal Habecker, DMin
FWM aims to encourage every retired Christian and every Christian thinking about retirement to “fulfill God’s plan and purposes for our aging years.”
FWM is an important initiative that aims to change the narrative of aging people in life along with our churches and communities. We see the presence of aging followers of Christ as a growing convoy/peloton of saints purposing to make a greater difference for Christ throughout their aging years. That legacy will strengthen the work of Christ for future generations.
God has a mission for us as we age. The mission of FWM is to strengthen the ways Christians think about and livein retirement. Culturally speaking, retirement means one stops working at a certain age and then begins receiving Social Security. Most seem to understand that this new season means that one steps back, embraces a quieter life, certainly more leisurely pace of life, investing more time with family, travel at will, and/or see the world. At that point life changes. Purpose changes. But it is precisely at this point we must ask, what is our purpose now?
As in all of life, we would look to the Scriptures for guidance at this point. Thinking biblically we discover that God’s plan and purposes for His people do not change at the age of retirement. As followers of Christ, we are called to keep growing spiritually, to keep being conformed to the image of Christ, to keep building the church, to keep sharing the Gospel, to keep on being ambassadors for Christ, to keep using our giftedness, to keep being filled with the Spirit, and to keep on making disciples in every one of our retirement years. Mobilizing seniors throughout their retirement years for His purposes is the purpose for Finishing Well Ministries and for the purpose of this discipleship project.
How to Use This Project
To encourage this biblical mindset in retirement is the purpose of this discipleship project. FWM has developed this video series/workbook to focus on seven (7) essentials in life that will help us live well and finish well. It is particularly designed with retired and aging people in mind. We believe God has an incredible mission for us as we age. We have a compelling mission. The workbook follows the video series. The two are designed for personal use or small group use. We encourage its use as a church educational elective, in a Sunday School group, a home group, or a Bible study group (men, women, or couples).
We also believe that this curriculum can be helpful for those beginning to think about retirement. Thinking through these important issues will give this age group a “head start” in thinking about how God views the value of the retirement season of life.
Some day in the not-to-far-distant-future, all Christians, particularly aging Christians, will contemplate the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4.6-8. Paul teaches the importance of living life with eternity in view.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Stephen R, Covey, author of his classic work, The Seven Habit of Highly Effective People, notes the importance of this point in his second habit - “Begin with the End in Mind.” Covey invites you to imagine your funeral. He asks you to think how you would like your loved ones to remember you, what you would like them to acknowledge as your achievements, and to consider what a difference you made in their lives. Engaging in this thought experiment helps you identify some of your key values that should underpin your behavior.
That’s called living with the end in view. Life goes all too fast. Let’s purpose to finish well so that our life, with the Apostle Paul, will bear witness to our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12.1,2). To live that way is the purpose of this video series and workbook.
Consider these words. Dr. J. I. Packer (1926–2020) said it this way, “Runners in a distance race… always try to keep something in reserve for a final sprint. And my contention is that, so far as our bodily health allows, we should aim to be found running the last lap of the race of our Christian life, as we would say, flat out. The final sprint, so I urge, should be a sprint indeed” (Finishing Our Course with Joy, pp. 21,22).
Note: All Scriptural references are from the NASB Updated Version of the Bible (1995). For clarity, we have also italicized all Scripture quotes. @ Copywrite by Finishing Well Ministries, 2023.