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Posted by on Nov 17, 2019 in retirement, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Reimagining Retirement: Recovering a Vision of Elderhood for the Global Church (Lausanne Global Analysis)

Reimagining Retirement: Recovering a Vision of Elderhood for the Global Church (Lausanne Global Analysis)

This essay on retirement, targeted toward ministry leaders, was first published in the November 2019 issue of Lausanne Global Analysis. Here it is in its entirety. Greg Haanen recently turned 65 and retired from a career selling print advertising. For over 14 years, he lived in Minneapolis, while his wife Gayle ran Interlachen Inn, a small restaurant in Alexandria, Minnesota. Having lived apart from her for over a decade, he was ready to say good riddance to the two-hour commute every weekend, to spending nights alone, and to a life of hurry and obligation. They sold their house in Minneapolis and renovated their cabin with a deluxe fireplace, big screen TV, and farmhouse kitchen. He was eagerly awaiting a new season of rest and relaxation. Yet his honeymoon period was short-lived. Less than three months after retirement, his sister went in for another round of chemotherapy, having battled cancer for years. However, this time, she started to decline fast. In only weeks, he found himself coordinating hospice details, calling...

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Posted by on Oct 29, 2019 in Culture, Theology, Work | 8 comments

What’s Really Happening to American Christianity?

What’s Really Happening to American Christianity?

The Pew Research Center recently published an alarming report: “In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace.” Since 2009, the religiously unaffiliated have risen from 17% of the population to 26% in 2018/19.  And today only 65% of Americans identify as Christians, down from 77% only a decade ago. The report points out that there’s a generational dynamic at work as well. A full 8 in 10 members of the Silent Generation are Christians, as are 3/4 baby boomers. Yet today, less than half of Millennials call themselves Christians, and 4/10 are religious “nones.”  That is, when asked about their religious affiliation, they respond “nothing in particular.” There are now 30 million more “nones” in America than there were just a decade ago. Sobering stuff. Whether it be church attendance or looking at the religious preferences of Whites, Blacks or Hispanics, the decline of Christian belief in the past generation of Americans seems to be picking up steam. Some push back on this thesis. Glenn Stanton, a conservative...

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Posted by on Oct 13, 2019 in Art, Work | 1 comment

The Way of Nature, The Way of Grace – Tree of Life

The Way of Nature, The Way of Grace – Tree of Life

Recently I attended an event on faith and the arts. Erik Lokkesmoe of Aspiration Entertainment told a moving story. A secular journalist who had recently seen Terrence Malick’s film “The Tree of Life,” bluntly told him, “I call bullshit on all churches who don’t send busloads of their people to see this movie.” We then sat, about 90 of us, in a small art studio in Denver and watched the clip above from the opening monologue. Since then, I’ve watched it about 10 times. I pause. I listen. And I’ve been ruminating on the quote below. Do I live the way of nature or the way of grace? Do I accept slights, or do I look out for just myself? As I repeatedly watch this, I feel something heal inside me. I offer this clip and quote to you here for your own reflection. “The nuns taught us there are two ways through life, the way of Nature and the way of Grace. You have to choose which one...

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Posted by on Oct 3, 2019 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Spiritual Disciplines for Your Work: A Reflection Guide

Spiritual Disciplines for Your Work: A Reflection Guide

Recently my colleague Brian Gray, COO and 5280 Fellowship Director, wrote a short reflection guide for our donors on living out the Christian life in our daily work. Here’s my introduction to the booklet. If you’d like to receive monthly updates or receive a booklet, visit here. Dear friends, When I was a new Christian, one of the first things I learned from my involvement in campus ministry was that Christians are supposed to have a daily “quiet time.” This usually involved structured Bible reading, perhaps a devotional book, and — if I was particularly motivated or had the time — a list of prayer requests.  Daily devotions worked for me for years, but eventually, I grew tired of them. I had read the stories, done the prayers, experimented with dozens of devotional books. Eventually, I fell away from morning devotionals. And for years, I felt a deep sense of shame. Was I failing? What was wrong with my spiritual life? Had God left me completely?  Strangely enough, in...

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Posted by on Sep 9, 2019 in retirement, Theology, Work | 0 comments

How will I spend my time in retirement?

How will I spend my time in retirement?

“The first thing you have to know about retirement,” says Allan Spies, a 68-year-old retired US West executive, “is that you could live another 40 years.” Spies recalled a conversation he had with his pastor when he was on the cusp of an early retirement in his 50s. The pastor reminded Spies of all the time he had ahead of him As Spies started to spend his newfound time, he was also jarred by how much his schedule changed. “The other thing you’ve got to know,” he says, “is that suddenly your clock changes.” Many enter retirement busied and harried from the last few months of work. Then, like jumping off a moving train, the forward momentum comes to an abrupt halt. Weekdays melt into weekends. Long breakfasts can become early lunches. The time that was lacking in the pressure of raising a family and pursuing a career now floods into a quiet home.   After an initial honeymoon period, many early retirees find themselves quickly looking for structure...

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Posted by on Sep 2, 2019 in Architecture and Design, Art, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Culture, Economy, Education, Faith and Work Movement, Finance, Nonprofit, Science, Technology, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Faith and Work Bible Study

Faith and Work Bible Study

Friends, a happy Labor Day to you! To celebrate your work, I wanted to give you a gift: a free Bible study on Faith and Work. The study is structured around people’s stories. In a series of articles, I highlighted the way people are living out their faith in the workplace. Each study has a brief story Bible study participants can read at home. After each article, and before the study, we encourage you to Pause and Reflect on what the story might be telling you about God’s call for your own work. The Bible study is structured around six sections: Introduce, Discuss, Explore, Apply, Closing Thoughts, and Prayer. It also has additional Resources. Here are the weekly topics for “His Story, Our Stories: Encountering God Through Our Work”: (1) “Light for Electricians,” (Creation) (2) “Investments for the Kingdom” (Calling) (3) “Showing Hospitality to Strangers and Spring Breakers” (Fall) (4) “Productivity and Grace: Management and Labor at a Denver Manufacturer,” (Witness at Work) (5) “A Well-Designed Journal Can Change...

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