While retiring may be a fairly flexible concept when one is fulfilling a God-given calling, there comes a point in the life of most ageing mission workers when they consider whether they continue in their work or return to their sending country. Some may be involuntarily retired, as a result of the policy of their sending agency or church, financial pressure or failing health. Others may take the opportunity of reaching a significant birthday to review their future.
Whatever stimulates it, retirement is a major transition and these pages are our effort to help with that. If you do decide to return to your sending country, read them together with our advice on re-entry, which covers a lot of relevant issues which we won’t revisit here.
There are many links to our own and other websites, so just click on the orange links below to follow them.
While the decision to retire will rest with the mission worker(s) seeking prayerfully to determine God’s will for their lives in old age, we encourage them to make this decision in the context of a supportive discussion involving a community of their agency, sending church, receiving church, family, friends, colleagues and member care professionals (where appropriate).
Why retire at all? Retirement is a fairly modern concept in the history of humanity, though don’t assume you have to retire if you don’t want to.
Why not stay on? Even if you do decide to retire, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to leave the country you’ve been serving in.
Why is it hard? For anyone, retirement can be hard. For mission workers, even more so.
How do I plan for retirement? When planning for retirement, it is impossible to start too soon.
How do I leave well? Leaving well is an important part of making the transition into retirement, yet sufficient attention is seldom paid to this critical psychological aspect of retirement.
What will I do with my time? Evidence indicates that those who are able to use their retirement fruitfully have a healthier retirement.
101 things to do about retiring. Once it’s definite that you’re going to retire, what are all the practical things you need to organise, both before and after?
Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.