Aging and Retirement – 1
Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:32 NIV (1984)
America is becoming a nation of old people (the aged) and many Kingdom ministries are similar. By the year 2030 there will be more Americans over the age of 65 than under the age of 15. Currently in the U.S. approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers retire each day!
These demographics and their implications for our work demand that we be proactive in our strategy for how best to utilize and serve this staff demographic.
The world tends to operate from a functional worth system. That is, the value or worth of an individual is determined by the function that they perform. The more valuable the function performed, as deemed by society, the more valuable the person is according to society. Thus, we pay more for leaders than followers, more for doctors than custodians, and more for experienced workers than less experienced ones. It is this functional worth system that rationally can abort unborn children or euthanize the aged for their function is not deemed valuable by society.
This functional worth system is in direct contrast to the positional worth system of the Kingdom. Every individual, whether the unborn, the infirmed, or the aged, is deemed infinitely valuable. They are all individuals who are created in God’s image and for whom Christ died. Their value is not determined by function, but rather by position in God’s Kingdom as His unique creation. David Solie, a geriatric expert and author of “How to Say It to Seniors” says, “Aging in this culture is seen as a disease and a failure.”
In the Leviticus passage above, we note that God reminds us to show respect and honor the aged and elderly. Don’t just put them aside, but rather view them as valuable assets to be strategically deployed for the advancement of the Gospel and the Kingdom.