Am I Getting Too Old for This? Reflections on Work & Retirement

“As we bring these real-world questions to Scripture and look at them through a biblical lens along with our basic understanding of the theology of work, I think we can agree on a few things.” - IFWE


It is an interesting juxtaposition between this and Billy Graham's comment about never hearing of any of the Lord's servants retiring. But that noted, it is true that David retired from fighting wars at the insistence of his mighty men, and many kings appear to have had a "co-regency" to draw down their days and train their sons to assume the kingship. Today, it strikes me that a lot of jobs are structured so they cannot be done at "half-speed" or part-time, and I wonder how much of "I'm too old for this" is due to that.

And yes, as I see more and more old people living in a degree of poverty, I'm more and more in favor of opportunities for the aged to work part time and at half speed. It's a sense of purpose, needed movement, and needed income for many of them.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

One of our associate pastors stepped down a couple of years ago to half time when he turned 70. It was his request, and it's working out beautifully. He receives approximately half salary and he is an extremely valuable member of our pastoral team. We were able to add a young man full-time to take over some of his former duties, and we are delighted with the results of this arrangement.

In the past, we've had two former part-time pastors who began their service with us after they retired from previous full-time work. Both served with excellence until they were 80 and finally stepped down completely for reasons of health. I see no reason to fully retire as long as one has ability, desire, and opportunity to continue in a part-time capacity.

G. N. Barkman