Friday, May 13, 2011

The Big Shift

Malcolm Muggeridge in Ministry at Age Eighty

I have lots of friends who are "legally" and "officially" retired but who are busier than ever. Several years ago our ministry saw what was happening with people who in the past had busied themselves with little more than golf and drinking but now ere energetically involved in numerous worthwhile activities. We said we wanted to recruit, network and facilitate these "Seasoned Believers or Seasoned Citizens" into a lifetime of service for God, families and country.

As I began to look into what is happening demographically and spiritually with many Seniors, it became apparent to me that I was not the first to see a huge shift was occurring right before my eyes. In fact, I was in the center of the shift and nobody even asked if it was OK to be involved.

One of the men who was prescient about the deeper meaning of the age changes was Marc Freedman. Although much younger than most of the people he is focusing upon, Marc began to read articles about the different kinds of people and different implications of Age Waves that were impacting every part of our culture. Marc is the founder and entrepreneurial energy behind several organizations and annual celebrations and prizes for what we used to call, "The Go Age".

Marc is best known for founding an organization called Civic Ventures. It is designed to help people over fifty find meaningful ways to contribute to themselves and others. Civic Ventures is having a terrifically positive impact on the way we seniors think and act. His book is The Big Shift It documents with stats, historical information and personal stories how the new ideas are radically changing the face of America and many other nations.

Look around you and see how many people who fifty years ago, would have been considered old, decrepit, useless and over the hill but who are energetically going about their business. I contend that we are living in an era of people who have the greatest aggregate amount of knowledge, talent, skills and wisdom in history. And, with 75 million Baby Boomers graduating into "retirement" over the next few years the abundance of potential will reach heights unimagined by anyone in history.

Mr. Freedman talks a great deal about how these people can be unleashed to give the nation and the world the benefit of their abilities. And, as he notes, at this age, giving is much more important to many people. Think not only of the transfer of wealth but also the transfer of wisdom, skills, gifts, spiritual insights and depth of experience. WOW!!!

What churches, community organizations or government agencies are recruiting these people? Doe you know of any that welcome and mobilize Seasoned Citizens? Let me know who they are and I will list them.

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