20 Apr Never Retiring From God’s Work
By Lari Kennedy
My husband, Erik, and I are working professionals and empty nesters. We’re the youngest of the baby-boomer generation, which means we’re not necessarily young, but neither are we old. Our kids are known as Millennials and we’re excited to be new grandparents. Besides everything else that we are, the most important is that we’re believers following after God. Jesus has been, and continues to be, the center and rock of our family. When the winds have blown hard and the sand has shifted under our feet—as all of us experience at some point in our lives—we have held on and have been sustained through God’s strength and grace to us.
Erik and I lead a small group of couples who are in the same life season. We have common goals: to continue growing in our relationships with Jesus and to serve God however and whenever we can. Erik and I want to be a blessing to others and impact lives that God brings into our sphere of influence. Many times, those people have been our neighbors and co-workers.
Even though we’re planning and pressing toward retirement, we have agreed in our small group that we’ll never retire from doing God’s work.
There are a number of ways to share God’s love to others. Erik and I have learned that we have the gift of making others feel loved and welcomed, often through good food and hospitality. Whether it’s a backyard barbecue, a small dinner party, or an all-church picnic for thirteen hundred people, our motto remains, “Erik makes it taste good and Lari makes it look good.” It’s just something we do. We love serving others and we love serving together. So, in this season of our lives, hospitality has become our ministry at Northshore and to our neighbors. Most of the time we invite our small group or others to serve with us, just because it’s fun and it’s a way we can serve God using the gifts we have.
Even though we’re planning and pressing toward retirement, we have agreed in our small group that we’ll never retire from doing God’s work. Loving our neighbors is a calling God has given us.
We are both involved with the 2nd Half Ministry at Northshore for ages 55+ and our small group recently studied the book Third Calling, What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? by Richard and Leona Bergstrom. It was during this study we were reminded that each of us has valuable gifts, talents, and experience. As we head toward retirement, we have no intention of wasting our talents and hard-earned experience. There’s too much kingdom work that stills needs to be accomplished to sit back and coast during our best years.
Get connected in 2nd Half Ministry by attending the 2nd Half Reunion Dinner Event.
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