Make the Most of Retirement

Make the Most of Retirement

£8.99

Living for God into retirement

‘Retire’ means to ‘withdraw’, to ‘retreat’, to ‘give ground’, to ‘cease to compete’. In one sense that is true: retirement does involve a leaving of office or employment. Yet retirement is also about new beginnings and new opportunities. In this helpful book, grounded both in personal experience and in extensive research among retired ministers, and rich in quotations from an eclectic range of writers, Paul Beasley-Murray explores how retirement is part of God’s rhythm for our lives and provides encouragement and insights for this next stage of the journey. A must-read for lay and ordained Christians alike.


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Title Make the Most of Retirement
Author Paul Beasley-Murray
Description

‘Retire’ means to ‘withdraw’, to ‘retreat’, to ‘give ground’, to ‘cease to compete’. In one sense that is true: retirement does involve a leaving of office or employment. Yet retirement is also about new beginnings and new opportunities. In this helpful book, grounded both in personal experience and in extensive research among retired ministers, and rich in quotations from an eclectic range of writers, Paul Beasley-Murray explores how retirement is part of God’s rhythm for our lives and provides encouragement and insights for this next stage of the journey. A must-read for lay and ordained Christians alike.

Details
  • Product code: 9780857468642
  • Published: 21 February 2020
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144
  • Dimensions: 130mm wide and 198mm high

‘Retire’ means to ‘withdraw’, to ‘retreat’, to ‘give ground’, to ‘cease to compete’. In one sense that is true: retirement does involve a leaving of office or employment. Yet retirement is also about new beginnings and new opportunities. In this helpful book, grounded both in personal experience and in extensive research among retired ministers, and rich in quotations from an eclectic range of writers, Paul Beasley-Murray explores how retirement is part of God’s rhythm for our lives and provides encouragement and insights for this next stage of the journey. A must-read for lay and ordained Christians alike.

Paul Beasley-Murray is the chairman of the College of Baptist Ministers. Formerly Senior Minister of Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford and prior to that Principal of Spurgeon’s College, London, he is a prolific author and blogger. His most recent publications include his autobiography This Is My Story: A story of life, faith and ministry (Wipf & Stock, 2018).

'Like all the writings of Paul Beasley-Murray, this refreshing book is thoroughly researched and generously illustrated from personal experience, and never shrinks from reflecting on the shadow side of this period of life.' David Coffey OBE, Global Ambassador for BMS World Mission and past President of the Baptist World Alliance

'An invaluable aid for ministers of religion, in particular, and other people, generally, as they prepare for retirement.' Revd Dr Richard Jackson, Methodist minister and pioneer (in retirement) of the Cliff College International Training Centre

 

Methodist Recorder 06.03.20. Review by John Lampard.

When I 'sat down' 14 years ago I read a number of books about retirement, which offered guidance on how to live the following years. It was interesting therefore to read, in the light of experience, Making the Most of Retirement by Paul Beasley-Murray, which is mainly written (although it is not in the title) for retired ministers.

The author is a Baptist minister, who now worships at Chelmsford Cathedral. He is fortunate to have had a healthy and fulfilling retirement which has involved writing and research, continuing leadership on Church committees, travel, church activities and family life. He divides the book, which consists of 31 short chapters, under four headings. First there is ‘Beginning a new journey’. In these chapters he encourages a new sense of adventure and adjusting to a new pace of life while maintaining spiritual disciplines which can weaken without the regular pattern of preparation and pastoral care.

The second heading is ‘Finding new purpose’. Here he writes of the need to discover a new identity now that you are no longer ‘the minister’, to do something worthwhile in the local church and, importantly, to be an encouragement to your minister. Something a retired minister can occasionally stumble over!

The third section, entitled ‘Living a full life’, offers sound advice on enriching your life with exercise, making new friends, enjoying your grandchildren (if you have them) and sharing your faith story with others. The author has taken the risky step of publishing his own autobiography, which he refers to frequently.

The final section, ‘Preparing for the final journey’, reminds readers about making practical steps in terms of wills, powers of attorney, leaving your affairs in good and clear order, with spiritual reflections on the journey into death. Of value in this section is the important reminder to continue to be grateful to God, to let go of past hurts and be prepared to let go.

Every part of the book is supported by the author’s wide reading on retirement issues, wise words from both secular and Christian writers and information on his own life journey. All these make the book an easy read. If I have any reservation, it is the fact that it is refracted through the lens of what he sees as a very successful ministry and a worthwhile, rich and diverse retirement.

I wonder how it would appeal to a minister who arrives at retirement broken after a hard ministry, dispirited and in poor health – and some do. The author’s bright ‘can do’ approach might not be so encouraging to some.

Reviewed by The Rev Dr John Lampard, a supernumerary minister in the City Road  Methodist circuit.

 

Reviewed by Richard Frost

Being just over one year in to my own ‘retirement’, this was a book I had to read – and it did not disappoint. Paul Beasley-Murray is a retired but still very active Baptist minister and it is a delight to read about his very positive experience of and views on the post-employment, next stage of life.

Among many other titles about retirement from both Christian and secular perspectives, this book is aimed specifically at those in or preparing for retirement from paid church ministry, something which the author claims is a first. All that said, the book does contain very helpful insights, suggestions and advice for those who, like myself, have moved on from non-Church based employment.

‘Hopefully this book will help address the imbalance which is present on some retirement courses,’ he writes, ‘where much of the content seems to be devoted to practical matters such as pensions and housing, with little reference to all the other issues which are part of the ministerial retirement experience.’ An observation which is true of many moving on from non-ministerial occupations too.

With its short chapters and the author’s relaxed writing style, this book is easy to read. Developed from interviews and qualitative research carried out by the author among retired ministers – findings of which are published elsewhere – Paul Beasley-Murray uses this as a basis on which to build, complementing it with examples of his own personal experience. These provide helpful illustrations and although very autobiographical (something which the author acknowledges) they are practical and realistic. More examples drawn from the research would have strengthened the book even further.

Within its pages, the author covers preparing for the next stage of life and the importance of doing so, giving time for adjustment, finding new purposes, relaxing and doing ‘non-work’ things. He also tackles head-on the difficulties of ill health and facing death. Not everything in the retirement garden is rosy but there are ways of dealing with the aphids.

When I was preparing for my own ‘retirement’ I, like the author, avoided using the R word preferring instead to think of it as the ‘next stage of life’:

‘The word “retirement” has such negative connotations,’ writes Paul Beasley-Murray. ‘Perhaps not surprisingly, Ernest Hemingway said that “retirement is the filthiest word in the language.”… Retirement offers an opportunity to be more alive than ever.’

With many people living longer and enjoying an active third age this book provides a very positive, encouraging and valuable resource and is to be recommended reading for anyone at this stage of life.

Richard Frost is the author of Life with St Benedict and writes a blog at workrestpray.com