This issue of Essentials focusses on retirement. There are great contributions from some of the leaders of our church from a range of eras of retirement.

Given that most of us will be living longer lives the issue of retirement becomes even more challenging and important.

Being in the younger bracket of this phase of life I don’t really regard myself as retired! When I’m locumming I’m working full time and in between I have more flexibility!

On top of that I have the opportunity to chair a number of Boards and to coach younger leaders. As well my wife and I volunteer with a local charity and we have the privilege of playing a small part in a remarkable work that assists those most in need in our city. I’m doing this without the stress of leading a church and all the joys and challenges that that represents.

There are wonderful contributions in this issue from some of the great leaders from the past 50 years or so. What they each illustrate is that ministry continues on for each of us, but it is being expressed in a diverse range of ways. If we’re open to God’s leading then He is always open to using us in His service.

At the same time Moyra Dale has written a beautiful and honest article which captures what happens when our plans are disrupted by major illness.

There is a genuine need for more conversation about how we can continue to serve God in the unfolding phases of our lives after our ‘full time ministry’ or paid work ends.

I trust you’re refreshed by each of the articles and the book reviews.