“What are you going to do with the rest of your life?
That question is stirring the hearts of early retiring, active adult Christian men and women all over America. Are retirees to enjoy this time of life and dedicate it to sunshine, golf, travel etc? Of course, but what if they could do it in the context of also making a serious contribution to “helping people find their way back to God?” It sounds to me like a formula for a fulfilling life, one that balances the joys and freedom of retirement with the satisfaction of serving others and helping them “find their way back to God.” There is no greater joy in life than serving others in the name of Jesus. So, as Max Lucado has so eloquently put it: “Your last chapters can be your best. Your final song can be your greatest.”
Here is what one early retiree is doing and what it means to him: “I was a school teacher for thirty-three years, and loved the feeling that I had a chance to help guide kids to a better life. I missed that feeling after I retired. So God put me in ministry, where I have a chance to help guide lost people to a better life. Thank You, Lord.” – David Griesemer
New Thing for Active Adults (NTAA) challenges early retiring, active adult men and women to prepare themselves for a second career as church planters.
NTAA offers a residency in an active adult community in suburban Chicago called Carillon. This gated community of approximately 4000 adults has an active adult worship community of more that 200 persons.
This worshipping community is one of the 12 campuses of one of America’s best known churches, Community Christian Church, whose founding Pastor’s are Dave and Jon Ferguson. This church has long had an effective Leadership Residency Program for church planters. We are seeking to expand this into planting churches in the 1000’s of active adult communities springing up all over America.
How we propose to do this:
- We are seeking Christi-following men and women who are early retirees from various fields who will spend 9 months to a year with us to learn how to do effective ministry in 55 plus active adult communities.
- Residents will have access to 8 classes taught by specialists at the New Thing Network Leadership Training Center in Naperville, Illinois. Wheaton College offers 8 hours of credit for those who successfully finish this series of classes.
- As a resident, you would learn under the guidance of some gifted people with many years of service:
Dr. Earl Ferguson – D-Min, McCormick Seminary
David Griesemer - M.Arts, Illinois State University
Dr. David Snyder – D-Min Immanuel Christian Seminary
Dr. Ferguson planted a church in suburban Chicago and served as Pastor for over 30 years and has served as Campus Pastor at Carillon for the past 10 years. David Griesemer was a High School Coral Music and band Director and serves as Teaching Pastor and a leader of our Arts team. Dr. Snyder was a missionary in Kenya, Africa for 15 years and serves as Associate Campus Pastor.
- Our Goal is to train an army of Christian retirees who will move into America’s elite retirement communities and start small groups. Once the small group(s) number 35- 50 people, then seek use of a club-room or other area to begin holding worship services. These communities are delightful places to live with lots of amenities.
- This is the single most cost-effective way to start new churches. Why? Because most early retirees won’t need to depend on a salary from the church or planting agency. They can afford to spend a couple of years developing small groups. Once they grow into a worshipping community a stipend or supplement to their retirement salary may be welcomed.
- Community Christian will help candidates for residency find housing during their period of training.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” ~ Author unknown
If you would like more information please contact Earl Ferguson by filling out the form below.