Over the last year I had the privilege of attending two different celebrations for men who, having worked several decades in their respective fields, were each transitioning into a new phase of their lives. In approaching that milestone, the common sentiment is, “What now?”
As you can imagine, these celebrations included timelines of their achievements, tributes of respect and appreciation, and – always the crowd favorite – photos of their younger selves. Yes, 30-40 years of work and service definitely changes the way a person looks. But what a wealth of wisdom and experience is now embodied in each of these individuals! Their stories are unique, amazing, and inspiring.
My favorite part was that the celebration didn’t end there. Each of these men also shared what they hope to accomplish in this next chapter. And they are far from done! They view their work/ministry in terms of a lifetime perspective, so while the page may be turning, they are already looking forward with great anticipation to the work and service still to be done. It is so encouraging to see how the culmination of their life’s work to this point is now converging into their future.
In his book, “The Making of a Leader,” Dr. J Robert Clinton identifies this “convergence” as Phase 5 in an individual’s life. He writes, “Convergence manifests itself as a person responds consistently to God’s work in their life. …Convergence occurs when an individual is moved by God into a role that matches gift-mix, experience, temperament, etc. …It also enhances and uses the best that these individuals have to offer.”
Both of the men that I had the pleasure of celebrating with were entering this profound phase of life. Their gifts have been cultivated, their experiences converted into wisdom, and they are excited for their unique futures to utilize all that life has shown them. One of the men I have been talking about is Bob Blayter* and you can learn more about him below, and hear directly from him how we tackled this question of “what now?” in the column to the right.
My advice to you? Intentionally seek out and spend time with men and women who are older, wiser, and more experienced than you are. Somehow it seems we have lost sight of their great and essential value in our society. The Bible says we should seek wisdom and cherish it like precious jewels, and one of the best ways to do that is to be around those who have it. Ask them for advice. Observe their life. Inquire about what they have learned. Treasure them.
*Bob Blayter worked as associate pastor at Wonderful Mercy Church in Gilbert, Arizona, and at Word of Grace (now named City of Grace) in Mesa, Arizona. It was during 25 years of pastoring that God showed Bob the need for practical teaching that could transform people’s lives. Bob has a degree in religion from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix and a certificate of graduate studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He also hosted a radio show, and is currently a monthly columnist for the Arizona Republic, while running multiple seminars you can hear more about in the column to the right.
Paul Palmer has been a God send. I have been meeting with him for a few months and he has been an excellent source of encouragement and very specific, concrete strategies to help me transition from 30 years of pastoral ministry to getting my seminar and conference ministry going.
As a result I have created Bob Blayter seminars which you can access at www.bobblayter.com to see the five seminars and retreats that I conduct. I also have a website, financiallyfreeseminars.com, which is the main seminar I have conducted for years.
Paul showed me that even though the financial seminar has been my main source of teaching, that really my heart was to do all five seminars, hence getting the website to showcase all of them. In addition he has prayed with me and has offered to connect me with other pastors who might want to use my ministry.
I would highly recommend Paul for any coaching, consulting, and marketing needs that you might have.
If you would like to talk with me personally, I can be reached at 480-239-4843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
With great appreciation,Bob Blayter