Intersection of Life and Faith

7 Ways God Can Use Your Retirement to Further His Kingdom

  • Jennifer Waddle
  • 2020 13 Aug
7 Ways God Can Use Your Retirement to Further His Kingdom

“The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.” ~Abe Lemons

For many, retirement is bittersweet, as it marks the end of a career that was familiar, yet starts a new season of rest and opportunity. There’s both the joy of finishing well, and the apprehension of what your new routine will look like. Especially for those who’ve worked the same job for decades, they might feel a sense of uncertainty or even loss.

Although this season is unfamiliar, it’s the perfect time to focus on how God might use you to further His kingdom. After all, believers in Christ may retire from the workplace, but they never retire from living out their faith.

The work of the kingdom must continue, and retirement leaves you wide-open to God’s leading.

If you are retired, and wondering what’s next, here are 7 ways God can use you to further the kingdom:

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/diego cervo

  • 1. God Can Use You to Serve Your Neighbors

    1. God Can Use You to Serve Your Neighbors

    Do you know your neighbors—really know them?

    So often in the daily hustle, we rarely saw our neighbors, except for the few seconds of waving to them before the garage door closed. Our nine-to-five jobs and busyness in raising our families simply didn’t allow much time for meaningful interaction.

    Now, during retirement, you have the opportunity to serve your neighbors like never before. This is the time to get to know them. Reach out. Let them know you are available.

    If you’re wondering how to connect with your neighbors and hopefully further God’s kingdom, here are a few simple ideas to get you started:

    • Take a plate of cookies at Christmas, along with a card that has your name and phone number. Let them know they can call on you anytime day or night.
    • Take notice of what they are interested in (such as gardening or vintage cars). Ask them about their projects and even volunteer to help.
    • Help rake their leaves in the fall, or pull weeds in the summer. (Almost anyone can do this!)

    God can use you to serve your neighbors in both small and big ways. And in the process, you’ll be planting seeds of faith. You never know what harvest will be reaped because of your faithfulness in serving your neighbors.

    Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” Romans 15:2 NKJV

    For more ideas, here’s a post called 20 Ways to be More Intentional in Your Neighborhood.

    Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/fermate

  • two generations family at dinner table granddad smiling at granddaughter

    2. God Can Use You to Serve Your Family

    One of the biggest regrets people have at the end of their life is not having spent enough time with family. Because work was a priority for so long, many people look back and realized how many important events they missed with their kids and grandkids.

    While it might take some effort on your part, God can use you to serve your family in this new season. Here are few ideas:

    Serve them with your time.

    Babysitting, house cleaning, errand running, and cooking for them are helpful ways to serve your extended family members. While you can enjoy time off durning retirement, try to balance it with time spent serving your family.

    Serve them with your talent.

    Are you good at painting? Offer to paint their kitchen or living room. Are you great at gardening? Offer to plant a small vegetable garden for them. Now is the time to let your God-given talents shine!

    Serve them with your treasure.

    If the Lord has blessed you monetarily, consider sharing some of your excess. Instead of saving it for one big inheritance after you’re gone, find ways to bless them with a portion of your resources now.

    God can use you to serve your family and further His kingdom. Show your kids and grandkids just how much you care. By doing so, you’ll be leaving a wonderful legacy of faith-in-action.

    “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8

    Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages

  • senior couple hiking in beautiful countryside

    3. God Can Use You to Travel the World

    Often, during the formative years of career building, family raising, and bill paying, travel is one of those “maybe someday” dreams. Time and resources don’t usually allow for anything more than an occasional camping trip or family vacation to visit relatives.

    Perhaps, retirement is your chance to not only travel the world, but further the kingdom while you’re at it. There are many short-term missions to choose from, or, you can venture out alone and connect with mission-minded Christians along the way. Even if you don’t have the funds to travel the world, you can take day-trips across your state, with the sole purpose of being a light in the darkness around you.

    The author of this post encourages us with these words: “When you call out to Him for help and for guidance in this matter, you are not going to be left to yourselves. He’s not going say, “Whoa, we’ll see if we can find a place.” No. He’s the one who said, “Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38).

    If you’ve always wanted to be involved in missions, but never had the time, retirement can be your long-awaited opportunity. Have faith that God will lead you in the way you should go. Then, be amazed at the doors He will open for your good and His glory!

    “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8)

    Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages

  • 4. God Can Use You to Intercede

    4. God Can Use You to Intercede

    One of the most important ways God can use you to further His kingdom is through intercession. While prayer might not seem like an exciting way to serve, it’s one of the most needed acts of service in the world.

    Prayer changes things. It ushers in God’s peace and provision. It covers people who feel hopeless. And, it’s our way of communicating with our loving, listening Creator.

    Now that you’re retired, without a demanding job taking up the majority of your time, you’ll have plenty of time to intercede for your loved ones, your nation, and even for strangers. Don’t let anyone tell you that prayer is a “less-than” way to further the kingdom.

    God hears your petitions, and the Bible says that “the prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:15).

    Take full advantage of this retirement season to slow down, spend extended amounts of time in God’s Word, and pray without ceasing. The world needs faithful people like you to pray and intercede. If you aren’t quite sure where to start, following a prayer guide might help.

    Here are a few prayer resources to consider:

    National Day of Prayer
    Samaritan’s Purse Prayer Network
    Bright Hope

    “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4

    Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/bfk92

  • prisoner reading the bible in jail

    5. God Can Use You to Visit Prisoners

    Prison ministry is one way God can use you to further His kingdom during retirement. Chances are, you have a lot of life experience and wisdom to offer prison inmates. As the Bible encourages in Hebrews 13:3, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

    If you’ve been pondering prison ministry, take this new season to pray, do a little research, and contact a trusted ministry such as Prison Fellowship. Don’t let fear or intimidation get in the way offering God’s light in a dark place.

    Think of this Biblical outreach as a way of coming alongside people who might feel hopeless or defeated. Imagine offering them love and mercy through Jesus Christ. Not only will your visits encourage them, but your words of hope will also give them something to look forward to.

    And hopefully, if they haven’t yet received Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they will be led by your testimony to repent and be saved.

    Everyone needs regular reminders that they are deeply loved by the Father. And for prisoners, these reminders can’t come often enough. You never know who you might reach for the sake of Christ. And as you visit those in prison, you might find it’s the most fulfilling ministry you’ve ever participated in.

    If prison ministry has been on your heart, take a look at these inspiring and helpful articles about ministering to those behind bars:

    An Inside Look at Prison Ministries
    Volunteer at a Prison
    Why Minister to Prisoners?


    Photo Credit: GettyImages/Motortion

  • man reaching out to homeless man

    6. God Can Use You to Help Orphans and Widows

    As you connect with your kids and grandkids during retirement, consider those who might not have family members to care for them. Perhaps, the widows in your church could use regular meals or visits. Or, maybe there’s a local outreach that loves and cares for the fatherless. Both of these Biblical acts of service are much-needed in our communities—in our world—and there’s a plethora of ways you can get involved.

    Contact this ministry to find out how you can provide support for widows around the globe. These women often find themselves as outcasts, left to fend for themselves and their families. They are in great need of care and support during this long and lonely season. Here are more inspiring resources on how you can care for the widows in your sphere of influence.

    Or, if you have a heart for children and would like to know more about caring for orphans, check out this informative post, 21 Ways to Get Involved in Orphan Care.

    As the Bible reminds us, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).

    Let God use you to live out your faith by helping orphans and widows in their distress. Remember those who have no family. Share with them God’s great love. In doing so, you will be putting feet to your faith and reminding young and old that God is a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows.

    “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalm 68:5

    Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Punnarong

  • 7. God Can Use You to Teach Others

    7. God Can Use You to Teach Others

    With all the life lessons you’ve learned, all the hardships you’ve been through, and all the spiritual growth you’ve gained, teaching others is a wonderful way to further the kingdom of God.

    Put your knowledge and resources into action and lead others in the truth of God’s Word. There are many ways to teach others, including:

    • Hosting a small-group Bible study.
    • Writing blogs, books, or Bible study guides.
    • Teaching children or youth.
    • Mentoring others, especially new Christians who need strong discipleship.
    • Creating an online meeting with like-minded Christians, to teach Biblical principles.

    If you’ve always wanted to teach, but never had the time, let retirement be your season to pour into other people’s lives. As the Bible encourages us in Titus 2:2-3, “Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.”

    To teach others from the Bible, all it takes is a commitment to study God’s Word, ask for wisdom, and reach out in faith. Others can learn from your experience, your mistakes, and your Spiritual growth. Pray and ask God to help you teach others in accordance to His Word and will.

    Most of all, don’t let this new season of retirement cause you to shut down completely. Try to see it as an opportunity to step out in faith and serve God in new ways. When you ask for wisdom, He will give it. And, before long, you’ll be serving Him in mighty ways—all for His kingdom and His glory.

    Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Fizkes

    Jennifer Waddle considers herself a Kansas girl, married to a Colorado hunk, with a heart to encourage women everywhere. She is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.