Below are 6 skills that can improve your long-term well-being. There are six videos below. There is also a one page overview. The format for the one page overview is:
* Skill Name
* Biblical Reference
* Research Reference
* The Good and Bad News of a Minister’s History with this skill.
* What specific actions need to stop and start to see this skill at work in us.
Biblical Foundation: For this project we are looking closely at 2 Timothy chapter 1. This is a relevent Scripture for many reasons. Paul is nearing his death and is writing to Timothy. It’s interesting to note his desire to pass along wisdom gained through ministry experience. He references ancestors of the faith including female relatives of Timothy. Females in that culture had no social standing. As we help ministers who are transitioning into retirement status we’re aware of a perceived drop in social status within the institutional church related to leadership decision-making. But Paul is reminding Timothy that a life of faithfulness IS a person’s strongest ministry. YOUR MINISTRY CONTINUES! As you remain faithful and even “fan into flame” your love for God, your ministry continues through your faithfulness. Notice also in verse 7 the contrast (pointing out the differences) between timidity and power, love, and self-discipline. I’m interpreting this to mean that we are to take an active attitude, not passive or timid attitude, toward God’s power, love, and self-discipline at work in our lives.
2 Timothy 1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dear son:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
The research study found 9 statements that made the biggest impact in well-being of retired ministers. These are listed below. On a 12-point scale we know the average difference an answer to these statements makes. I’ve converted these to a 100-point scale to better illustrate the difference.
For example, the statement “I often feel lonely or isolated” scored a whopping less-than-or-equal-to 3.2 on the 12-point scale. The difference between answering “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree” was 3.2 on a 12-point scale with other answers in between. This converts to a 27 point difference on a 100-point scale. Imagine if you rated your well-being as a 70 on a scale of 1-100 and you answered “strongly agree” to feeling lonely or isolated. If you could get help to improve your answer to “strongly disagree” to feeling lonely or isolated, our statistics say your well-being score would be a 97!
The 9 most impactful statements from the research project are listed below in order of impact. Each is numbered. On the chart below you’ll see the statements referred to by number.
1: I often feel lonely or isolated. Potential difference in well-being score: up to 27 points on 100-point scale.
2: Confidence that you (and your spouse) will have enough money to live comfortably throughout your retirement years. Potential difference in well-being score: up to 23 points on 100-point scale.
3: Satisfaction with your ministry efforts before retirement. Potential difference in well-being score: up to 21 points on 100-point scale.
4: I have physical disabilities that limit my ability to get out and interact with others. Potential difference in well-being score: 16 points on 100-point scale.
5: How much would more help with your finances improve your overall well-being? Potential difference in well-being score: up to 14 points on 100-point scale.
6: I am active and healthy. Potential difference in well-being score: 12 points on 100-point scale.
7: Feelings toward the churches or mission field where you served in ministry: Betrayed. Potential difference in well-being score: 12 points on 100-point scale.
8: I have continued to make friends in recent years. Potential difference in well-being score: up to 10 points on 100 point scale.
9: Feelings toward the churches or mission field where you served in ministry: Rewarded. Potential difference in well-being score: 8 points on 100-point scale