Our u-shape of volunteer involvement is peaking again. As we explore who make the best volunteers, we are now onto our retired volunteers who are very likely to volunteer and volunteer a lot! Retirees make great volunteers for 6 reasons:
1) They bring a ton of life experience to your ministry. They’ve been through it all. Because of this, they have a lot of stories to share and lessons to teach. These individuals can serve as great mentors to others in your ministry who are going through some of the younger phases of life.
2) Everyone loves grandmothers and grandfathers. Most of us grew up with grandparents who spoiled us. Yes, they told the same stories over and over again. Yes, they squeezed our cheeks and told us how cute we were, even though we were in high school or college and we pulled away. But, we look at our grandparents with love and affection. When retirees volunteer for your children’s or youth ministry, they can’t help but love them and give them respect because they think of their own grandparents.
3) They have time. Many retirees may be retired, but they have no intention of slowing down. They want to continue to “work,” and are willing to work for you and your ministry doing something that matters.
4) They can volunteer during the day Monday through Friday. When most others can’t volunteer for you because of work or school, retirees can!
5) They are in the “return” stage of life. I’ve heard some people describe the cycle of life and their working career like this: learn, earn, return. When we are younger, it is about learning. We go to school and our first jobs out of college and it is all a learning experience. At some point, we enter a stage when we utilize all the learning we’ve done to begin to earn and hopefully earn well (although the learning never stops). After the earning stage comes the returning stage. At this stage, they realize that they have been given a lot (by God and others) and that there is a need to return those gifts to other. This stage comes with age and maturity. Church ministry is a great place where retirees decided to “return” what they have been given.
6) They love God. There is something about the spirituality of a retiree that is powerful and amazing to see. They’ve journeyed with God through all their life experiences. The ups and downs, the troubles and the joys. When we journey with someone for so long, there is a closeness that often only comes with time. There is peace in their hearts and on their face. They bring calmness, joy, and love to your ministry. It is awe inspiring to watch and we all need the opportunity to be in their presence.
Question: How would you utilize a retiree in your ministry?