My heart leapt, I felt I was standing on holy ground. This was my response as I listened to a 48 year old professional over a private lunch explain that he was going to bible college.
This man and his wife are offering to the Lord their remaining 20-25 years of normal working life.
The great excitement reminded me of a visiting missionary in 1975 to the congregation at the Port Kembla Baptist Church when I was a young man.
This missionary explained that he was looking for men and women in their mid to late 40's to ‘50s whose children were off their hands, who owned their own home and were financially secure, who could therefore give their remaining working life to the Lord's service.
Those words have never left me, they inspired me; and now here was a man and a woman engaging in precisely this.
I was beside myself with Christian joy.
In today's society where people are remaining active well into their 'elderly years', this change in career is becoming a trend.
There are other examples. In 1998, Rich Sterns (a US corporate high flyer) changed course and became the CEO for World Vision United States at the behest of Bill Hybels.
Lyn Arnold, the former South Australian premier, likewise involved with World Vision Australia.
My own story, at aged 49, I fell ill with stress in 2000, and stepped aside after 17 years as the Australian Cricket 'Team' chaplain. I moved to a semi-retired position developing with retired cricketers a 'life after cricket' ministry. I turned to art.
As I recovered, I felt his best years of ministry were still to come, and certainly a whole new adventure in the Lord's work has opened to me with the young writer ministry in conjunction with Christian Today.
This is another example of a modified or new career, similar to those already mentioned.
I'm discovering now there is a plethora of professional people who are seeking a new direction in their lives, getting a second breath and taking up this cudgel.
They will bring maturity, wisdom and life experience to their chosen ministries. This is a very exciting era.
This is an example of post stress ministry from my own experiences after 18 years pof funding and establishing the Sports and Leisure Ministry (now re-badged, Sports Chaplaincy Australia).
2000 founded Well-Being Australia
2001 established Life After Cricket
2003 established Basil Sellers Art Centre Moruya, $15,000 Art Prize 2004
2006 established Basil Sellers Timeout in the Tweed (SE Qld AIS respite)
2008 Press Service International with Christian Today – young writer ministry 2009
2009 Olympic Ministry Medal presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century
2011 established Basil Sellers Laguna Quays Respite – Whitsundays
2013 established Basil Sellers Midge Point Art Prize (Laguna Quays)
2019 ARPA’s premier award ‘The Gutenberg’ (invented printing press 1439).
This faith financed ministry welcomes donations.
Today I turned 68 …… what is the retirement age again ??
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html