“Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures….
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
– From Psalm 90
Not long ago I was introduced to these three phrases that describe the “work” of three different life stages:
- Young Adulthood – “Love and Work”
- Middle Age – “From Success to Significance”
- Later Years – “Holding on and Letting Go”
We know our loving heavenly father calls us to love, trust, and serve him at every stage of life. The “work” that is described in these stages resonates with my own observations and with biblical wisdom. In my conversations with others as a pastor and as the Legacy Giving Director for Langham Partnership, I often think about how we can live with wisdom, purpose, and joyful generosity at each life stage.
Whether you find yourself in the early years, at mid-life, or in your later years – I want to offer these questions for consideration as you reflect and pray.
Young Adulthood – “Love and Work”
- As I clarify my vocation and calling, how does the Lord want to use me for his purposes in this world?
- Am I establishing patterns related to what I value and how I give that will bless others and honor God?
- Do I have friends and a community that encourage me to grow in wisdom and joyful stewardship?
- If I am married, have my spouse and I thought and prayed together about our standard of living, our life purpose and our giving in response to God’s generosity and his mission?
- If we have children, have we created a simple will to make guardianship arrangements for them, and are we helping them to value what the Lord values and to give as they are able?
Middle Age – “From Success to Significance”
- If I have been “climbing the ladder” is my ladder on the right wall?
- As I think about the next 30 years, what purpose does the Lord have for me and how can my life show his grace and generosity in this world?
- During this season of life, how is the Lord calling me to serve loved ones and family members in the generations ahead of me and behind me (like parents and children)?
- Are there “mid-life adjustments” that I need to make in relation to my spending, my saving, or my giving in order to glorify the Lord and engage his mission?
- Do my giving plans include giving generously of my assets as they grow, and planning to give through my will or trust in the future?
Later Years – “Holding on and Letting Go”
- When considering my life, am I able to see the Lord’s faithfulness? Am I able to grieve the losses? How can I share that story with others?
- How can the lessons the Lord has taught me be passed on to friends, children, grandchildren, and others?
- What matters most in these later years? Am I cultivating a longing to be with the Lord forever and am I learning to let go of those things that do not matter?
- Am I seeking the Lord and learning to trust him with those things that are out of my control?
- Are my estate plans and documents in place and do they reflect my desire to for my resources to be used to bless my loved ones and to further God’s mission in this world?
Whatever stage of life you are in – it would be my joy to reflect more on these questions with you and to help you develop a plan for wise stewardship and joyful generosity that reflects your heart for the Lord and his purposes. You can reach me any time at 314-488-0265 or email@example.com.
Kevin VandenBrink, Planned Giving Director for Langham Partnership, is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) and a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. He is passionate about helping people like you who care about the global church and long to be wise stewards. He also brings to the Langham team many years of engagement in theological education, pastoral ministry, and global missions.
Kevin would love to hear your story, celebrate what the Lord is doing through Langham, and visit with you about the options and benefits of including Langham in your planned giving. Please click here to send an email to Kevin, or call him at (314) 488-0256.