Judith worked with the Methodist Church to develop an innovative new programme for ordained Ministers considering mid and later life transitions. The Methodist Church offers a traditional pre-retirement course that provides advice and guidance about life in retirement. However, it was recognised that the changing needs of a new generation of Ministers required an alternative approach.
With most people looking forward to a longer and healthier live, there is now an additional phase of life. Time when individuals may want to reassess their working lives, retrain or take on new challenges or leave paid work and contribute in different ways. The notion of cliff edge retirement is fast disappearing as the Baby Boomer generation approach ageing with more diverse lifestyles and aspirations.
“Our retirement course wasn’t really working for everyone and feedback showed we need to do something more forward thinking. Judith listened to our needs and worked hard to shape a tailor made later life programme for people considering retirement from the active ministry.”
Paul Wood, Coordinator, Ministry Development. The Methodist Church in Britain
The later life options for Ministers are complex. Ministers often have very transient careers, moving every few years and in provided accommodation. The role encompasses a unique identity within the community and a purposeful way to follow one’s faith. With no retirement or pension age, the decision to continue in active ministry is one that rests with the individual. Exploring other work and live options is a very personal and often emotional journey.
“It’s good to have reflected on impending ‘retirement’ from so many different angles – I am encouraged to explore a wider variety of possibilities for the next stage of my life.”
The Time of your life model allows participants to work through the issues for themselves and develop tools and techniques that enable them to create their own life plan. Individuals gain a real understanding of their skills, strengths and motivations . They can then assess different options for the future against their own needs and aspirations. With all encompassing and full time roles, the programme provided Ministers with much needed time to stop and think in order to make the right decisions.
“Time to reflect; time for self; time to move on…”
The two day programme is highly participative and individuals are encouraged to explore different perspectives and share learning with other participants. For the Baby Boomer generation this style of active learning is more engaging and memorable.
“Judith has a great skill in delivering the programme, never felt rushed, no clock watching, a very pleasant voice, engaged and encouraged participation. Wise, sensitive, illuminating leadership”
The programme left participants feeling more positive and confident; refreshed and with new enthusiasm to take control of their own development and futures. For the Methodist Church planning future career options is now an open and shared process that enables effective succession and retirement planning to take place.
“It’s a good chance to rediscover who one is. I now have the confidence, ideas, information and new skills to assess my readiness for the next step”
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