There is a type of corny joke that’s been around for years, something like this: “Old librarians never die; they just check out”, or “Old janitors never die; they just kick the bucket.”

Here’s a new one: “Old preachers never die; they just volunteer for the Eleanor Ferry Resort Ministry.” This ministry has been providing summer chapel services in recreational vehicle (RV) resorts for senior citizens 55+ in the White Mountains of Arizona, USA, since 1986. This is my fourth year as director, and this summer, it occurred to me that all of us on the ministry team, except our financial secretary, are old people serving old people. The youngest pastor is 70, the oldest is 85, and I’m right there in the middle. One year, we had a pastor who started preaching for us at 88! They’re all retired from some area of Christian service: pastor, missionary, or working for an evangelical organization. Some of them came to us almost as soon as they retired from full-time ministry, not even taking time for travel or other leisure activities. They volunteer to spend their summers preaching, teaching Bible studies, and ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of the residents in the 55+ RV resorts. They continue to serve in the winter, either by preaching in RV resorts in Arizona where the snowbirds gather, or by serving in their home churches.

“O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.” (Psalm 71:17-18 NLT)

Eleanor Ferry, the former Director, always said, “Retirement is not in the Bible.” Think of Bible heroes like Abraham, Moses, and Joshua, who didn’t even start their active work for God until what we would consider retirement age in our modern world. With age come wisdom and experience that need to be shared with those around us — and, for many, with age comes enough income that we can afford to volunteer our services without pay. We may not have the experience or the training to be a preacher, but we can use our gifts and talents to serve others. Some have RVs and travel in them to participate in ministries that build churches or to work in Christian camps. Some volunteer for mission work near home or overseas. Some work in local charities that serve many types of people. Some work in their local church. The opportunities are endless.

For those of us who are retired: What can we do to share our golden years with others? How can we use our wisdom, training, and experience to proclaim His power and His mighty miracles to all who come after us? Those who are not yet retired can make plans to serve when they reach retirement age. Let’s put our remaining years on earth to work for His glory!

Prayer: Father, we may be old and gray, but we know that You will not abandon us. Give us the strength and the abilities to proclaim Your power to all whom we meet. Amen.

Copyright © 2022, by Sharon Cook <>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional  
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA

Used with the permission of PresbyCan and author.