Finishers Project Targets Boomer Generation for Missions
Attempting to harness the talents of a generationnearing retirement, a new project retools service opportunities to take advantage of life e
Boomers and the Finishers Project
Boomers have been described as the healthiest generation in history, the best educated, the best positioned financially—and looking for something more. They are restless, willing to change careers, frequently able to support themselves through early retirement, if someone will just show them a way or place where they can make a meaningful contribution.
The leading edge of the boomer population is approaching early retirement years, beginning about 2000. The church faces an unprecedented opportunity to harness this pool of healthy, educated, dedicated, and life-qualified personnel in pursuit of the Great Commission.
The Finishers Project is a lay- driven response to that opportunity. It operates in partnership with over 30 leading mission organizations, including the USCWM, as they retool to service this mature demographic segment in a way that makes it as easy as possible for boomers to integrate into missions with full credit for life experience.
One purpose of Finishers Project is to intentionally repackage mission opportunities by knocking down barriers and building bridges to facilitate the movement of talented, accomplished, mature people into a second career in effective places of service in the cause of Jesus Christ.
Another goal of the Finishers Project is to provide information and challenge for mature people in the pews to enter somewhere in the missions infrastructure as a second career. This may be part time or full time, at home or abroad. Finishers Project is not a sending agency, but serves as a catalyst between sending organizations and American churches.
Urbana-like Conference for Boomers
This fall Finishers Project will sponsor a mini-Urbana for boomers, called Finishers Forum ’98. It will be held at the Westin O’Hare Hotel in Chicago, October 1–3, 1998. Dr. John Piper will be a keynote speaker. Specifically targeted for ages 40–55, persons from 55–60 are welcome as well. Delegates can investigate second-career options at their own pace, one-on-one with people who have made the transition. It will be okay to be “in process,” preparing for service at a logical future date depending on children or finances, for example.
The Navigators are handling registration for Finishers Forum ’98. For further information, call the Navigators at 800–981–6703, E-mail [email protected], or write Finishers Forum, PO Box 6000, Colorado Springs CO 80934. Or check the Web at http://www.finishers.org.
Register early, as Finishers Forum ’98 will be limited to 600 delegates.
Boomers and the USCWM —Dwight P. Baker
The U.S. Center for World Mission is a community of several hundred people working together in the cause of reaching the remaining unreached people groups of the world with the gospel of Christ.
Staff on the USCWM campus come in all ages and varieties: from retirees—who decline to believe that their usefulness in God’s program necessarily must end just because they have reached an arbitrary age limit—all the way down to college-age students living and working on campus while studying part time. Even high school students work part time in the cafeteria, telecommunications department, and other areas.
The contribution of each is valued and hard to calculate, but of special significance has been the contribution of persons who have made a change in mid-career and come to the USCWM, bringing with them management and organizational or technical skills honed through years of “secular” employment. A half dozen names come to mind immediately. Frequently, these “second career” people have been members of the “boomer” generation, born between 1946 and 1964.