“…this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind
and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press onward toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
My name is Larry Link, and I have served on staff here at FBCA since 1985. Through the years I have worn several hats, but in 2008 our church began the 2nd HALF Ministry that I now work with. This ministry is for all adults 55+, however, it also reaches a younger segment as well with the new BOOM! ministry that we started in the fall of 2011, specifically for the boomer generation. My wife, LaVon, and I have three married children, and 8 grandchildren, all living in Texas and Oklahoma.
The purpose of the 2nd HALF Ministry revolves around the fact that adults live longer than ever, with an extra two to three decades of life that wasn’t a reality for past generations. So, we seek to discover ways to harness the benefits of those extra decades of life in order to improve the quality of life for all Christian adults as they age. We also want to assist them in understanding how they can continue to serve God, and to grow more as people of influence as they deepen their spiritual roots.
To find out more about how this ministry will accomplish our purpose, we encourage you to go to check out the webpages here, or join us on Facebook.
I’m so glad you’re interested in learning more about this new ministry. Its roots in our church go back several years, but the ministry became a reality for FBCA in August, 2008. So, while we’re relatively new, we comprise all adults in our congregation who are 55 years and older (approximately 1,350 of us). After we reach our mid 40’s all adults are entering into the second half of life.
Something is taking place all around us, and yet, so many people are completely unaware. We’ve been given a gift from God of an additional 30 years of life that wasn’t a possibility to our parents and grandparents. During the last half of the 20th century, our life span almost doubled…going from late 30’s in the 1930’s to late 70’s by the end of the century. So…how are we embracing that extra stage of life? Most of us continue to live our lives as we saw our parents and grandparents live…sometime around our mid 60’s we start slowing down…because that’s what we saw modeled for us by those older than us. God has given us that extra 30 years, an extra stage of life for a reason!
The 2nd HALF logo to the left is a depiction of a running track. I ran track from elementary years until my junior year in college. Then years ago, when I turned 50, I started running in track meets again…track meets for “geezers”! I’ve run literally hundreds of sprints & relays during that time…it takes practice, practice, practice…it’s all about discipline in order to be precise on the day of the meet. The handoff is absolutely crucial! That’s what growing older should be about…handing off an example of godly living to our children, grandchildren, and a church full of younger adults who are all looking on…watching our example. We need to be sure we do it well. In Philippians 3:13-14, the Apostle Paul’s descriptive word-picture always reminds me so much of this baton handoff. Phrases like… “forgetting the past… straining to what lies ahead… pressing on toward the goal of the heavenly call of God”.
These phrases tell us a lot about what life should be like as we grow older in Christ…constantly aware of the ongoing responsibilities we have as people of faith. As we grow older, our challenge isn’t whether or not we retire vocationally…it’s how we live out the balance of our lives as Christ-followers. No matter how much you read scripture, you never read a single story about a person of faith who “retired” from serving God…same should be true of us. We don’t retire…we “re-fire”!
In this ministry there have already been many activities with a lot of variety…2nd HALF Games…health and fitness seminars…spiritual formation programs… Fit Over 50 ongoing aerobics class…caregivers seminar…retirement & pre-retirement seminars…trips and conferences. And in the future, there are a lot of plans for new emphases as we continue to grow. We will always offer our monthly First Family Fellowship meetings, as well as, other monthly activities that are ongoing.
2nd HALF is an “umbrella” term for everything in our church for adults 55+.
BOOM!…is a new ministry under this umbrella that is designed specifically for those in the boomer generation, and it has taken off! Our Sunday morning Bible study organization is divided into 20 different department options, and is arranged around our 3 morning worship service hours. Just watch all of our printed and electronic publications at www.fbca.org/2ndhalf, or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/2ndhalfministry for constant updates for programs, as we “Glorify God by following the Jesus Way”.
Shalom… Larry Link