Published April 2016
Retirement involves unique personal and professional dimensions for clergy.
For clergy, retirement is an opportunity—and a matter of the soul.
The topic of retirement is critical for an increasing number of clergy, but it is often ignored—something many clergy would rather not think about. After decades of leadership, retirement can seem more like an obstacle—or even like oblivion—than an opportunity. Stepping Aside, Moving Ahead offers guidance for any clergyperson within a decade of retirement.
Author Steve Harper writes in the form of letters to a fictitious “every-pastor.” Through these compassionate and instructive letters, the author dialogues with clergy who are just beginning to think about what retirement might bring and with those who stand on the brink of it. He guides the reader through the entire process of planning for retirement: from the initial questions about timing, to financial and other practical concerns, to issues of call and legacy, and more. Steve Harper’s wise counsel and pastoral voice is just what clergy need.
“Retirement is a spiritual question for pastors. Having answered the call of God to lifetime ministry, how does a pastor assume the role of a retiree? Steve Harper answers the question with spiritual insights and practical suggestions that affirm retirement as a chapter in God’s call leading us to new depths of understanding in renewal and new heights of joy in redeployment.” —David McKenna, President Emeritus, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY
“Stepping Aside, Moving Ahead offers theological, personal, and practical advice for anyone who is considering or who is already in retirement. Harper includes a comprehensive spectrum of the issues around clergy retirement. His message is clear: there is abundant life after retirement. This book should be given to every clergy at preretirement seminars in order to prepare servant leaders for this fruitful chapter in their lives.” —Peggy A. Johnson, Bishop, Philadelphia Area, UMC
"This book is an excellent tool for boomers and clergy ... who see great significance in living our legacy of love and faith as we mentor others!" --Clayton L. Smith, Executive Pastor, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection