“There is no concept of retirement in the Bible,” asserts Timothy Liu, the current CEO of Dover Park Hospice, who is in his 40s. He is one of the 21 highly qualified and distinguished contributors in this compilation of exhortations in a men’s ministry in Mt. Carmel Bible-Presbyterian Church. Several other contributors affirm Mr Liu’s view of retirement and even suggest the term “re-tyring” to view their later stage of life as a new season to serve in God’s Kingdom. Evidently, this book contains the encouragement of godly men who have been greatly motivated to serve the Lord throughout their lives. They seek the ears of Christian men who might view their work as being separate from their faith. Through their anecdotes, they hope that more men would discover that God is not only concerned with their roles in their churches, but also their roles in their families and in the marketplace. Each contributor also supplies reflective questions for readers so that they might apply the teachings in their own everyday lives.
The first section of the book “Living Well” challenges readers to consider the meaning behind their endless toil. Might our toil come at the cost of our faith and our relationships? David Ang, PBM, shares how he had to make the difficult decision of refusing the offer to assume the coveted regional CEO position in his company. This resulted from an earlier critical moment when his son asked him, “Daddy, why are you abandoning me?” He saw the urgent need to devote more time to his family. This experience compelled him to start the “Dads for Life” movement and to be more dedicated to caring for his unbelieving father. David’s story of experiencing God’s guidance through trials and tribulations is not dissimilar to the other contributors as well.
In the second and third sections of the book “God in the Marketplace” and “God in the World Around Us”, the contributors show how diverse individuals can be used by God to become salt and light wherever God has led them. It is heartening to see that God has prepared His servants in the corporate world, in academia, in politics, and across church ministries. Despite working in different industries and in different capacities, the contributors attest that God’s Word is a lamp to their feet and a light to their paths.
By the time the book reaches its concluding section, “Finishing Well”, it is already well established that all children of God can live meaningfully throughout their lives, so that it is no surprise to learn that life will not conclude after retiring from the marketplace. Dr. Lee Soo Ann invoked Psalm 92:12—15 to remind us that God continues to work in us even in our old age:
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
They will stay fresh and green,
Proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
He is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
While the words of wisdom from the contributors might seem most applicable for more mature and ambitious men who are in positions of influence, they can also be helpful for younger male readers who might glean from the contributors’ experiences of God’s faithfulness. Fathers would not only feel encouraged by the contributors’ frank accounts of having to apply superhuman wisdom to cope with their multiple commitments, but will also find practical suggestions to apply in their lives. Church leaders might also be led to reconsider the suitability of activities for men’s ministries. Bishop Robert Solomon observed that “men get connected by tasks; women get connected through relational communication”. This serves as a caution for churches to be more sensitive towards men’s struggles to talk about intimate personal details.
By the end of the book we know much about the lives of the contributors. Yet, the value of the book will only be realised when readers are encouraged to become Men for Christ and glorify God in our everyday lives. May this book be used in men’s small-group ministries in our churches as a source of encouragement for brothers in Christ.
You can view a sample of Men For Christ here.
This review is written by Yeng Fai who is currently a student-teacher in the National Institute of Education. He worships in Providence Presbyterian Church alongside his wife.